From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in Abuja has said that soldiers on counter-insurgency and other internal security operations in the country killed 172, terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals terrorizing the peace in the country in the last two weeks.
The DHQ also said troops arrested 138, terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and their collaborators, drug peddlers, cattle rustlers, oil thieves and rescued 51, abducted persons including 20, personnel of the Nigerian police force kidnapped when the terrorists attacked the Police Division at Buni Yadi, in Yobe State.
Acting Director Defence Media Operations (DMO), Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, made this known at a media briefing on updates of military operations conducted between November 25-December 9.
He said during the period under review, 192 repentant terrorists and their families comprising 51 males, 67 females and 74 children surrounded to own troops and that the surrendered terrorists were properly profiled and handed over to appropriate authorities for necessary actions.
Onyeuko, while noting that troops have embarked on multiple land, maritime and air operations at different locations of the various theatres of operation that resulted in the destruction of several criminals hideouts and strongholds, recovery of arms, weapons, ammunition and other equipment, said the troops discovered and immobilized a total of 39 illegal refining sites, 73 ovens, 25 cooking pots/boilers, 18 cooling systems, 27 reservoirs, 39 large dugout pits and 89 storage tanks. He further stated that a total of 1,014,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil; 50,500 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene and 1,808,500 litres of stolen crude oil were recovered during the period.
Onyeuko, while noting that the efforts of Armed Forces and other security agencies across the Country were paying-off, said the military would continue in all its joint efforts in the fight against criminalities in the Country and commended the sacrifices of its troops in the various theatres of operation for their courage and resilience towards achieving sustainable peace in the Country.
Giving an update on military operations, Gen Onyeuko, said:
In the past 2 weeks, troops extensively conducted multiple land, maritime and air operations at different locations of the various theatres of operation. Some of the operations resulted in the decimation of criminals’ enclaves, neutralization and arrest of criminal elements as well as recovery of arms, ammunition and illegally refined and stolen petroleum products. Therefore, the brief today will highlight in summary, some of the locations where the operations were conducted and some significant results achieved between 25 November and 9 December 2021.
OPERATION HADIN KAI
In Operation HADIN KAI, troops’ operational activities within the last 2 weeks recorded significant results in the various operations they carried out. Notably, on 3 December 2021, troops repelled BHT/ISWAP terrorists’ attack in a fierce gun battle in Kala Balge LGA of Borno State. During the encounter, troops subdued the terrorist elements with superior firepower and neutralized no fewer than 26 of them. Troops also destroyed as well as captured several fighting equipment and vehicles of the terrorists. Regrettably, our gallant officers and soldiers paid the supreme prize. They are our heroes in the battle against terrorism. Other locations are; Gombi LGA of Adamawa State as well as Rann/Rumirgo villages and Biu, Bama, Mafa and DikwaLGAs of Borno State where some terrorists surrendered to own troops. Cumulatively, a total 62 terrorist elements were neutralized and 28 of them were arrested, while 54 assorted arms and 144 rounds of different calibre of ammunition were recovered. Also, a total of 101 rustled livestock were recovered and 20 kidnapped NPF personnel, who were abducted when the terrorists attacked the Police Division, were rescued by own troops at Buni Yadi within the period. Additionally, troops’ kinetic and non-kinetic operations have continued to drive the terrorists out of their camps into surrendering. A total of 192 terrorists and their families comprising 51 adult males, 67 adult females and 74 children surrounded to own troops within the period. The surrendered terrorists were properly profiled and handed over to appropriate authorities for necessary actions.
OPERATION HADARIN DAJI
The troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI sustained its clearance operations within the last 2 weeks. On 2 December 2021, in a coordinated clearance operation carried out at Ruwan Dawa, Garin Maza and Marke Yamma villages in Tsafe LGA of Zamfara State, against armed bandits, some of them were neutralized as well as arms and ammunition recovered. Other locations in which troops’ operationalefforts yielded significant results are; Kungumi, Jangeme, Ungwuwar Dodo and along Dogo Karfe – Kaura Namodaroad, all in Zamfara State. Other locations include; Kuzarivillage in Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State; Unguwan Dudu, Gwanki, Koluwe, Birane, Arne Maigiya and Danbok villages as well as along Magami – Kango Marafa road in Maru LGA of Zamfara State. Cumulatively, 14 armed bandits were neutralized, 4 of them were arrested and their collaborators. Also, 17 assorted arms, including AK-47 rifles, PKT machine guns and GPMGs as well as 625 rounds of different calibresof ammunition and 43 rustled livestock were recovered; while 8 kidnapped civilians were rescued in the course of the operations. Additionally, 54 extra magazines of assorted armsand 20 motorcycles were recovered from bandits.
OPERATION SAFE HAVEN
Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN within the period in focus conducted various operations, including raid operations on criminal elements’ hideouts as well as repelled kidnappers and gunmen attacks at different locations across the theatre. These operations cumulatively resulted in the arrest of a total of 43 armed bandits/collaborators and drug peddlers, the rescue of 20 kidnapped civilians as well as recovery of 131 livestock, 12 assorted arms and 36 different calibres of ammunition among other items. Some of the operations were executed at; Bure as well as Mangu and Gindiri markets in Mangu LGA; Maraban Jama’a Checkpoint and Dogonahawacommunity in Jos South LGA; Maraban Foron and Kaskaraforest in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State. Other locations in Plateau State include; Butura Gida and Mabel villages as well as Bokkos town in Bokkos LGA, Farin Gada, Congo Russia and Angwan Keke areas in Jos North LGA as well as Kwanki– Ganawuri road and Ganawuri village in Riyom LGA. Other locations are; Dangwa forest area under Godogodo District and Gidan Waya town in Jama’a LGA; Rafin Gora village in Kaura LGA, Madauchi community in Zangon Kataf LGA and Kwankwiri village under Maitozo in Sanga LGA of Kaduna State.
OPERATION WHIRL STROKE
In Operation WHIRL STROKE, troops’ operational efforts resulted in the neutralization and arrest of armed bandits and other criminal elements, recovery of arms and ammunition as well as the rescue of kidnapped civilians. Operations were conducted at; Atinyogo, Gbise and Gbortowns in Katsina-Ala LGA; Tyotsar Mbacher village under Shitile Council Ward of Ukum LGA and Igumale community in Ado LGA of Benue State. Other locations are; Kayiovillage in Wukari LGA of Taraba State; Kutara and RugaAhmadu Rufai community under Gurdi Ward in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory. Cumulatively, a total of 5 criminals were neutralized and 19 of them arrested, while 15 different arms and 62 different caliber of ammunition were recovered and 3 kidnapped civilians rescued within the period under review. In addition, troops held peace and security meetings with critical stakeholders as non-kinetic means of tackling insecurity. One of these meetings was held at the Force Headquarters of Operation WHIRL STROKE in Makurdi. Issues discussed at the meeting centred on how to find lasting solutions to the security challenges.
OPERATION THUNDER STRIKE/WHIRL PUNCH
6.The general security situation in the Operation THUNDER STRIKE/WHIRL PUNCH theatres were relatively calm within the period in focus. However, a few incidents of security concern were recorded. In the course of the operations within the period, troops intercepted and arrested criminal elements as well as recovered arms and ammunitions. Notably, on 3 December 2021, troops arrested a notorious armed bandit at Paka community in Igabi LGA of Kaduna State, who revealed that the Head of vigilantes in Rigasa aids armed banditry and is involved in some attacks and kidnap incidents in the environment. Other incidents with significant results were recorded at; Hayin Gada and RuganAlhaji Ori villages in Igabi LGA of Kaduna State.
Furthermore, the Air Component of Operation THUNDER STRIKE, within the period carried out air strikes against armed bandits at their enclaves. Notably, on 3 December 2021, following credible intelligence report and after careful aerial surveillance revealed activities of armed bandits east of Rijana village along Abuja – Kaduna Highway. Consequently, a force package of NAF’s platforms was dispatched to take out the criminal elements. The location, which the bandits use as a logistics base and staging point, where they perpetrated their nefarious activities along the Highway, was decimated by successive air strikes that yielded devastating hits with heavy casualties. During the operation, 45 armed bandits were neutralized and their structures housing logistics items and weapons were destroyed. In addition, other armed bandits who escaped during the air strikes were traced to a location 4km southeast of the Kaduna State NYSC Orientation Camp, where 30 of them were killed in air strikes, which also destroyed their structures and weapons there. Cumulatively, a total of 6 criminal elements were arrested and 9 assorted armed, 2 extra AK-47 rifles magazines, 13 rounds of ammunition and 6 motorcycles were recovered in the course of the operations within the period.
OPERATION DELTA SAFE
In Operation DELTA SAFE, troops sustained anti-illegal oil production operations and other non-kinetic operations to forestall activities of vandals and other economic saboteurs in the South-South Zone. Some of these operations were executed at different locations in villages, creeks and towns in Port Harcourt, Emouha, Ahoada East, Abua/Odual, Bonny, Onne, Ogba/Egbema/Andoni and Akukutoru LGAs of Rivers State. Other locations are villages, towns and creeks in; Warri South, Warri South-West and Ethiope East LGAs of Delta State. Troops’ operations also yielded significant results at; Umualolo and Uwazacommunities in Ukwa West LGA of Abia State and LemnaRoundabout in Calabar Metropolis, Cross Rivers State. The troops of Operation DELTA STATE within the period, based on credible intelligence, ambushed and neutralized 2 kidnappers in a gun duel during anti-kidnap/anti-armed robbery patrol at Oviere community in Okpe LGA of Delta State. During the encounter troops recovered some arms and ammunition from the criminals, while 100 pinches and 825 wraps of heroin and cannabis sativa respectively, were found in their possession.
Consequently, in the last 2 weeks, troops discovered and immobilized a total of 39 illegal refining sites, 73 ovens,25 cooking pots/boilers, 18 cooling systems, 27 reservoirs, 39large dugout pits and 89 storage tanks. Consequently, a total of One Million, Fourteen Thousand litres (1,014,000 ltrs) of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil; 50,500 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene and One Million, Eight Hundred And Eight Thousand, Five Hundred litres (1,808,500 ltrs) of stolen crude oil were recovered in the course of the operations. In addition, 18 criminals associated with pipeline vandalism, piracy, illegal oil bunkering and armed robbery were arrested within the period. Also, troops recovered 6assorted arms, 586 rounds of different calibre of ammunitions, 12 AK-47 rifle magazines as well as 278 pieces of galvanized pipes and 40 wooden boats used for illegal oil bunkering activities in the course of the operations. All the arrested criminals and recovered items have been handed over to relevant security agencies for further action.
Gentlemen of the Press, gleaning from the brief that you have just listened to, the efforts of Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies across the Country are paying-off. Nevertheless, we will continue in all our joint efforts in the fight against criminalities in the Country. The Military High Command commends the sacrifices of its troops in the various theatres of operation and salutes their courage and resilience towards achieving sustainable peace in the Country. The general public is highly appreciated for the cooperation given to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in the course of our operations. Also, we especially thank members of the press community for their immense support and encourage all to continue to avail security forces with credible and timely information that will aid our proactive operational engagements.