By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche has given assurance that banditry ravaging some parts of the country will soon be a thing of the past.
The DMO gave the assurance during a routine media briefing on the military operational activities in the country, on Thursday in Abuja.
He said the military is dealing decisively with the issue squarely.
He said the directive by President Muhamadu Buhari to the security agencies to end banditry is being enforced by the military with the support of the police, NSCDC, DSS etc.
He said the Armed Forces of Nigeria has achieved alot through its theatre operations in the North East, West and Central including some parts of Niger Delta within the period of 11 – 18 June, 2020.
He said, following the intensified clearance operations and aggressive offensive on the terrorists and other criminal elements by the Land and Air Components of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East, many terrorists were invalidated and several arms and ammunition recovered.
“In the North-East, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have intensified its offensives against the BHT/ISWAP terrorists through concerted and deliberate land and air operations, in line with the operational mandate to decisively end all terrorists’ activities in this region.
“Between 11 – 18 June 2020, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole carried out several aggressive clearance operation at various locations within the theatre, including a daring counter-attack on Boko Haram terrorists who attempted to infiltrate Monguno town on 12 June 2020.
“The counter attack by own troops at Monguno resulted in the neutralization of 41 terrorists and the recovery of a large cache of arms, ammunition and equipment,as well as the rescue of 33 captives, amongst others”. He stressed.
In the North West, According to the Coordinator, a lot has been recorded following the offensive assault against the bandits by the troops killing scores of armed bandits notably the killing of one Mr. Adamu Aleiro ,the notorious kingpin in Katsina forest and the rescued of many captives within one week.
“Within the period under review, the Land and Air components of Operations Hadarin Daji, Katsina and Accord, carried out aggressive Clearance Operations at several identified bandits’ enclaves.
“Most importantly was the attack on 3 camps operated by one “Adamu Aleiro” in a forest along Katsina – Zamfara boundary area. Scores of bandits were killed during that encounter, with several others injured.
“In the process, troops also apprehended 3 suspected bandits, including one Ibrahim Isa clad in military camouflage while 6 kidnapped victims were rescued, amongst other recoveries”. Enenche added.
The DMO Coordinator also maintained that since the commencement of Operation Accord early this month in the North West, several high-profile terrorists’ and bandits’ leaders have surrendered while many others have been neutralized and their equipment captured by our gallant troops. In the period under review, the AFN has neutralized 52 criminals across all theatres with the destruction and recovery of weapons.
Gen. Enenche also added that, the AFN under Operation Accord has executed many capital projects in the region in the spirit of promoting Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) in some communities of the region.
Some of the projects include amongst others, Drilling and completion of 7 boreholes at Mazoji, Kururubai and Gabasawa B communities in Daura LGA, Tudun Matawalle, Rahamawa and Tudun-Dole and Natsinta communities of Katsina LGA.
Also about 2 additional boreholes are being drilled in Dangeza and Dunya villages in Danmusa LGA of Katsina State.
He further explained that plans were also underway to construct a Medical Dispensary in Mazoji community in Daura LGA, as well as renovate schools in the vicinity.
In the North Central region, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke had apprehended one militia leader popularly known as Alhaji Audu from Olegeje community in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State on 14 Jun 2020,with many arms and ammunition recovered during the operation.
Enugu Reporters revealed that, Alhaji Audu was suspected to be responsible for several attacks in the community and has been on the wanted list of security agencies for some time now.
His arrest has brought relative peace to the surrounding communities.
Nigerian troops have also recorded some giant and monumental strides in the Niger Delta region through the on-going anti illegal oil bunkering and in the area.
He said, the efforts of the troops have degraded the activities of economic saboteurs and a total of 5 illegal refineries, 14 surface metal storage tanks, 9 coolers, 9 cooking ovens were confiscated and the site has been earmarked for swamp buggy operations within the week.
He said, about 2,640.5 barrels of stolen crude oil, 80,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil and 43,000 liters of Premium Motor Spirit were seized, while about 4 militants were neutralised and many arms and ammunition recovered during clearance operations on pirates/militants’ camps at Ibokiri and New Jerusalem in Degema LGA of Rivers State.
He said, the Military High Command had appreciated the general public for their cooperation in providing credible information which have so far facilitated the successes of these operations.