Military operations reduced criminal activities in Nigeria, says DHQ

By Chimezie Godfrey

The , Abuja, has said that the operational efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in the past fourteen days has reduced criminal across the country.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig. Gen. Benard Onyeuko disclosed this to journalists on in Abuja, while briefing them on the operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies between 3rd to 16th June, 2021.

He attributed the reduction in the of bandits, terrorists, and other criminal elements across the troubled zones of the country to troops’ operational efforts in denying the criminals freedom of operation.

He said,”Considering our operational in the various theatres of operation as highlighted in the brief, comparatively there is a decrease in the criminal within the period under review.

“This is as a result of troops’ operational efforts to deny criminals freedom of operation and we remain resolute to take decisive and adequate actions to further abate terrorists and bandits’ activities as well as other vices across the Country.”

Earlier, he highlighted operational activities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other Security Agencies in the theatres of operations, adding that within the period in focus, troops sustained the onslaught against all forms of criminalities by conducting series of operations ranging from aggressive ground operations to comprehensive air operations and exclusive maritime operations against criminal elements and their enclaves.

According to him, these operations recorded attendant successes as scores of criminal elements were decimated and neutralized their hideouts destroyed and large caches of arms and ammunition as well as equipment recovered.

He disclosed that operations troops of operation Hadin Kai conducted several raid operations and extensive air strikes, responded to distress calls as well as repelled and thwarted terrorists’ attacks.

He revealed that these operations were conducted concurrently in different locations in the North East Zone of the Country.

They include Damboa Town in Borno State where air strikes executed NAF platforms on 3 June, dislodged several terrorists and inflicted significant damages on their logistics facilities.

Troops also repelled terrorists’ attacks on Damboa Town in Borno State on same day, where several fighters of the ISWAP sect, including one of their commander named Umar Tela, were neutralized.

Other locations where troops recorded significant results were; Gujba Town in Gujba LGA of Yobe State, Magumeri Town in Borno State and Mubi Town in Mubi LGA of Adamawa State; where troops conducted raid operations on BHT hideouts on 4 and 5 June 2021.

He added that several of terrorists were neutralized, while some escaped gunshot wounds. Large number of their gun trucks and other logistics facilities were as well destroyed in the process.

According to him, troops operations also to the arrest of some terrorists and kidnappers including the leader of a notorious kidnapping syndicate in the North East Zone, named Mohammed Maki, who is a Chadian.

“Troops also recovered large caches of arms and ammunition, large quantities of PMS and AGO in jerry cans in the course of the operations.

“The attendant results recorded by troops through their superior operational have continued to degrade the terrorists’ operational capabilities and deny them freedom of operation in the North East theatre within the period under review,” he said.

Gen. Onyeuko said that troops operational activities in Operation Hadarin Daji theatre of operation within the period were characterized with ambush operations, aggressive fighting patrols, air raids, sustained air Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance patrols as well as cordon and search operations.

According to him, these operations yielded attendant successes in the period under review.

“Troops, during an ambush operation on 3 June, intercepted and neutralized some gunrunners who were in possession of assorted arms and ammunition between Naimaimai Village and Sabon Birni Town in Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State.

“Similarly, on 4 June 2021, troops, credible intelligence report, conducted cordon and search operation along Gurbin Baure – Jibia Road in Katsina State. During the operation, troops intercepted and neutralized some armed bandits.

“In another development on 6 June 2021, the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI conducted air raids on bandits’ enclaves at Jibia area in Katsina State.

“The air raid to the neutralization of several armed bandits and destruction of structures used as hideouts.

“In same vein, troops while on aggressive fighting patrol arrested some kidnappers and rescued some of their victims at Bena Market in Danko Wasagu LGA of Kebbi State. During the operation, large caches of arms and ammunition as well as equipment and vehicles were captured from the criminal elements.

“Troops have continued to dominate the theatre of operation with aggressive patrols and sustained air intelligence surveillance to deny bandits freedom of operation,” he said.

The Defence Spokesperson disclosed that troops of operation Safe Haven sustained their operational tempo and conducted fighting patrols, ambushes as well as cordon and search operations.

He said these operations resulted in the neutralization of several armed bandits, arrest of armed bandits/cultists and recovery of arms and ammunition.

According to him, these incidents occurred when troops on fighting patrol came in contact and engaged some armed bandits along Bokkos – Gana Rop Road on 4 June 2021.

“Several of them were neutralized during the encounter while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

“In another encounter on 5 June, troops on the heels of credible intelligence report, ambushed and arrested some cultists who reportedly belong to a criminal gang that attacks and robs commuters and dispossess’ them of their belongings at Terminus general area of Jos, Plateau State.

“Similarly, troops on patrol on same day arrested a notorious kidnapper, who has been on the wanted list of security agents, by name Halilu Umaru, who was in possession of assorted arms and ammunition and other dangerous around Mangu Market in Mangu LGA of Plateau State,” he said.

He added that all arrested criminals and recovered items have been handed over to appropriate agencies for further necessary interogation.

Gen. Onyeuko said that the military has employed a non-kinetic approach in tackling insecurity in the South East zone of the country.

According to him, in an extra-ordinary non-kinetic approach to the seemingly intractable security challenges in the South East, on 11 June 2021, the of Defence (HMOD) Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), a Federal Government delegation to Enugu for the “HMOD/CDS Security Meeting with Stakeholders in the South East Geopolitical Zone”.

“The HMOD was accompanied by the of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbeshola and the Chief of Defence Staff General Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea Irabor as well as representatives of the Service Chiefs.

“During the Summit, a whole range of security challenges were discussed with all the Governors of the South East States, religious leaders, traditional rulers, opinion leaders and other stakeholders in attendance.

“The discussions and decisions reached at the end of the Security Summit were far reaching and would go a long way in tackling and bringing peace to the Region.”

Meanwhile, the military and other security agencies while conducting operations in the South East Zone of the Country contained several Independent People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) activities in the Zone between 3 and 16 June 2021.

Gen. Onyeuko said within the period, troops responded to several distress calls on IPOB/ESN attacks on police stations, maiming and killing of security as well as civilians and destruction of properties in the Zone.

According to him, some of these operations were conducted at Ukpong in Obot Akara LGA of Akwa-Ibom State, in which the hoodlums had a hideout from where they perpetrate illicit acts. On 4 June 2021, troops raided the hoodlums’ hideouts and dislodged them.

He revealed that troops also, on the heels of credible actionable intelligence on 4 June, engaged and repelled some IPOB/ESN hoodlums who attacked Okposi Town in Ohaozara LGA of Eboyin State and the Criminal Investigation Department, Abia State Command.

“Similarly, troops on 5 June 2021 repelled IPOB hoodlums attack on commuters along Igbo-Ekiti – Nsukka Road in Enugu State.

“In another development on same day, troops tracked and apprehended some hoodlums who vandalized and stole railroad sleepers at Nkwubor Road within Emene in Enugu East LGA of Enugu State,” he said.