By Augustine Aminu
The Nigeria Army has said that, some members of the Bokoharam/Islamic State’s West Africa Province terrorists group who recently surrendered to troops of 152 Task Force Battalion have confirmed that the leadership of the group has been in disarray over the past 4 months.
This, they said, is as a result of the renewed offensive actions by the troops against their enclaves leading to high casualties on their foot soldiers amidst serious dislocation of their command structures.
The repentant fighters, eight (8) in number along with 14 of their family members comprising six (6) women and eight (8) children surrendered to troops of 152 Task Force Battalion deployed at Banki Town in Bama LGA of Borno State during clearance operations.
According to Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu in a press release, on Thursday, the Bokoharam Fighters further disclosed that many of their erstwhile colleagues are wandering in the forest and willing to give up their unholy adventure but are afraid of being killed by the security agencies.
This, he said, is evident in the frequency and number of the criminal terrorists succumbing to the unbearable battle pressure being unleashed on them by surrendering to the troops during the recent clearance operations conducted by the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
The surrendered Boko Haram Terrorists include: Tija Bo Isa, Ba Amodu Aba Kaka, Modu Zantalami, Malam Zantalami, Bakura Aba Kaka (Boko Haram Logistics Supplier), Bulama Modu Zantalami, Abukar Izahi and Bana Katum.
In a separate development on the same day, 21 February 2020, the combined troops of 19 Brigade, 127 and 130 Battalions in conjunction with Army Headquarters Strike Group conducted a massive clearance operation along Mile 4 – Cross Kauwa – Tukul Village – Daban Shata all in Kukawa LGA of Borno State during which troops made contact with some marauding Boko Haram criminals along a River Bank at Daban Shata.
After a brief encounter, one Boko Haram criminal was neutralized while 2 others were captured alive by the gallant troops.
Additionally, 7 AK 47 Rifle magazines, 2 bandoliers, one camel bag, one military waist belt and a sample of receipt were recovered. Preliminary investigation revealed that one of the captured insurgents is the Amir (a high ranking member of Boko Haram) of Daban Shata.
Bellow are other operations carried out as contained in the release;
” Relatedly, on the same 21 February 2020, the combined troops of 29 Task Force Brigade, 273 Tank Battalion, 156 Task Force Battalion, Army Super Camp 4 and elements of 7 Division Garrison also conducted a robust clearance operation to Lambuwa, Abbusuri, Bamti, Malumti, Goni-Kanuburi and Sheworam all in Konduga LGA of Borno State.
At Lambuwa, troops conducted a snap Cordon and Search Operation and arrested 3 suspected Boko Haram criminals with one of them bearing the name of Modu Solum (a high profile Boko Haram member and Logistics Supplier). However, further profiling is ongoing to ascertain the suspects’ real identities.
In a similar vein, on 23 February 2020, troops of 231 Battalion and 331 Artillery Regiment in conjunction with elements of Borno State vigilantes arrested 7 notorious Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province logistics suppliers at Maina Hari Check Point in Biu LGA of Borno State. The arrested suspects include: Mohammed Abba, Bukar Usman, Chulum Adam, Adam Alhaji Jidda, Ahmed Abba, Jidda Abdullahi and Modu Amadu. The suspects are currently in troops’ custody giving useful information.
Similarly, on 17 February 2020, troops of 5 Brigade Mobile Strike Team in conjunction with Chief of Army Staff Intervention Battalion II and elements of 145 Battalion (Main) rescued 126 Boko Haram captives while conducting clearance operations within the Gudumbali general area in Guzamala LGA of Borno State. The rescued victims comprised of 36 adult males, 36 adult females and 54 children.
Relatedly, troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade rescued 17 Boko Haram captives comprising 6 adult males, 6 adult females and 5 children on the same date. All rescued victims were evacuated and handed over to Internally Displaced Persons Camp officials.
In another development, on 17 February 2020, vigilant troops of 271 Tank Battalion of Operation LAFIYA DOLE deployed at Jada Check Point in Jada LGA of Adamawa State intercepted 2 Boko Haram Logistics Suppliers namely; Sani Audu and Bana Abba in a Toyota Starlet car conveying large quantities of anti-biotics, sex enhancing and other illicit drugs and a Dane gun (concealed in the vehicle apartment) meant to be supplied to the criminal terrorists.
In a related development on the same day, the troops of Army Super Camp 7 Bama, arrested a Boko Haram criminal, Francis Kombai with 3 different documents bearing different names in Bama LGA of Borno State. Preliminary interrogation of the suspect revealed that the suspect is a national of Chad Republic and could not substantiate his actual mission to the general area when he was accosted.
Also, on 22 February 2020, troops of Strong Response Area Pulka in Gwoza LGA of Borno State in conjunction with elements of Borno State vigilantes sprung a successful ambush laid at a Boko Haram Terrorist crossing point along Pulka – Firgi – Banki Junction, neutralized one Boko Haram criminal and recovered one AK 47 Rifle and one Bajaj motorcycle. Relatedly, on 22 February 2020, troops of Army Super Camp 19 deployed in Bitta, Gwoza LGA of Borno State while on a routine patrol along Bitta – Yemteke Road discovered an Improvised Explosive Device planted by the evil Boko Haram criminals. However, the devise was safely detonated by the expert Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team attached to the Unit.
Similarly, on 23 February 2020, troops of 202 Battalion while on clearance operations between Aulari and Bama discovered an Improvised Explosive Device planted by the Boko Haram criminals along the axis of advance. However, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team of the Unit safely detonated the device.
Furthermore, troops recovered a belt of PKT ammunition and one General Purpose Machine Gun tripod and the remains of a Boko Haram suicide bomber. In the same vein, on 23 February 2020, troops of 130 Battalion deployed in Baga, Borno state, discovered and safely detonated an Unexploded Ordnance while conducting clearance operations along Mile 4 – Cross Kauwa in the same LGA. Additionally, on 24 February 2020, resilient troops of 68/94 Battalions conducted a robust clearance operation to Old Chadian Camp, Kaniram, Mamuri Gana up to Bosso River Bank.
The troops discovered and safely detonated an Improvised Explosive Device planted by the Boko Haram insurgents short of the Old Chadian Camp. Again, on 25 February 2020, troops of 25 Task Force Brigade while on patrol along Damboa – Maiduguri road discovered another Improvised Explosive Device planted by Boko Haram criminals. Nevertheless, the device was safely detonated by the expert Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team of the Unit.
In the North West Theatre of Operation, on 21 February 2020, troops of 17 Brigade deployed in Batsari LGA of Katsina State while on a routine patrol along Batsari – Y’ar Gamji Road made contact with 3 bandits while trying to mount an illegal Check Point. Instantly, the valiant troops engaged the criminals neutralizing one while 2 others escaped albeit with gunshot wounds. At the end of the encounter, 2 AK 47 Rifles loaded with 27 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and one motorcycle belonging to the bandits were recovered.
Relatedly, in the early hours of 24 February 2020, acting on credible information, troops of 35 Battalion deployed in Funtua LGA of Katsina State in conjunction with personnel of the Nigeria Police Force Funtua Command intercepted a group of armed robbers at Government Day Secondary School Funtua. Information revealed that the robbers had stormed the residence of the manager of Zayton Company at Yanguwa Bypass at Funtua town and carted away some electronics alongside other valuables. The gallant troops arrested 2 of the robbers and recovered 11 handsets, one LG TV set, one inverter, one HP laptop, one play-station, one play-station pad, one axe, one shifty cutter, 3 cutlasses and one pocket Allen key.
Similarly, on 25 February 2020, troops of 1 Division Garrison acting on credible information intercepted a group of bandits who had earlier kidnapped some victims from Niger State. Consequently, the troops made contact with the bandits at Chikwale in Kachia LGA of Kaduna State.
The criminal bandits abandoned their victims and beat a hasty retreat into the nearby forest. One of the victims, Mr Abubakar was rescued while troops recovered 2 AK 47 Rifle magazines, one military pullover, 36 mobile phones, 2 solar panels and 3 bags containing clothes and food condiments.
In another development, troops of 35 Battalion deployed in Katsina in conjunction with operatives of the Department of State Service Katsina State Command raided the residence of a suspected gun runner, Alhaji Aminu Bush at Modoji Ward in Katsina LGA of Katsina State. The Team recovered one Magnum Pump Action Rifle and 89 rounds of live cartridges hidden in a secluded area of the residence.
In the same vein, on 22 February 2020, vigilant troops of 1 Brigade deployed in Zamfara State while on patrol to Bagega Forest arrested 3 bandits on a motorcycle, recovered one AK 47 Rifle, one AK 47 Rifle magazine loaded with 30 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, a bag containing illicit drugs, one thermometer and 5 GSM phones. Same troops on 18 February 2020 while on a reconnaissance patrol around Kirsa Village in Anka LGA of Zamfa State accosted a bike rider with a young woman. However, on sighting the advancing troops, the rider abandoned the motorcycle and the lady and ran into a nearby bush. After the encounter, troops arrested the lady, recovered one AK 47 Rifle, one AK 47 Rifle magazine loaded with 30 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and a Honda motorcycle.
Furthermore, on 22 February 2020, troops of 1 Brigade deployed at Gusau in Zamfara State, while on an aggressive patrol along Jaru Gemi – Magami- Gusau road, made contact with a group of bandits. The bandits who evidently realized they cannot withstand the troops’ firepower, cowardly withdrew in disarray. Consequently, troops exploited along the bandits’ withdrawal route and recovered 2 AK 47 Rifles, 10 AK 47 Rifle magazines and 124 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition. Also, on 25 February 2020, same troops gallantly decimated a bandits’ ambush along Bini – Burwaye road in Zamfara State, neutralized 2 of the bandits and recovered 42 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, one motorcycle, a pair of military camouflage uniform, a pack of substance suspected to be Cannabis Sativa, 2 mobile phones and a memory card. Additionally, same troops on 24 February 2020, conducted a snap road block along Shinkafi – Kauran Namoda road, intercepted a vehicle and discovered 3 AK 47 Rifles concealed in the door panel of the vehicle.
Also, on 23 February 2020, troops of 1 Division Garrison under Operation MESA arrested a female bandit suspect named Zainab Abubakar at Ungwan Salaha in Mararaban Jos of Igabi LGA of Kaduna State. Preliminary check into her phone revealed a video clip of the suspect dancing with an AK 47 Rifle hung on her neck during a social event.
In the South South Region, on 23 February 2020, troops of 13 Brigade deployed in Calabar in conjunction with personnel of Department of State Service and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps conducted a joint anti-kidnapping operation leading to the neutralization of one kidnapper, arrest of 3 other kidnappers and rescue of 2 kidnap victims from Ekot Ukpa Creek at Adiabo Village in Odukpani LGA of Cross River State. The team also recovered one Dane Gun, one dagger, 6 mobile phones and 2 reflective jackets. Preliminary investigation revealed that the rescued victims were abducted by the criminals between 21 and 22 February 2020″.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, according to Aminu, reassures the general public of the unflinching resolve of the Nigerian Army to continue to execute its constitutional mandate professionally and responsively for a better and secure Nigeria.
” He also thanks all well-meaning Nigerians for their continued support, goodwill and understanding towards the gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army”, he added