By Chimezie Godfrey
The military has succeeded in neutralizing scores of Boko Haram terrorists, armed bandits, and other criminals elements across the country in the past 7 days.
Troops have equally apprehended some suspected criminal elements and recovered large cache of arms and ammunition, as well as rescued kidnapped victims.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters Abuja, Major General, John Enenche disclosed this at a briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
Enenche said the troops recorded these successes through the various operations of the military conducted in the North – West, North – East, North – Central and South – South geo-political zones of the country.
He said, “This morning I will be briefing you on operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in conjunction with other security agencies across the Country from 5 to 11 November 2020.
“The various operations have progressed satisfactorily with significant results.
“North-West zone troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI and other subsidiary operations have sustained various aggressive operations in the North-West zone of the country successfully.
“The gallant troops within the period carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes, aerial and confidence building patrols.
“In one of the operations conducted on 8 November 2020, troops of Operation ACCORD acting on credible intelligence on movement of suspected gun runners at Tangaza Town in Sokoto State arrested 2 suspects, named Abubakar Mohammed and Ansi Usman Janare. Items recovered include one Light Machine Gun, four AK47 rifle magazines, 586 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, 100 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and one motorcycle.
“The suspects are currently in custody for further action.
“Equally, on same day, following credible intelligence about bandit’s activities at Fegi Baza village in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State, troops swiftly mobilized to the area and made contact with armed bandits. After exchange of fire, the gallant troops overwhelmed the bandits thereby neutralizing 2 of them”.
Enenche said troops of Forward Operating Base, Bagega on 9 November 2020, acting on a tip off arrested a suspected bandit’s informant named Bashar around Kawaye village of Anka Local Government Area.
According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect allegedly sneaks into Bagega town every night to gather information on troop’s movement and pass same to bandits.
He said the suspect is currently in custody undergoing investigation.
The Defence spokesperson disclosed that on the same 9 November 2020, following credible intelligence on movement of suspected wife/collaborator of bandits, troops of 17 Brigade attached to Nigeria-Niger border patrol, along Katsina – Jibia road arrested one Mrs Fatima Lawali from Shaku village of Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
According to him, the suspect claimed to have left the village to visit her parents in Kusa village close to Gahoni village in Katsina but preliminary investigation revealed that she was on her way to rejoin her husband who fled Shaku village to Kano State for fear of arrest.
He said the suspect is currently in custody for further investigation.
Enenche said that within the period in focus, the Air Component of Operation Thunder Strike neutralized several armed bandits in the Kuzo area of Kaduna State, as they attempted to move hundreds of rustled livestock through the area.
“In another development, a notorious bandit leader named, Saleh Tururuwa and his associate Muhammadu Sani Magaji both of Illela village in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State denounced their membership to the banditry group and surrendered Ten AK47 rifles to the Katsina State Government.
“The gallant troops have continued to dominate the general area with aggressive, confidence building and aerial patrols to deny bandits freedom of action.
“Thus, the locals are requested to cooperate with the security agencies and avail them with the necessary information that will be useful to our collective objective of taking out the criminals from the zone,” he said.
Enenche also revealed that in the North East zone several land and air operations were conducted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies with significant results.
According to him, during the period, troops recorded laudable successes in both land and air operations.
“Within the period, the Land Component of Operation Lafiya Dole under the subsidiary Operation Fire Ball, conducted several robust operations.
“Troops executed attacks on terrorists’ hideouts and repelled attacks on own troops’ locations.
“During the encounters, the superior firepower of own troops resulted in decimation of several BHT/ISWAP terrorist elements, notably between 7 and 8 November 2020, the gallant troops of 27 Task Force Brigade located at Buni Gari of Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State neutralized 5 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.
“In the course of the encounter cache of Arms and Ammunition were recovered.
“On 8 November 2020, troops of 151 Task Force Battalion deployed at Special Response Area Miyanti in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State while on fighting patrol made contact with a pocket of Boko Haram elements.
“The gallant troops instinctively engaged them with heavy volume of fire and consequently destroyed their hideout. The troops further rescued one woman and 3 children unharmed from the criminals. 10.
“In the same vein, the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE neutralized several Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters and destroyed some of their structures, including a suspected fuel storage facility, at Tumbun Allura, a terrorists’ logistics hub on the fringes of Lake Chad in the Northern part of Borno State.
“The air raid was executed on 8 November 2020, on the heels of credible Human Intelligence reports as well as aerial surveillance missions which led to the identification of a command post as well as a suspected fuel dump, with large number of jerry cans and barrels concealed in make shift structures within the settlement.
“The attack aircraft, engaged the location, scored accurate hits in the target area resulting in the destruction of the terrorists’ fuel dump. Several ISWAP elements were also neutralized as a result of the air strike,” he said.
Enenche also disclosed that intensive kinetic operations against armed bandits and other criminals was conducted in the North Central zone.
He said troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN and WHIRL STROKE conducted raids at identified criminals’ hideouts successfully.
“Notably, on 7 November 2020, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN conducted a dawn raid at an identified kidnapper’s hideout in Kasit village of Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“During the operation, troops apprehended a kidnapper and gang-leader one Mr Joshua Iliya.
“The suspect and his gang members were allegedly involved in some recent kidnappings in the general area. Presently, he is undergoing interrogation to be handed over to the relevant prosecuting agency,” he said.
He added that on 8 November 2020, troops of Operation Safe Haven, acting on a tip-off, arrested one Mr Adamu Musa posing as a Department of State Services operative at Jenta village in Qua’n Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State.
He said the suspect was subsequently handed over to the appropriate agency for further action.
Enenche also added that troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI on 9 November 2020, in a follow-up operation, after the arrest of a gunrunner in Gusau, Zamfara State, arrested 4 suspected gunrunners named Daniel Ishaku, Musa Bala, Abubakar Umar and Mohammed Saidu at Jos Metropolis in Plateau State.
According to him, the suspects had negotiated to sell some arms and ammunition. One AK47 rifle and one magazine were recovered.
He said the suspects are currently being held at Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN for further action.
The Defence Spokesperson further disclosed that troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have sustained the fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering in the zone with significant successes.
“On 10 November 2020, troops of Sector 2 Operation DELTA SAFE, got credible intelligence on plans by vandals to move Shell Petroleum Development Company stolen pipes from Amabuluo Federated Community, Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State to an undisclosed location in Warri, Delta State.
“The troops immediately mobilized on a fighting patrol to the general area. During the operation the troops arrested 10 crew men, a Tugboat and Barge loaded with 113 stolen pipes suspected to have been vandalized from the South Forcados Opukushi trunk line.
“The suspects and all recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action.
“Similarly, on 9 November 2020, Forward Operating Base IBAKA gunboats on routine patrol around Utan Iyata creek intercepted a medium size wooden boat laden with 72 drums of 300 litres with product suspected to be illegally refined AGO being transported to the Republic of Cameroon.
“The items and the 2 suspects are currently in custody to be handed over to the relevant agency for necessary action,” he said.
Enenche also said that troops of 146 Battalion discovered and immobilized two reactivated illegal refineries containing unspecified litres of illegally refined AGO at Samkiri in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He added that troops of 29 Battalion intercepted 2 locally made boats conveying substance suspected to be crude oil along Ibaa/Rumuji Waterways in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.
According to him, within the period, Operations CALM WATERS II and SWIFT RESPONSE have continued to record more successes.
Consequently about 353 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice and 48 cartons of Tramadol tablets containing 10 packets each concealed in 35 cartons were arrested and handed over to Nigerian Customs Service.
He said other items intercepted were one bale of used clothes as well as 850 litres of PMS.
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 military’s unwavering commitment to securing the country for all human activities to strive.
Enenche 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.