By Chimezie Godfrey
The Armed Forces of Nigeria have in the past one week neutralized scores of Boko Haram terrorists, destroyed criminal hideouts and recovered large caches of arms across the Country.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Abuja, Maj. Gen. John Enenche disclosed this on Friday while briefing Journalists on the operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in conjunction with other security agencies in the various zones of the country.
According to him, the military in its efforts to put an end to terrorism and other sundry security challenges has continued the various operations in parts of the country with tremendous success recorded in the past one week.
He said in the North – West and North – East zones, as well as other zones of the country, troops have recorded tremendous success in the fight against insecurity.
“I will be briefing you on operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in conjunction other security agencies across the Country from 22 to 29 October 2020.
“In the North-West zone troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have continued the aggressive clearance operations in the North-West zone of the country successfully. For the period under review, farm and highway patrols were carried out within the zone thus boosting the confidence of the locals as well as commuters in carrying out their daily activities.
“The gallant troops of Operation Hadarin Daji within the period carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and other aggressive and confidence building patrols.
“These operations led to the neutralization of armed bandits, arrest of suspected bandits and their collaborators, rescue of kidnapped victims and recoveries of rustled cattle as well as large cache of arms and ammunition.
“In one of the operations conducted on 24 October 2020, security forces arrested 13 suspected bandit collaborators at Tangaza town in Tangaza Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
“Similarly troops of Operation Hadarin Daji in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Katsina State Command, on 27 October 2020, acting on credible intelligence, successfully repelled coordinated attack by bandits on revenge mission on Tsakiya Village of Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State.
“The gallant troops engaged the bandits in a gun duel thereby neutralizing 5 while others escaped with gunshot wounds.”
Enenche said that the land and air components of Operation Thunder Strike acting on credible human intelligence reports as well as series of aerial surveillance missions neutralized scores of armed bandits.
According to him, in the North East zone, troops of Operation Lafia Dole have continued with the aggressive clearance operations with vigour.
He noted that several land and air operations were conducted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies between 22 and 29 October 2020.
“Within the period in focus, the Land Component of Operation Lafiya Dole under the subsidiary operation Fire Ball, conducted several robust operations.
“Troops executed attacks on terrorists’ hideouts, repelled attacks on own troops’ locations and forestalled attack on Internally Displaced Persons’ convoy.
“During the encounters, the superior firepower of own troops resulted in decimation of several BHT/ISWAP terrorist elements, while 2, 3 and 8 of their fighters were killed in contact at Mallam Fatori, Ngwuri Gana and Jumacheri towns respectively, in Borno State.
“Large caches of arms and ammunition as well as materials meant to produce IEDs and 2 gun-trucks were captured from the terrorists.
“Also recorded during the period, troops successfully repelled 3 separate attacks by the BHT/ISWAP terrorists at Magumeri, Gajiram and Damboa in Borno State.
“In the encounters, a total of 13 terrorists were killed in contact and arms and ammunition were recovered. This is additional to the 22 of the terrorists killed at Damboa,” he explained.
According to him, within the period, a cattle rustler/kidnapper at Takum Village in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State was arrested.
“Similarly, 2 kidnappers, namely, Yahaya Mohammed and Juli Ardo were arrested at Zalau Village in Toro Local Government and Lariki Village in Kirfi Local Government Area, all in Bauchi State.
“Meanwhile, the Air Component of Operation Lafiya Dole in its resolve to actualize the objectives of its subsidiary Operation Wutar Tabki, conducted several air operations using a force package of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships in the North East zone.
Enenche pointed out that intensive kinetic operations against armed bandits and other criminals in the North Central zone, troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke conducted raids at identified criminals’ hideouts with attendant successes.
He said these kinetic efforts were supported with Civil Military Cooperation activities in the form of stakeholders meetings, amongst others.
According to him, notably, on 22 October 2020, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN, acting on credible intelligence raided suspected cultists at Federal Low-cost area in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
He added that suspected illicit drugs peddler was arrested in a village in Kaduna state, among other laudable successes recorded in the North Central zone of Nigeria.
Gen. Enenche troops of Operation Delta Safe have sustained the fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering in the South-South zone of the country with significant successes.
According to him, within the period under review, troops of 146 Battalion discovered and immobilized 3 illegal refineries containing 8 storage tanks loaded with illegally refined oil products around Tangolo Susu, Oputumbi and Promise Land in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“Also, on same day, troops of Operation Delta Safe immobilized several illegal refineries around Edeoha Community in Ahaoda East Local Government Area of Rivers State. Similarly, within the period under review, troops of 19 Battalion immobilised an illegal oil depot at Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State.
“Additionally, troops of operation Delta Safe in conjunction with vigilantes acting on credible intelligence on 23 October 2020 arrested one suspected gunrunner with one AK 47 rifle and 2 magazines loaded with 7.62mm special ammunition around Road Elele-Owerri in Rivers State.
“Similarly, between 22 and 24 October 2020, troops of 146 Battalion discovered and immobilized 2 illegal refineries, 3 storage tanks and one wooden boat loaded with crude oil around Patrick Waterside, Burukiri and Oputumbi in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State,” he said.
Enenche added that Operations Calm Water II and Swift Response have continued to record more successes.
He said within the period under review, several bags of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from Cameroon were arrested and handed to Nigeria Customs Service.
“Also, some boats carrying unspecified quantities of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) were arrested. Additionally, the patrol team of Forward Operating Base IBAKA intercepted 2 wooden boats, with 61 drums of PMS collectively.
“The boats were intercepted at lkang Creek, Cross River State.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the product was meant to be smuggled to the Republic of Cameroon through lkang waterways.
“Meanwhile, the 2 wooden boats along with the drums of PMS and the 4 suspects were evacuated to FOB IBAKA Base for further action,” he explained.
Enenche encouraged the troops and personnel of other security agencies to remain dogged and sustain the tempo in all the joint operations areas.
He also reassured the general public of the unwavering commitment of the military to securing the country for all human activities to strive.
Enenche further enjoined members of the general public to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the nearest military and other security agencies location for prompt and effective action