By Augustine Osayande PhD
The Military High Command on Thursday commended all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their commitment and professionalism.
Presenting update on Armed Forces of Nigeria Operations from 2 – 9 July, Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche, said the troops were further encouraged to remain resolute and decisive in curtailing the activities of terrorists, bandits and other criminals across the country.
The High Command of the Armed Forces also reassured the general public of its commitment to securing the country for all human activities to strive.
He enjoined members of the general public to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the nearest military and other security agencies for prompt action.
In the North East Zone, Enenche stated that troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE had continued to exhibit sustained resilience in the fight against terrorism in the Area.
He said during the period under review, troops’ encounters with the criminal elements resulted in the destruction of their structures and equipment, as well as the capture of arms and ammunition.
He said the troops also rescued some hostages with some criminal elements surrendering to the troops.
“Within the period, the ground troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE had no fewer than 17 encounters with the BHT/ISWAP criminals in the North East theatre of operation.
“These encounters resulted in the killing of 75 BHT/ISWAP fighters, capture of large arms and ammunition, as well as vehicles and equipment.
“Also recorded were the capture of some criminal elements and spies as well as recue of 35 BHT captives, while 4 of their fighters surrendered to our troops,” he said.
Coordinator Defence Media Operations said between 2 and 3 June 2020, the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE conducted comprehensive precision strikes, to mark the launching of its subsidiary Operation LONG REACH II on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State.
Enenche added that the massive air strikes resulted in the obliteration of BHT structures used as meeting venue at Mainyakare Village on the fringes of Sambisa Forest.
He said several of their fighters were killed and their logistics facilities destroyed in devastating air strikes executed at Mina along the Gulumba Gana-Kumshe Axis in the Northern part of Borno State.
He said17 BHT/ISWAP criminals were also killed by troops of 25 Task Force Brigade on 7 July 2020, adding that a total of 92 enemies of the country were deleted in the North East Zone within the period under review.
Enenche further stated that it was clear that, troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria were resolute in their endeavor to end the BHT/ISWAP menace in the North East.
In the North-West Zone, the Coordinator Defence Media Operations said troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI killed 58 bandits in Katsina and Zamfara States with others escaping with gun shot wounds within the period under review.
He said 3 repentant bandits embraced peace and surrendered to the troops with their arms and ammunition, while 367 cows and 184 sheep rustled were recovered.
Enenche said as part of efforts to mitigate the current spate of banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other activities of criminal elements in the North-West Zone, the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Burutai launched subsidiary Operation SAHEL SANITY under Operation HADARIN DAJI.
He said Operation SAHEL SANITY had recorded significant successes with the neutralization of 46 bandits in Yargamji village in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State on 7 July 2020.
Enenche said troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI under Operation ACCORD acting on credible intelligence raided and destroyed bandit’s enclave at Gidan Zamfarawa and Bawan Daji villages.
He said a total of 104 bandits were deleted from this zone of the country for the period under review.
In the North Central Zone, the Coordinator Defence Media Operations said troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN conducted several ambushes, raids, clearance patrols and air operations at various locations within the zone which resulted in appreciable successes within the period under review.
He said troops recovered 2 locally-fabricated revolver rifles with 3 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and 5 cartridges from a repentant member of Irigwe militia group in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau state on 4 July 2020.
Enenche added that the troops also rescued 4 herders from suspected militias in Dong village of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau state on 5 July 2020.
He said 3 notorious armed robbers during a raid at Jenta Maskeri, Jenta Adamu, and Jenta Mangoro areas in Jos North LGA of Plateau State were arrested within the period.
“The robbers, Amos Bulu, Benjamin Timothy, and Geoffrey Samson were arrested with one fabricated pistol, one cartridge shell, one knife, 2 mobile phones, and one dummy pistol,” he said.
Enenche stated that as part of Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities under Operation SAFE HAVEN, the theatre command has completed the drilling of boreholes in Nkindero and Fulani settlements in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
He said with ongoing intensive operations in the North Central Zone, peace was gradually returning to the troubled locations while the confidence of the local populace was being enhanced and farmers were gradually returning to their farms as a result of troops’ patrols in the hinterlands to deny armed herdsmen, rustlers and other criminals, freedom of action.
In the South-South Zone, Enenche said the Maritime Component of Operation DELTA SAFE specifically, Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA and PATHFINDER impounded 565,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO.
He said these significant feats were recorded in Opumami community and Opuedebubor Creek in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State as well as Mejikiri, Buguma in Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Coordinator Defence Media Operations said troops of Sector 1 Operation DELTA SAFE in conjunction with Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS have deactivated all Illegal Refining Sites (IRS) identified within Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) pipeline general area.
He said during the operations, a total of 17 IRS were deactivated at Agor-Illa Warri southwest Local Government Area while 30,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 125.7 barrels of stolen crude oil were impounded.
Enenche said on 2 Jul 20, Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS took custody of TUG GULF EAGLE with 10 crew from Nigerian Navy Ship BOMADI.
He said the vessel was arrested by Nigerian Navy Ship BOMADI off Ramos River Entrance for operating without her Automatic Identification System.
Enenche said at the time of arrest, the vessel had 125,000 litres of AGO. He said the vessel was subsequently moved to NNS DELTA for further investigation.