The Nigerian Army has launched a new operation codenamed “Operation Tura Takai Bango” to wipe out remnants of the Boko Haram and Islamic States of West Africa (ISWAP) terrorists and other criminal groups in the North East.
It was operationalised on January 3, 2021, at the 27 Brigade Tactical Headquarters, Buni Gari, Yobe State, in the North East theatre, comprising Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the operation has become necessary as it is intended to be theatre-wide in terms of coverage and strategy on how best to take the war to the insurgents’ strongholds. He also said the operation would go a long way to checkmate kidnapping on the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway.
Represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Major General Nuhu Angbazo, Buratai said the current threat by the terrorists, if not checked, could result in further attacks on civilian territories and may lead to the migration of terrorists into southern Borno and Yobe states.
He said the operation would not only curtail activities of the terrorists but, put a stop to their incessant attacks on soft targets and innocent villagers.
He noted that the Nigerian Army was fully involved in the on going counter terrorism war codenamed Operation Lafiya Dole: “Operation Lafiya Dole has made tremendous progress resulting in the liberation of many local government areas that were hitherto occupied by the Boko Haram/Islamic State West African Province (BH/ISWAP) terrorists.”
We’re ready to kill Boko Haram terrorists –Wounded soldiers
Soldiers of the Nigerian Army wounded in action while fighting the counter-insurgency war have expressed their readiness to go back to the theatre soon after recuperating.
They are on admission and receiving treatment at the Nigerian Army 44 Reference Hospital, Kaduna.
They gave the assurance when the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, visited them. The soldiers told the COAS that they were ready to join their colleagues in the battlefront as soon as they were certified fit.
One of the soldiers of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in Magumeri, Sergeant Yakubu Gajawa, said: “The attention we are receiving here is excellent and I am happy. I am 100 per cent ready to go back to the war front because I am not in panic. This one is from God and I thank my God that I still have my legs.
“If I am well today I will go back to my duty post to continue the fight. If I don’t go back what then makes me a soldier? My duty is to fight the battle and I must fight it and we must end it, by the grace of God.”
Private Afolayan Sunday of 29 Task Force Brigade of Operation Lafiya Dole, who sustained injury in an ambush on December 25, 2019, at Jakana, Borno State, said he has been on admission at the hospital for over one year where he has been receiving adequate medical attention:
“Since I have been here, our feeding, our allowances and everything are well taken care of. I feel good and ready to return to the battlefront to go and finish the fight because it is what I signed for.”
Buratai had, during the visit, inaugurated the remodelled Accident and Emergency Department of the hospital.
We’ll recruit only best into Army –Buratai
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said that the Nigerian Army would recruit only the best and qualified candidates into the service, given the security challenges bedevilling the country.
He said lessons drawn from experiences in the field made it imperative for the Nigerian Army to concentrate on recruiting only the best: “Faulty process could lead to faulty training and, subsequently, faulty operations.”
He said the Nigerian Army was not ready to go through such rigours again. He spoke during the final screening for members of 80 Regular Recruits Intake at the Falgore Forest Training Camp, Kano State. The army chief said the exercise was a new approach to the screening and recruitment process into the Nigerian Army, adding that the idea was aimed at recruiting only the best.
He told the young recruits: “You must make up your mind that you are ready to serve your country as a soldier and you should be ready, anywhere you are deployed, after your passing out. All of you will go to Sambisa at the end of your depot training.
“If you are not ready to move to Sambisa and other parts of the country, and of course, our border areas to defend our country from any act of aggression, then you have not started. It is not yet late, if you have any doubt if you are not ready for discipline and loyalty at any point, then you can stand up and go.
“There is no room for laziness and indiscipline in the army and no room for malingering.” He said all screening for recruitment, selection and commissioning would henceforth be conducted in the Falgore Forest:
“This is where we will select those that will become cadets and be trained as officers as well because, at the end of all the training, the officers and soldiers will operate together under the same condition. As such, all must be subjected to a similar process of recruitment and selection.”
A total of 6,000 applicants, drawn from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), are undergoing screening at the new training ground for enlistment into the army. The applicants are expected to undergo final fitness test, where they are expected to embark on a 20-kilometre-run for female and 30-kilometer-run for male after which successful candidates would undergo training at the Nigerian Army Depot.
New operation outfit kills 28 terrorists in Yobe
Soldiers of the newly launched Operation Tura Takaibango have continued to record successes with the killing of 28 terrorists and recovery of one gun truck. The soldiers also destroyed and burnt another gun truck with its occupants.
Other equipment recovered from the terrorists included two anti-aircraft guns, 13 AK47 rifles, four extra magazines and a vulcanizing machine. Brigadier-General Bernard Onyeuko said: “Latest encounter with the marauding Boko Haram criminals occurred on January 9, 2021, at Gujba LGA of Yobe State where the gallant troops identified and encircled a Boko Haram ambush site.
“The troops from HQ Sector 2, who were led by the Commander, Sector 2, and later reinforced by troops from 27 TF, Buni Gari, and Special Forces Training School, Buni Yadi, tactically out-manoeuvred the criminals and engaged them with superior firepower, inflicting high casualties on the terrorists.
“In the aftermath of the decisive encounter, 28 Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised, while few others were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds. In the same vein, one Boko Haram gun truck was destroyed with its occupants, while another gun truck was captured from the fleeing criminals.
“Regrettably, one gallant soldier paid the supreme price while one other soldier was wounded during the encounter. The wounded soldier was evacuated to a military medical facility and is responding positively to treatment.
“The renewed onslaught against the remnants of Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals by the dogged troops of Operation Tura Takaibango is indicative of the end of all criminal elements within the North East.”
Gov. Buni lauds soldiers for repelling attack on Gujba
Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni has commended troops of the Nigerian Armed Forces for foiling terrorists’ attack on Gujba village, last Saturday.
He said the determination of the soldiers to repel the attack showed that the military changed the narratives in its fight against insurgency, yielding positive results. He pledged the support of government to the military and security agencies.
The governor equally appealed to the public to provide useful and timely information on suspicious movements in their communities for proactive measures.
He lamented the casualties recorded by the military during the operation and wished those injured quick recovery even as he assured that his government would provide emergency support to the victims.