By Brigadier-General Benard Onyeuko
You are once again welcome to our bi-weekly briefing on the Armed Forces of Nigeria’s operational efforts.
The Armed Forces of Nigeria have sustained their operational engagements across the country against all criminal elements across the country. These operations yielded significant results notwithstanding some negative incidents of the past week.
This is evident in the reduction of the spate of incidents recorded; the massive surrendering of terrorists in the North East as well as a reduction in IPOB/ESN activities in the South East and economic sabotage in the South-South and South West zones of the country.
Today’s brief, therefore, will highlight, some of our operational efforts that yielded significant results between 12 August and 2 September 2021.
OPERATION HADIN KAI
Within the period under review, troops of Operation HADIN KAI sustained their operations to terrorists in the North East theatre. The counter-insurgency efforts of the troops through kinetic and non-kinetic operations compelled the terrorists to surrender in large numbers.
Suffice to note that, within the last few weeks, more than 5,890 terrorists comprising foot soldiers and their commanders have surrendered with their families to own troops in the North East Zone. A total of 565 BHT’s comprising 3 Commanders, 4 Amirs, 5 Nakibs and 5 cattle rustling specialists, out of the surrendered BHTs and their family members were handed over to the Borno State Government in Maiduguri for further management after thorough profiling.
Meanwhile, on 14 June 2021, own troops repelled terrorists’ attack in Borno State as troops, with the support of the Air Component through air interdiction missions, inflicted heavy casualties on the terrorists and their equipment. No fewer than 48 of the terrorists, 20 arrested including fighters and commanders were neutralised and their logistic base and facilities including three gun trucks were destroyed in the process.
A total of 52 assorted arms and 1,977 rounds of 7.62mm assorted calibre ammunition including AK-47 and FN rifles with magazines, hand grenades, commando mortar guns, locally fabricated rifles, Dushka anti-aircraft guns, Dane guns and Nigerian Police rifles, among other items were recovered from surrendered terrorists and operations within the period.
Also, a total of seven terrorists collaborators/informants and logistics suppliers were arrested and handed over to appropriate prosecuting agencies for necessary actions.
OPERATION HADARIN DAJI
In operation HADARIN DAJI, troops have sustained their operations against the bandits’, kidnappers and other criminal elements in the North West Geo-political zone. Troops within the period arrested criminal informants/collaborators whose activities have been causing setbacks for own troops’ operations in the zone.
A total of 15 armed bandits, two armed robbers neutralised, 13 bandits informants arrested, 15 motorcycles recovered, two AK 47 rifles recovered, 33 kidnap victims rescued, 66 criminal elements were arrested and some vandalised railway sleepers/tracks were recovered within the period in focus.
The operations that led to the significant results were carried out at Gidan Zuma village under Kwatarkwashi District and Bakinwa in Gusau LGA; Matuzgi and Gora Namaye village in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State; and along Gurbi – Shimfida Road in Jibia LGA of Katsina State.
Other locations where significant results were recorded include; Magam village in Tangaza LGA of Sokoto State, Faskari Town and Batsari/Ruma general area in Batsari LGA and Jibia Town in Jibia LGA of Katsina State.
OPERATION SAFE HAVEN
On 14 August 2021, security forces of Operation SAFE HAVEN arrested 20 persons involved in the attack and killing of 26 travellers at Rukuba Town in Jos North LGA of Plateau State. The arrested persons have been handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further necessary action.
In a related development, on 27 August 21, troops conducted a raid operation at Rikkos, Jos North LGA of Plateau State, also in the course of operation, troops arrested four suspected Sara Suka members. The suspects were profiled and subsequently handed over to the relevant security agency for prosecution.
Furthermore, on the same day, own troops arrested three criminals namely Messrs Mujahid Isah, Kamal Isah and Abdulrahman Jibrin in connection with an attack on Mr Aliyu Mukhtar at Dilimi, Jos North LGA of Plateau State. The suspects are undergoing interrogation and would be handed to the relevant security agency for further action.
In another development, on 28 Aug 21, own troops in conjunction with Nigerian Police and some vigilante group responded to a distress call on attempted kidnap of one Mr Ayuba Pam at Rantiya Gas Plant, Jos South LGA.
Troops engaged the gunmen and neutralised one kidnapper while others escaped with gunshot wounds. One AK 47 rifle was recovered during the encounter. Efforts are ongoing to apprehend the fleeing gunmen.
Similarly, on 29 August 21, own troops on stop and search intercepted one Mr Francis Achi on a motorcycle with three unfinished locally fabricated revolver rifles concealed in a sack along Ganawuri-Manchok road in Riyom LGA of Plateau State. The suspect is currently undergoing interrogation.
OPERATION WHIRL STROKE
Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE on 13 August 2021, responded to distress calls of armed herdsmen activities at Udei and Ughedu towns in Benue State. During which troops repelled armed bandits’ attacks on villages, destroyed three criminal camps and recovered 23 rustled cows and three motorcycles.
On 14 August 2021 troops on fighting patrol intercepted and arrested nine cultists who had been terrorising Utonkon community in Ado LGA of Benue State. In another development on 15 August, troops acting on credible intelligence ambushed and arrested some railroad vandals at Tse-Guma village and recovered some railroad tracks and sleepers, while the criminals were handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further action.
Additionally, on 16 August, own troops carried out raid and clearance operations on criminals’ hideouts at Terr village in Sankera Uyum Council Ward and Ukpam Community in Guma LGA of Benue State and arrested two notorious armed robbers named, Mr Aondosoo Aba and Mr Emmanuel Gobo, respectively.
OPERATION DELTA SAFE
Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE within the period in focus conducted a series of anti-illegal oil operations in their area of responsibility. These operations were conducted at Opuoma and Mmahu communities in Ohaji-Egbema LGA of Imo State; Sand Community in Akwa Ibom State; Madangho Creek in Warri South West LGA, Ndoro and Beneside Communities in Burutu LGAas well as Yokri-Egbe Seashore, all in Delta State.
Other operations were executed at Ibaa in Emohua LGA, Iyala, Buguma and Cawthorne Channel Creeks as well as Samkiri, Orutoru and Dema Abbey Communities, all in Rivers State and Delta State. During the operations, troops discovered and deactivated a total of 33 illegal refining sites with 46 illegal refining units, 94 boiler ovens and nine reservoirs.
Also, a cumulative total of 139 metal storage tanks and 63 dugout pits, all laden with 440.2 barrels and 1,637,500litres of illegally refined AGO as well as 62.2 barrels and 572,000litres of stolen crude oil and shelter stations were discovered and treated accordingly.
Other illegally refined products intercepted and immobilised were a wooden boat used for transportation of illegal oil products; 321 polythene bags, 16 drums and 15 jerry cans laden with illegally refined petroleum products.
Furthermore, within the period, own troops disconnected all illegal pipes connecting to Shell Petroleum Development Company pipelines around Okporowo Right of Way in Ahoada East LGA and Edeoha Community in Ahoada LGA of Rivers State. In the same vein, troops discovered and immobilised a Cotonou boat laden with 2,000 litres of stolen crude oil.
In addition, troops carried out a cordon and search operation around Bonny LGA Recruitment and Empowerment Centre in search of the mastermind of kidnap incidents at Abalamabie Community in Bonny LGA, Rivers State. During the operation, troops arrested a notorious kidnapper identified as Mr Promise aka Bummi, who had been on the security forces watch list.
In his continued consultations with the Military Veterans of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the various Geo-political Zones of the country, the Chief of Defence staff (CDS) General LEO Irabor affirmed that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remained at the forefront in tackling the myriad of security threat confronting the nation.
He stated this while interacting with the retired senior military officers in the North Central Geopolitical Zone held on 18 August 21 in Makurdi, Benue State. In the same vein, while in Yola, Adamawa State North East Geopolitical Zone on 24 August 2021, General Irabor hails citizens’ support, allays fears on surrendered insurgents as he engaged senior retired officers on security parley.
He expressed his appreciation to the citizen and residents of the Zone for genuinely supporting the ongoing intensive clearance operations by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria towards the restoration of permanent peace in the Zone.
He equally allays fears of the general public on the ongoing mass surrender of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province ex-fighters. In a related development, on 27 Aug 2021, the CDS held a security interaction with the retired senior military officers from the South-South Geopolitical Zone in Asaba, Delta State.
The CDS maintained that the military remains at the forefront of leading the war against every form of criminalities as the Constitution avail the Armed Forces the mandate of supporting the civil authority. He stressed that the retired senior officers are the best hands, most qualified in the fight against insecurity and champion of peace and security in the Country.
He urged them to join hands with the military to bring lasting peace to the Country. He said security challenges in the Niger Delta needed a holistic approach and called on stakeholders to contribute their quota.
CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF VISIT TO PLATEAU STATE
In his quest to entrench lasting peace in Plateau State, the Chief of Defence Staff General LEO Irabor undertook a working visit to Jos on 1 September 2021. He held a stakeholders’ meeting in Jos Plateau State with the Governor His Excellency Simon Lalong, all the traditional rulers, religious leaders and community leaders in the State at Government House Jos where discussions were held on the security challenges in Plateau State.
The discussions are largely successful as all stakeholders pledged their support for peace in the state. Thereafter, the CDS paid a visit to the palace of the traditional rulers of Jebbu Miyango Community the Mbra Ngwe Rt Rev Ronke Aka and that of Anaguta Community HRM Pozo Johnson Jauro Magaji the Uja of Anaguta, where he commiserated with the traditional rulers and the people of those communities on the recent unfortunate incidents in their domains.
Finally, the visit was another success story in the CDS non-kinetic initiatives in achieving peace and stability in the country.
The Armed Forces of Nigeria remains steadfast in the fight against all forms of criminality in different parts of the Country. The Military High Command appreciates the continuous sacrifices of the troops in the various theatres of operation across the country.
It salutes their courage, resilience and commitment towards achieving sustainable peace in the country. We appreciate the general public and the press for their continued support and further encourage all to avail the Armed Forces with credible and timely information that will facilitate proactive engagements in all the theatres of operation across the country.
Thank you and God bless.
▪︎ Onyeuko is Acting Director Defence Media Operations