From Molly Kilete, abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), have told of how the remaining 23 hostages of the Abuja/Kaduna train attack were released. It said the victims who were abducted on March 28, were rescued through a non-kinetic operations by the Nigerian armed forces in conjunction with the security agencies in the country, on Wednesday.
The Director, Defence Media Operation(DMO), Major General Musa Danmadami, who made this known, however refused to go into details on the operations that led to their rescue.
Gen Danmadami, spoke at the biweekly media briefing on update of military operations conducted between September 22- October 6, 2022, while responding to questions from journalists on how the hostages regained their freedom.
Answering journalists questions, the DMO spokesman, said “Wanting to know detail is not the issue for now. The important thing is that these people have been held captive for six months and the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in collaboration with other security agencies through the committee that was set up by the President and Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces Muhammadu Buhari secured their release.
He said “When it comes to operations we normally tell you there are kinetic and non-kinetic operations. This is part of the non-kinetic operation that was conducted. We already know the trauma that the abductees and their family members went through. Giving you more details will subject them and their families to more trauma.” He said.
Speaking on military operations conducted within the period under review, Danmadami, said troops conducted several ambushes, clearance operations, fighting patrols, cordon and search as well as kinetic and non-kinetic operations in the various theatre of operations that yielded tremendous successes.
He said two abducted Chibok school girls, Yana Pogu and Rejoice Senki, with their children alongside 12, other abducted victims were rescued at Bula Davo village in Bama Local Government Area and Kawur village in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno state.
He further stated that another 418 suspected repentant terrorists, who claimed to have lost interest in the Boko Haram ideology surrendered to troops at different locations with their families. He listed the surrendered terrorists to include 44 adults males, 135 adult females and 239 children.
Continuing, Danmadami, 29 Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province logistic suppliers were arrested by soldiers who also nabbed suspected terrorists ammo technician at Gorom village in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State, with 300 empty cases of ammo suspected to be used for fabricating 7.62mm specials while 6 terrorists informant and collaborators including a foreigner were arrested at different locations.
Giving an update of military operations conducted within the period under review, Gen Danmadami, said “Troops of Operation HADIN KAI in the North East Zone have sustained operational activities in their general area, as they conducted operational activities in villages, mountains, town and cities. Between 22 September to 4 October 2022, troops conducted ambushes, clearance operations, fighting patrols and cordon and search as well as other operations at different locations in Biu, Damboa, kaga, Kukawa and Gubio Local Government Area all in Borno State. During the operations troops arrested 29 Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province logistic suppliers. Item recovered from the Boko Haram include; 50 big bags of dry fish, 2 big sacks of fried meat, 55 jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit, 1 big bag of coal, 13 bags of breads, 1 bag of salt, 1 bag of beans, 5 cartons of detergent, 3 packs of batteries, 50 leathers of mosquito coil, 10 mobile phones, 4 vehicles, 1 bicycle and the a total sum of Two Million Four Hundred and Seventy Nine Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Naira (2,479,740.00) as well as other sundry items.
3. Equally, between 26 September and 3 October 2022, troops arrested a suspected Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province ammo technician at Gorom village in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State, with 300 empty cases of ammo suspected to be used for fabricating 7.62mm specials while 6 suspected Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province informant and collaborators including a foreigner were arrested at different locations. Furthermore, troops also rescued 2 Chibok girls by name, Yana Pogu and Rejoice Senki on serial 19 and 70 of the abducted Chibok girls lists with their children at Bula Davo village in Bama Local Government Area and Kawur village in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State with 12 others abductees.
4. Consequently, troops within the period in focus recovered 6 AK47 rifles, 14 AK47 magazines, 1 HK gun, 1 G3 rifle, 112 rounds of 7.62mm special, 285 rustled cattle and 8 gallons of Premium Motor Spirit. Troops also neutralized 19 terrorists, arrested 42 suspected terrorist logistics suppliers, rescued 3 civilians while a total of 418 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists, who claimed to have lost interest in the ideology of Boko Haram Terrorists surrendered to own troops at different locations with their families comprised of 44 adults males, 135 adult females and 239 children. All recovered items, and arrested Boko Haram Terrorist criminals were handed over to the appropriate authority for further action while surrendered Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists and their families are being profiled for further action. Furthermore, between 23 and 28 September 2022, the air component of Operation HADIN KAI carried out air interdiction operation at identified terrorists enclaves at Kolaram and Bukar Meram both in the Southern Lake Chad region of Borno State. The air strikes resulted in the neutralization of several terrorists with several of their structures destroyed.
NORTH CENTRAL ZONE
5. Troops in the North Central Zone of the Country have continued to crack down on the activities of criminal elements in their general area of operations. On 25 September 2022, troops of Guards Brigade raided an identified illegal drug peddlers hideout along Koroduma-Asokoro Guzape in Abuja Municipal Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory and arrested 5 suspected drug peddlers, while 11 bags of substance suspected to be cannabis sativa was recovered from the suspects. Equally, on 1 October 2022 Guards Brigade troops raided Karshi hill and surrounding villages in Abuja Municipal Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory following intelligence on plans by hoodlums to disrupt the Independence Day Celebration, consequently, troop arrested 64 youths in black attires armed with 9 locally made guns. In another development 33 suspected illegal miners were arrested at an illegal minning site at Gwagwalada Area Council. All apprehended criminals were handed over to the Nigeria Police Federal Capital Command for further action. Also, on 30 September 22, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE conducted raid operation at a suspected criminal hideout at Otukpa in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State. During the operation troops came in contact with terrorists who engaged own troops in a firefight but were subdued, the encounter led to the neutralization of 2 terrorists while other escaped with gunshot wounds.
6. Similarly on the same day, troops responded to a distress call about the activities of a bandit leader identified as full fire and his gang members at Zaki Ibiam and Zamkara in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State. During the operation, troops arrested 2 suspected bandits and recovered 1 locally fabricated AK47 rifle, 1 dane gun and 2 mobile phones. Troops also arrested one suspected bandit in his hideout, while a motorcycle and 1 round of 7.62mm special was recovered from the suspect. Equally, troops raided suspected terrorists hideout in Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State during the encounter troops neutralized 2 terrorists and recovered 1 AK47 rifle, 3 dane guns, 1 motorcycle, 3 mobile phones while 4 terrorists were also arrested.
7. Similarly, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN on 23 September 2022 raided suspected drug dealers hideout at Mangu in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State. The drug dealer was arrested with large quantity of substance suspected to be cannabis. Also on 26 September troops arrested 4 suspected armed robbers at Shaka village in Bassa Local Government Area and recovered armored cables suspected to have stolen from a government property in the general area. Equally, on 28 September 2022, troops in conjunction with the operatives of NSCDC arrested a notorious kidnapper and armed robber known as Anas Ayaro 22years who has been on the wanted list of security agencies along Layi in Bauchi State. The suspect is said to be the leader of a notorious gang involved in major kidnapping, cattle rustling and armed robbery incident in Plateau and neighboring states.
8. Also, between 25 September to 2 October 2022, troops arrested 9 suspected kidnappers, rescued 8 civilians, while troops on 4 October 2022 responded to distress call about the attack of gun men at fefur community in Jos East Local Government Area of Plateau State, consequently, troops trailed the assailants and neutralized 2 suspects and recovered 1 fabricated pistol with 10 rounds of 7.62mm special. All recovered items have been handed over to the relevant authority for further action.
NORTH WEST ZONE
9. Troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI in the North West of the Country have continued to sustained operational activities through the conduct of fighting and clearance patrols to clear terrorist enclaves. Consequently, troops conducted operational activities at various locations within Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi States. During the operation troops neutralized 5 terrorists, arrested 7 terrorists and rescued 8 civilians. Troops also recovered 5 AK47 rifles, 5 motorcycles, 3 bicycles, 15 rounds of 7.62mm special, 5 AK47 magazines, 1 bandolier, 2 locally fabricated AK47rifles, 2 locally fabricated guns, 3 torchlights, 1 car, 11 pump action cartridges and 52 rustled cattle among other items. All recovered items and arrested suspected terrorists have been handed over to the relevant authority for further action.
10. In a related development, the air component of Operation HADARIN DAJI conducted precision bombing on identified notorious terrorists leaders Gwaska Dankaramis camp at Mashekari area in Zurmi Local Government Area and Sani Dangote Camp in Farara village in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State. Following the airstrikes, a suspected terrorists leader identified as Dogo Rabe and 7 members of his gang were reportedly neutralized in the encounter while other fled in disarray.
SOUTH SOUTH ZONE
11. Troops of the Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE in the South South Zone of the Country have sustained pressure towards denying criminal elements freedom of action, essential to sustain a conducive environment for economic activities to thrive while ensuring a relative peaceful environment for the operations of IOCs and the protection of oil and gas infrastructures in the general area. In furtherance to this, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP conducted operational activities at creeks, waterways, communities, villages, town and cities within Delta, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers and Rivers State respectively. During the operations troops discovered and destroyed 60 illegal refining sites, 58 wooden boats, 6 speed boats, 384 storage tanks, 223 cooking ovens and 60 dugout pits. Troops also recovered 20 pumping machines, 3 motorcycle, 1 tricycle, 18 vehicles and arrested 34 pipeline vandals while a total of Three Million Seven Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand (3,764,000) litres of crude oil, Four Hundred and Fifty Eight Thousand (458,000) litres of Automotive Gas Oil, One Thousand (1,000) litres of Premium Motor Spirit and Thirteen Thousand (13,000) litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine were also recovered.
12. In a related development, troops of Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO in the sustained fight against crude oil theft and maritime illegalities discovered and destroyed a total of 14 illegal refineries, 72 metal storage tanks, 9 wooden boats, 29 dugout pits, 51 ovens and 25 reservoirs. Cumulatively, within the weeks under review oil thieves were denied a total of Two Billion One Hundred and Forty Six Million Seven Hundred Ninety Five Thousand Four Hundred Seventy Two Naira Forty Two Kobo (N2,146,795,472.42) in the South South Region.
13. Also, between 23 to 28 September 2022, the air component of Operation DELTA SAFE conducted air interdiction operations at location observed to be carrying out illegal refining activities at Ahoada in Rivers State. The airstrike destroyed the illegal refining site with several criminals fleeing during the engagement. A similar air interdiction operation was carried out on a location observed to be an active illegal refining site with the boathouse accommodation and facilities destroyed while few criminals fled in disarray.
14. Equally, on 24 September 2022 troops conducted a snap road block and arrested a suspected criminal logistics supplier at Amana in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State. Items recovered from the suspect include 20 pairs of black boots, 20 pairs of special force uniforms, 2 mobile phones and the sum of N15,200 only. In the same vein, on 28 September 2022, troops arrested 2 Cameroonians, suspected to be Ambazonian rebels informant at a hotel in Ikang in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State. All recovered items and arrested suspects have been handed over to the appropriates authorities for further action.
SOUTH EAST ZONE
15. Between 23 September to 4 October 2022 troops conducted operational activities aimed at checkmating the activities of illegal oil bunkering and other criminal elements in the zone at different locations which include Upuoma community, Abacheke, Okigwe in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area, Okigwe in Okigwe Local Government Area, Ijemekuru village of Imo State, other location include Omuma village, Okohia forest in Ukwa Local Government Area of Abia State and Ammorka-Uli community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State respectively. During the operations troops discovered and destroyed several illegal refining sites, 438 sacks of substance suspected to be illegal refined Automotive Gas Oil, 8 cooking ovens, and 7 dugout pits. While 3 motorcycles, 3 vehicle and 2 pumping machines were recovered. Troops also recovered Eleven Thousand Four Hundred (11,400) litres Automotive Gas Oil.
16. On 28 September 2022, 82 Garrison troops raided a suspected Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminal hideout at Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State and arrested 8 suspected Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals. Troops also recovered substance suspected to be cannabis, drug soaked in alcohol, 2 mobile phones, 2 ATM cards and the sum of Eleven Thousand Naira (N11,000.00) only.
SOUTH WEST ZONE
17. On 30 September 2022, troops of Operation AWATSE in a joint border patrol at Gbaji-Isahi-Badagry in Badagry Local Government Area intercepted a vehicle convening 350 50kg bags of foreign rice along Dangote-Ilaro road in Yewa Local Government Area of Ogun State. Also, on 3 October 2022, following Human intelligent, joint border patrol teams discovered 145 50kg bags of foreign rice hidden in the bush at Oja-Odan/Ebute in yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State. Recovered items were handed over to Nigerian Custom Service warehouse Abeokuta for further action.
18. On a final note, I wish to convey the military high command commendations on troops efforts in the various theatres of operation across the Country. The media community is also acknowledged for their partnership and continued cooperation with the military and other security agencies, in our quest to restore peace and tranquility to our dear Country. Also, the entire populace is hereby appreciated, for the support given to the Armed Forces and other security agencies in the conduct of our operations, while also urging them to continue to provide prompt and creditable information on the activities of terrorists and other criminal elements, in their respective locality.