By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Armed Forces of Nigeria has encouraged troops and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country to be encouraged to remain resolute and decisive in curtailing the activities of all criminal elements in the country.
Major General John Enenche
Coordinator Defence Media Operations
Defence Headquarters stated this at the regular briefing on the activities of Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies involved in various operations across the country.
The DMO said the Military High Command commends the gallant troops for their for their doggedness and commitment.
The briefing covered the period from 17 – 23 July 2020.
Excerpts of the DMO’s speech:
2. In continuation of the anti Crude Oil Theft (COT) and other economic sabotage operation in the South-South zone of the country, the Maritime Component of Operation DELTA SAFE has recorded tremendous successes against economic saboteurs. Within the week under review, Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team, using drone, discovered an illegal refining site around Cawthorne Channel. The site had 2 metal reservoirs laden with an estimated 300,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and a large wooden boat containing 3.14 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil. The wooden boat and products were dismantled while the site was deactivated.
3. Additionally, Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER in conjunction with Forward Operating Base BONNY located an illegal refining site at Bille Creek with one tarpaulin and 2 metal reservoirs stored with about 60,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 125.7 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil. The storage facilities and product were dismantled while the site was deactivated.
4. Similarly, on 16 Jul 20, Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA team intercepted 2 large wooden boats along Aladja Creek. The boats were laden with about 40,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO stored in polythene bags. The boats and contents were recovered to the base. Following closely, operations CALM WATERS and SWIFT RESPONSE, on 18 July 2020, impounded petroleum products as well as arrested boats involved in illegal activities.
5. Furthermore, within the week Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS patrol team, intercepted a wooden boat without engine along Madangho creek Warri South West LGA of Delta State. The boat, which contained an unquantified product suspected to be illegally refined AGO, was dismantled. Thereafter, the team proceeded to Jones Creek general area where another wooden boat without engine laden with about 345.94 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil was discovered and intercepted.
6. In the North-west zone, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have continued with the aggressive clearance operation against the armed bandits. Within the week under review, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY in Shimfida village of Jibia LGA of Katsina State neutralized 17 armed bandits. During the operation, troops recovered 5 AK 47 rifles and 152 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition. Sadly, own troops suffered 3 casualties.
7. In the same vein, the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI on 20 July 2020 neutralized several armed bandits in Kagara Forest of Zamfara State. The mission was conducted pursuant to Human Intelligence reports indicating heavy presence of the armed bandits, along with a large number of rustled livestock in a portion of the forest which was confirmed by series of aerial surveillance missions.
Additionally, within the week under review, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY arrested 8 bandits in Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara states.
8. In the North-Central zone, troops conducted several ambushes, raids, clearance and air operations at various locations which resulted in appreciable successes for the period under review. Notably, troops of Sectors 2 and 4 of Operation WHIRL STROKE, on 16 July 2020 carried out a raid operation on a suspected kidnappers’ hideout at Tomayin village in Logo LGA of Benue State, following credible intelligence on the activities of kidnappers in the general area. Troops had contact with the bandits and neutralized the ring leader, one Zwa Ikyegh while others escaped with various degrees of gun shots wounds. Troops also rescued 32 kidnapped victims, some of whom had been in captivity for over a month.
Accordingly, all the rescued kidnapped victims were reunited with their families in different communities in Logo LGA. Troops also recovered one AK 47 rifle, one AK 47 magazine, 6 locally made rifles, one locally made pistol, one magazine, 22 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, amongst other items while the hideout was also destroyed.
9. In addition, several Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) projects under Defence Headquarters led operations were commissioned in Operations WHIRL STROKE and SAFE CORRIDOR areas of responsibility. These include: boreholes in Guma LGA of Benue State, one block of 5 classrooms renovated in Kpasho village and a borehole each at Nkindero village in Irigwe and Gagaule village a Fulani community, all in Bassa LGA of Plateau State.
10. In the North-East, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have continued to sustain the fight against BHT/ISWAP. Within the period under review, troops conducted several clearance operations, aggressive patrols and Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions as well as sustained air offensive operations. These operations led to the destruction of BHT/ISWAP camp and neutralization of their commanders/leaders and other fighters. On 15 July 2020, the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE launched coordinated air offensives on terrorists’ camp at Ngwuri Gana Village, along Gulumba Gana – Kumshe axis in the Northern part of Borno State. The massive air strikes led to the destruction of the terrorists’ camp while several terrorists were neutralized.
11. Meanwhile, between 17 and 20 June 2020, the Land Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE successfully conducted intelligence-based clearance operations that dealt devastating blows on the BHT/ISWAP terrorist elements in some parts of the North East. The operations led to the neutralization of 6 BHT members attempting to cross from the Cameroon Border towards Sambisa Axis in Borno State. Caches of arms and ammunition and other items were recovered, while several insurgents surrendered. Recall that earlier this month 8 BHT ISWAP commanders/leaders were killed by our gallant troops at Damasak. Furthermore, on 20 July 2020, troops of Army Super Camp 1 while on routine patrol along Maiduguri-Damboa were attacked by Boko Haram Terrorists. However the gallant troops, supported by ATF platforms providing Close Air Support, neutralized several terrorists and destroyed 4 of their gun trucks.
12. The Military High Command commends all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their doggedness and commitment. They are hereby encouraged to remain resolute and decisive in curtailing the activities of all criminal elements in the country. Members of the general public are equally reassured that the Nigerian Military will continue to tackle the security challenges to ensure that normalcy is attained in all the geo political zones of the Country. Thank you.