From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Thursday said soldiers on internal security operations in the Niger delta region have discovered and destroyed 80 illegal refining and arrested 27 oil thieves in two weeks.
The soldiers also destroyed 60 wooden boats, 316 storage tanks, 262 ovens and 87 dugout pits and recovered 9 speed boats, 15 outboard engines, 19 pumping machines.
Director, Defence Media Operations(DMO), Major General Bernard Onyeuko, who made this known, said over five million litres of substance suspected to be crude oil and over One million litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil were recovered.
Onyeuko, spoke at the media briefing on update of military operations conducted between July 14-28 across the country.
He said within the period under review, soldiers fighting the counterterrorism war in the north killed over 20 members of the Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and rescued several kidnapped victims among them rescued 4 women with children at Aulari in Borno State, while 2 were the list confirmed to be the abductee Chibok girls named Hanatu Musa and Kauna Sarah Luka who are on serial 7 and 38 of the missing Chibok girls.
Onyeuko, who said 2,016 terrorists and their family members have so far surrendered to troops at various locations in the last two week, listed the surrendered terrorists to include 360 adult males, 580 adult females and 1,076 children.
Gen Onyeuko gave a break down on military operations conducted within the period under review;
NORTH EAST ZONE
2. The Joint Task Force Operation HADIN KAI in the North East zone between the 17 and 19 July 2022 responded to the activities of Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province criminals who kidnapped some civilians and rustled some cattle at Balkani village in Jere Local Government Area. Troops made contact with the terrorists and rescued the kidnapped civilians and recovered the rustled cattle. Also, at another location troops rescued 2 civilians that were kidnapped by Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists at Kayamade village in Kondoga Local Government Area of Borno State.
3. In similar operation, troops on fighting patrol repelled Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province attacks at Gwalaram village in Magumeri Local Government Area. Own troops fire power forced the criminals to flee the location. Also, troops came in contact with terrorists along Kwang – Kilakasa road, Monguno, Gajiran in a fire battle engaged the terrorist and neutralized 20 of the insurgents. Troops further exploited the area and recovered 6 x AK47 rifles, 3 bicycles, 1 Toyota Landcruiser van, 3 x tyres, 490 rounds of 108mm, 274 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, metal links, 5 x magazine, 2 x Improvised Explosive Device cylinders and 100 litres of Premium Motor Spirit among others items. Troops on 25 July 2022 rescued 4 women with children at Aulari in Borno State, while 2 were the list confirmed to be Chibok girls named Hanatu Musa and Kauna Sarah Luka who are on serial 7 and 38 of the missing Chibok girls. Accordingly, within the weeks in focus, a total of 2,016 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists and their families comprising of 360 adult males, 580 adult females and 1076 children surrendered to own troops at various locations in the North East theatre of Operation. All rescued civilians and recovered items were handed over to relevant authority, while surrendered Boko Haram Terrorists and their families were profiled and handed over to the appropriate agencies for further action.
NORTH CENTRAL ZONE
4. Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE on 16 July 2022 arrested 2 notorious arms dealers, Mr Samuel Kwanu and Mr Ede Umar Yisa whom were said to have delivered weapons to one Mallam Saidu and some bandits in Gidan Bawa village. Items recovered from the suspects include; 2 magazines of 6 7.62mm special, 1 ussi rifle among others. Similarly, On same day acting on intelligence on kidnappers activities along Panda road linking Ayewawa and Dere in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and Kampani Sabon Gari village in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State, troops of Operations WHIRL STROKE and SAFE HAVEN rescued 6 kidnapped victims and recovered 1 motorcycle. The suspects and recovered items were handed over to the relevant authorities.
5. In another development, between 15 – 19 July 2022, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE responded to information on bandits activities at Chito and Maraba Ukyonugu villages both in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State. Troops neutralized 6 x bandits, destroyed criminal hideouts/camps and recovered 18 motorcycles. Troops also conducted operations along Road Nasme – Akpanaja – Ondori, Road Nasme – Antie – Ondori, Rukubi and Kekura villages in Doma and Awe Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State. During the operations, troops arrested 8 x suspected cattle rustlers and cultists. Items recovered include; 2 motorcycles, 1 x locally fabricated pistol, 3 x mobile phones and the sum of One Hundred Fifty Naira (N148,650.00) amongst others. All recovered items were handed over to the Nigeria Police Daudu Division for further action.
6. On 20 July 2022, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN arrested Mr Awal Jumba a suspected kidnap kingpin at Vokti Mungi in Gindiri District Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State. While enroute the barracks, Mr Jumba attempted to escape and he was neutralized. Item recovered include 2 motorcycles and 1 gionee L800 amongst other. Relatedly, troops in conjunction with vigilantes on 24 July 2022 arrested 3 suspected bandits Commanders; Mr Julius Simon (alias Bagga 37yrs), Mr Wolta Zambai (45yrs) and Mr Iliya Peter (alias Boubok 27yrs) at Shimankar village, Shendam Local Government Area Plateau State. Suspects confessed to be involved in buying/selling ammunitions. Suspects are currently in custody and undergoing further investigation. Items recovered include; 3 mobile phones and N5,600 cash amongst others. On the same day, troops arrested 2 kidnappers; Mr Musa Usman (27yrs) and Mr Adam Mohammed (25yrs) at Barkin Ladi, Plateau State. Suspects confessed to have carried out several kidnapping activities including the kidnap of one Master Jeremiah Elijah, a 6yrs on 21 July 2022.
7. Relatedly, on 25 July 2022, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN arrested a notorious kidnapper/armed robber and cattle rustler; Mr Zwanlan Fatim – 42yrs at Shendam town, Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State. Troops recovered 1 x locally made pistol, 5 x cartridges, 1 x rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 2 x mobile phones, 2 x Union Bank ATM cards, 1 x ID card and assorted charms amongst others. In another development, on 26 July 2022, troops intercepted Two (2) rail vandals, Mr Abba Abdul – 23 yrs and Mr Joseph ZI – 26yrs at Bas village, Heipang District, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State. Vandals were intercepted while conveying Eighty Six (86) railways UIC sleepers in a red Peugeot Boxer vehicle with registration No BAU 05 SX.
8. Troops of 7 Guards Battalion and 167 Special Force Battalion in conjunction with the air component of Operation WHIRL PUNCH conducted a clearance patrol around Bwari general area between 24 – 26 July 2022. Troops successfully clear Kawu and Ido villages. Consequently, about 30 terrorists were neutralized and their enclave and hide out destroyed. Ground troops also recovered 6 x motorcycles, 2 x AK47 rifles, 1 x fully loaded LMG magazine amongst others during mob up.
NORTH WEST ZONE
9. Troops of Operations HADARIN DAJI at the early hours of 27 July 2022 responded to a distress call from Bayi village in Tsefe Local Government Area of Zamfara on banditry activities. Troops trailed bandits to one Alhaji Bello Dan Iya’s residence and neutralized 1 x bandit. Items recovered include; 1 x AK47 rifle, 1 x magazine, 4 x rounds of 7.62mm special, 1 x MPs and 1 x sachet of marijuana amongst others. Earlier, on 25 July 2022, troops engaged one suspected bandit on motorcycle while commuting bush path along Gidan Garba, Magami Local Government Area of Zamfara State. Troops recovered 1 x AK47 rifle and 2 pairs of woodland camouflage. All recovered items are in own custody.
SOUTH SOUTH ZONE
10. The Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE in the conduct of operation OCTOPUS GRIP in the South South zone conducted operational activities in the creeks, communities and towns in the Niger Delta. Notably Madangho, Kokoye and jones creek in Delta State, Obi Sagbama village and Debu creek in Bayelsa State were patroled. Also, troops conducted patrol in Awoba, Cawthorne Channel, Boning Channel, Asaramatu in River State. Consequently, troops discovered and destroyed 80 illegal refining site, 60 wooden boats, 316 storage tanks, 262 ovens and 87 dugout pits. Troops also recovered 9 speed boats, 15 outboard engines, 19 pumping machines and 17 vehicles. Furthermore, 27 pipeline vandals were arrested while a total of Five Million One Hundred and Fifty Nine Thousand Five Hundred (5,159,500) litres of substance suspected to be crude oil and One million Four Hundred and Thirty Two Thousand (1,432,000) litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil were recovered. All arrested economic saboteurs and recovered items were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.
11. The Statistic above shows a significant loss to the economy of the Country. It has a street value of about Two Billion Five Hundred and Thirty Four Million Seven Hundred Seventy One Thousand Five Hundred Forty Three Naira Eight Kobo (N2,534,771,543.08). However, the number of arrested individuals have also increased and could reduce the illegal activities of these of oil thieves. Operation DELTA SAFE has therefore sustained it efforts to ensure relative safe and peaceful operations environment in the Niger Delta.
SOUTH WEST ZONE
12. Between the 15 and 17 July 2022, troops of Operation AWATSE intercepted large consignment of smuggled foodstuff along Seme – Badagry – Owode Road and a smuggler depot along Road Aiyetoro – Abeokuta and Oja-Odan village of Badagry, Owode, Imeko/Afon and Odeda Local Government Area of Lagos and Ogun States respectively. Items confiscated include; Four Hundred and Two (402) 50kg of foreign rice and One Hundred and Ninety Three (193) 30 litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
13. In another development, during the conduct of Operation SAFE CONDUCT, troops on patrol along Road Osho – Egbedore village in Egbedore Local Government Area of Osun State arrested a political thug and recovered 1 locally fabricated pistol, 5 cartridges and a mobile phone amongst others. Troops also carried out a raid operation at Old Garage within Oshogbo metropolis and arrested a notorious kidnapper terrorizing the people of Osogbo alongside 9 of his gang members. Items recovered include 1 pump action rifle, 6 cartridges amongst others. All recovered items were handed over to the appropriate authority for further action.
14. The hierarchy of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies wishes to re-assured Nigerians of its commitment and pact with all Nigerians. With the recent operations carried out between from 23 July we wish to assure residents of FCT Abuja in particular that we are undaunted and unrelenting in our efforts to ensure the safety of lives and properties. People should go about their normal business as their safety is guaranteed. The support and cooperation of all Nigerians is hereby solicited as security is everybody’s business. Citizens are encouraged to report any unusual persons in your community to security agencies. If you see something say something.