From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters(DHQ), has frowned against the use of military uniforms and accoutrements by some state governors, politicians and unauthorized persons to produce their campaign posters.
The DHQ, warned that that the military allowed governors and other Very Important Personalities (VIP) to wear military uniforms during military training exercises, does not make them military officers overnight to use the uniforms whenever they want to.
It has therefore warned those who have used their pictures in military uniforms to produce their campaign posters to remove them or have themselves to blame.
Acting Director Defence Information, Air Commodore Maigida, who gave the warning in a statement entitled “Wearing of military uniforms by unauthorised persons and politicians for electioneering campaign posters is illegal” said: “The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has noticed with dismay that some politicians have formed the habit of wearing military uniforms and accoutrements for electioneering campaign posters.
“The campaign posters of some governors, dressed in military camouflage uniforms, are displayed in noticeable areas in their respective states. This is manifestly illegal and an abuse of the privilege of allowing civilians wear military uniforms during military training exercises.
“It is necessary to restate that the Armed Forces of Nigeria, as a professional institution, remains apolitical and, as such, would not want to be dragged into any form of political bias. Accordingly, it is important to advise politicians and others to desist from the use of military uniforms and accoutrements for political events and other engagements henceforth. Please note, anyone found culpable in this regard would be liable to prosecution.”
Meanwhile, troops reportedly killed 1,910 criminal elements including terrorists, bandits, robbers and kidnappers across the country between May 20, 2021 and January 6, 2022.
DHQ’s acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko, at the biweekly update on Armed Forces of Nigeria operations across the country, yesterday, added that troops rescued 729 kidnap victims. He said the feat was in addition to scores of other terrorists and armed bandits killed during airstrikes within the period.
Gen. Onyeuko said troops within the period recovered 13,201,300 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil and 3,969,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene.
He added that 38,582 barrels and 6,491,000 litres of stolen crude oil as well as 11,659,500 litres of illegally refined Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) were recovered and handled appropriately.
“Additionally, a total of 912 criminal elements were arrested, while a large cache of arms and ammunition as well as livestock among other items of economic and security concerns were recovered by the troops during the period.
“Gleaning from the available information as I have just presented, there is no gain saying that our operational performance for the year 2021 shows our commitment to ensure peace is restored in the country.
“It shows the synergy between the Nigerian military and other Security Agencies is succeeding in tackling the security challenges facing the Country. We will continue to sustain the offensive and will not relent until peace is restored to every troubled zone in Nigeria”, he said.
Giving the breakdown, he said troops of Operation Hadin Kai conducted series of activities in Operation HADIN KAI theatre which resulted in the neutralisation of 950 terrorists including their high-profile Commanders and Amirs.
The spokesperson said 79 terrorists were arrested and 113 kidnapped civilians were rescued by the troops of Operation HADIN KAI within the period.
The troops recovered 195 assorted arms including AK-47 rifles, GPMGs, PKT guns and locally fabricated guns from terrorists.
Also, 2,385 rounds of different calibres of ammunition and 253 rustled livestock were recovered, while a total of 14 gun trucks of the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the operations, while 16 gun trucks were captured by troops within the period.
Furthermore, 24,059 terrorists and their families comprising 5,326 adult males, 7,550 adult females and 11,183 children have so far surrendered to own troops in the North East.
He said all surrendered elements have been properly profiled and handed over to appropriate authorities for necessary actions.
In the North-West, he said troops neutralised 537 armed bandits and other criminal elements while 374 criminal elements including armed bandits and their collaborators as well as armed herdsmen and robbers were arrested.
They also recovered 227 assorted arms, including AK-47 rifles, PKT machine guns and GPMGs as well as 4,443 rounds of different calibres of ammunition and 3,250 rustled livestock among other items and vehicles.
At least, 238 motorcycles and 118 extra rifle magazines were recovered, while 452 kidnapped civilians were rescued by troops in the course of the operations.
Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN arrested 1,771 criminal elements including armed bandits, armed herdsmen and livestock rustlers; while 109 armed bandits and other criminal elements were neutralised in action. Also, 75 kidnapped civilians were rescued, while 1,306 livestock, 108 assorted arms including AK-47 rifles and locally produced guns as well as 493 rounds of different calibres of ammunition among other items were recovered in the course of the operations.
Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE killed 168 criminal elements, while 127 of them, including migrant armed bandits were arrested and recovered 118 different types of arms and 381 different calibres of ammunition as well as 391 livestock while 33 kidnapped civilians were rescued.
Also, troops of Operation THUNDER STRIKE/WHIRL PUNCH theatre killed 44 and arrested 46 criminal elements.
He said the troops operations also led to the recovery of 59 assorted arms, 12 extra AK-47 rifles magazines, 113 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and 16 motorcycles among other items in the course of the operations.
He added that 14 kidnapped civilians were rescued and reunited with their families within the period under review.
In the war against economic sabotage, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE working in conjunction with other security agencies recorded remarkable results in their efforts against economic sabotage and other sundry crimes in the South-South zone. He said the troops discovered and immobilised a cumulative total of 145 illegal refining sites, 209 ovens, 122 cooking pots/boilers, 161 cooling systems, 224 reservoirs, 160 large dugout pits and 367 storage tanks in the Niger Delta Region and recovered 12,846,300 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil as well as 29,237 barrels and 6,491,000) litres of stolen crude oil. Similarly, 3,969,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene; 10,200,500 litres of illegally refined Premium Motor Spirit were recovered by troops of Operation DELTA SAFE.
He added that troops recovered 33 assorted arms; 5,268 rounds of different calibres of ammunition and 21 AK-47 rifle magazines, while 3,110 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled smuggled rice, 662 pieces of galvanised pipes, 32 tanker trucks and 119 wooden boats used for illegal oil bunkering activities were impounded and handled appropriately in the course of the operations.
Also, 41 kidnapped victims were rescued while 77 criminal elements associated with pipeline vandalism, piracy, illegal oil bunkering and armed robbery were arrested within the period. He said all the arrested criminals and recovered items have been handed over to relevant security agencies for further action.
The troops of Operation AWATSE in the fight against pipeline vandals and economic saboteurs in the South-West Zone impounded 1,458,600 litres of illegally refined Premium Motor Spirit; 9,345 barrels of stolen crude oil and 355,000 litres illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil.
Troops also recovered 1,594 rounds of ammunition and 14 assorted rifles, adding that 15 illegal refining sites were immobilised, while 12 boats and 13 trucks engaged in illegal activities were arrested.
Within the same period, 15 kidnapped civilians were rescued while 28 criminal elements were arrested.