By Chimezie Godfrey
In the past week, the military has succeeded in killing scores of Boko Haram and Islamic State for West Africa Province (ISWAP), bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements in the North East and other regions of the country.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters Abuja, Maj Gen John Enenche revealed that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued their major operations across the country with dynamism.
While briefing Defence correspondence on the update of the operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies from 26 November to 2 December, Enenche expressed optimism that the challenges of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other security challenges will soon be a thing of the past in Nigeria.
He said the troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI and other subsidiary operations have sustained their operations in the North-West zone of the country progressively.
According to him, the gallant troops within the period carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and aerial patrols.
He said,”Notably, on 26 November 2020, troops of Operation ACCORD intercepted and arrested 2 suspected bandits named Ibrahim Umar and Ibrahim Sani.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that suspects have affiliation with bandit’s leader called Turji.
“The suspects are in custody for further investigations. Similarly, on 27 November 2020, troops while on routine patrol arrested 2 suspected bandits named Iro Ibrahim and Umaru Abdullahi from Daba village.
“During preliminary investigation, picture of Iro Ibrahim where he was holding 2 rifles was found on his phone.
“The suspects are in custody for further actions.”
Enenche disclosed that other military operations carried out in the North West within the period in review neutralized several bandits, kidnappers, destroyed their hideouts, and rescued kidnapped victims.
He added that so many suspects and bandit collaborators were apprehended and are now in custody.
In the same vein, Enenche revealed that the in the North-East zone, several land and air operations were conducted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies.
He said the gallant troops adopted sustained vigilance and offensive postures through comprehensive ground and air operations.
According to him, within the period in focus, troops of Army Super Camp II Gamboru-Ngala conducted clearance operations at some suspected BHT/ISWAP criminals hideout at Garal village and Bulankesa village.
“The gallant troops made contact with the terrorists and effectively engaged and dominated them with rapid fire power. During the encounter, 2 BHT/ISWAP criminals were neutralized.
“Relatedly, on 27 November 2020 troops of Strong Response Area Pulka conducted a robust clearance patrol at Ashigashiya area.
“During the operation, troops made contact with the criminals at their logistics base.
“In the ensuing gun battle 2 terrorists were neutralized while others escaped with gunshot wounds.
“Several bags of assorted grains and other food items were recovered.
“Thereafter the logistics warehouse was destroyed,” he said.
He further revealed that troops of 27 Task Force Brigade laid in wait for some suspected BHT/ISWAP criminals around Doksa general area.
According to him, troops made contact with the criminals and engaged them with superior gun fire forcing the terrorists to flee into the Bush in disarray.
He said in the aftermath of the encounter, one BHT/ISWAP criminal was neutralized.
According to him, troops also recovered one AK 47 Rifle, 2 Mobile Phones, one Bow and Arrow and one Boko Haram Terrorists pass slip (Identification Pass).
Enenche disclosed that the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE neutralized several ISWAP elements and destroyed their hideouts at Ngwuri Gana, along the Gulumba Gana-Kumshe axis, as well as at Tumbuma Baba on the fringes of Lake Chad, both in the Northern part of Borno State.
According to him, this was achieved through air strikes executed on 27 November 2020, as part of a new subsidiary Operation, tagged “WUTAR TABKI II”, after series of aerial surveillance missions had indicated that the 2 locations, with structures and logistics items camouflaged under dense vegetation, were being used as staging areas where some ISWAP leaders and their fighters meet to plan and launch attacks.
He noted that the coordinated attacks launched by the Air Task Force, employing an enhanced force package of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships, resulted in the destruction of some of the terrorists’ structures as well as the neutralization of several ISWAP fighters.
The Defence Spokesperson also disclosed that in continuation of intensive kinetic operations against bandits and other criminals in the North Central zone, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN, WHIRL STROKE and other subsidiary operations conducted raids at identified criminals’ hideouts.
He said within the period, troops of Operation NUTCRACKER II in conjunction with local vigilante members while on clearance operations engaged armed bandits at Dutse Magaji in Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State.
According to him, during the operation, 3 bandits were neutralized while one AK47 rifle and 38 rustled cattle were recovered.
He also revealed that Operation Whirl Stroke neutralized several bandits, recovered large cache of arms and ammunition, while Operation Safe Haven arrested several kidnappers and equally recovered arms.
He further disclosed that as part of non-kinetic activities of the Defence Headquarters, on 26 November 2020, the Commander Operation SAFE HAVEN presented TVs, DSTVs, tables and chairs to Government Secondary School Gidan Waya in Jama’a Local Government Area.
He also said that on 27 November 2020, the Commander Operation SAFE HAVEN commissioned a renovated Clinic at Sabon Kaura village in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State as part of CIMIC activities.
“In a related development, Stakeholders’ peace meeting was held at Headquarters Sector 3 in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State on 28 November 2020 as part of measures to curtail incessant kidnapping, illegal mining, and farm encroachment among other security challenges.
“Members were urged to avail timely and credible information on activities of criminal elements to Operation SAFE HAVEN.
“In attendance were various leaders and other stakeholders of Irigwe, Rukuba, Berom, Afisere, Fulanis and Jarawa,” he said.
Enenche said that the troops of Operation Delta Safe have sustained the fight against economic sabotage to secure critical oil infrastructure in the South – South zone of the country.
He said,”Notably, on 26 November 2020, gunboats of Forward Operating Base IBAKA while on routine patrol around Mbo river, intercepted and arrested one large wooden boat laden with 229 drums of 300 litres of product suspected to be PMS with 2 suspects, outboard engines and pumping machines.
“Items and suspects are currently in custody to be handed over to the relevant security agency.
“Additionally, within the period under review, troops of 146 Battalion discovered and immobilized 2 reactivated illegal refining sites containing 4 boilers, 6 storage tanks and one wooden boat laden with illegally refined oil products around Oputumbi in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“Furthermore, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE immobilized 2 reactivated illegal refining sites containing 3 boilers and 5 storage tanks laden with crude oil around Orutoru in same Local Government Area.”
He said that troops also immobilized 4 illegal refineries containing 7 boilers, 7 hoses, pumping machines, 3 reservoirs, 8 storage tanks, among other successes recorded in zone.
. Enenche also said that in the South West zone, troops of Operation AWATSE have continued to intensify the fight against pipeline vandals, economic saboteurs and other criminal elements in the zone.
According to him, within the period under review, troops of Operation AWATSE while on routine patrol intercepted 6 trucks fully loaded with stolen petroleum products at Areppo.
He said the operation was conducted after an intensified surveillance was carried out by troops within the general area.
According to him, troops moved swiftly to the area and met vandals loading their trucks with the fuel. Troops arrested 10 of the vandals and 6 trucks loaded products.
The Defence Spokesperson further revealed that the Nigerian Navy has conducted Exercise SHARK SHIVER.
According to him, the Exercise was activated at the Western Naval Command Area of Responsibility.
He said that the 3-day Exercise was conducted in collaboration with the Italian Naval Ship FEDRERICO MARTINENGO.
Enenche pointed out that the Nigerian Navy ships that participated in the Exercise were NNS PROSPERITY, NGURU, EKULU, KARADUWA and OSE with a detachment of Special Boat Service elements.
He encouraged the troops and personnel of other security agencies to remain determined and sustain the tempo in all the Joint Operations Areas.
He also reassured the general public of untiring dedication of the Armed Forces of Nigeria towards securing the country.
Enenche enjoined members of the general public to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the military and other security agencies for prompt and effective action.