*Several terrorists, bandits killed by troops
By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
Troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued successful operations against criminals across the country.
Major General John Enenche, Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters disclosed this during the routine press briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
He said the briefing covered the period 30 October – 4 November 2020.
The Coordinator disclosed that intensive operations in the North-West zone by troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI led to decline in criminal activities in the zone.
He said that one soldier died as troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY engaged some bandits that attacked Diskuru village in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
“The gallant troops engaged the criminals in a fierce fire fight forcing them to withdraw in disarray while 3 bandits were neutralized by the troops as several others escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds,” he said.
“During the exploitation phase, 2 additional bandits’ bodies were discovered along their withdrawal route. “Equally, 3 women and their infants earlier kidnapped by the bandits were rescued. Regrettably, one brave soldier paid the supreme price in an attempt to save one of the rescued nursing mothers in the heat of the encounter.
“In the same vein, troops deployed at Dan Ali village arrested 2 suspected bandits’ collaborators namely Samaila Usman and Idi Bello. Similarly, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI arrested 2 suspected bandit collaborators at Yarkirya village and Kankara Market in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State.
” On 31 October 2020, Forward Operating Base KANGO patrol team arrested 2 suspected bandits at Kango village in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
In the North East zone, the Land Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE under its subsidiary Operation FIRE BALL exhibited its operational readiness and repelled terrorists’ attacks on troops’ location at Army Super Camp, Damboa in Borno State.
“With superior fire power and support from the Air Task Force, troops neutralized 22 insurgents while several others escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds. During the encounter, troops recovered caches of arms and ammunition as well as of their equipment.
“Equally, troops of Operation FIRE BALL in conjunction with local vigilante arrested a BHT/ISWAP member identified as Mohammed Bello at Damaturu Town in Yobe State. The terrorist was arrested while trying to purchase arms and ammunition, while he was in possession of one AK-47 rifle and a magazine. The criminal element has been handed over to appropriate prosecuting agency for necessary action.
“Meanwhile, within the period under review, the Air Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE conducted several air operations involving both offensive and support missions. With the use of a force package of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the Air Task Force conducted Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions over various locations in the North East. “The air surveillance missions revealed terrorist’s activities and their hideout which enabled the Air Task Force to execute air interdictions and strikes on the identified locations, causing devastating hits on the terrorists’ hideouts at Mudu and Garin Maloma Villages in Borno State. Scores of their fighters were neutralized and their structures and logistics facilities destroyed.
The Coordinator said that troops of Sector 2 Operation WHIRL PUNCH while on patrol at Bassa village in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State repelled armed bandits at killing several of them.
“Also, within the period in focus, troops of Headquarters Command Army Records Lokoja in conjunction with Defence Intelligence Agency operatives arrested 4 suspected criminals with 3 locally made guns at Auko village along Lokoja- Abuja Highway in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi State.
“In another development, between 29 October and 3 November 2020, Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN conducted extensive Civil Military Cooperation activities to cultivate cordial relations with the various ethnic groups in Plateau State.
“Notably, on 29 October 2020, Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN fostered security meetings with stakeholders from Kibadu, Foka and Ungwar Doruwa villages in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State. This was followed by another round of meetings on 30 October 2020 at Gero village in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State. Furthermore, meetings were held with Heads of Security Agencies and Local Government Chairmen on 31 October 2020. Same day, Peace Meetings were also held with representatives of Fulani, Irigwe, Berom, Hausa, Afizere and Rukuba communities in Jos South and Bassa Local Government Areas of Plateau State, and Godo-Godo District of Jama’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“As it is, these meetings were organized in continuation of peace and reconciliation efforts amongst the various ethnic groups in the zone. The meetings focused extensively on farmers/herders clashes, kidnapping, farm encroachment/destruction and other sundry security challenges in the State.
“Furthermore, on 2 November 2020, Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN commissioned 5 boreholes at Angwan Rana, Kurmin Masara, Boto, Zikpak, and a solar energy panel project in Sabon Kaura clinic in Kauru, Zangon-Kataf and Jama’a Local Government Areas of Kaduna State respectively. This was followed by the commissioning of a newly renovated Administrative Block at Government Secondary School Gidan Waya in Jama’a Local Government Area. Consequently, the locals are requested to cooperate with the security agencies by availing them with the required information which will be useful to our collective objective of taking out the criminals from the zone.
Speaking on operations in the South-South, he said troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have continued with the aggressive fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and economic sabotage in the zone with significant successes.
“Notably, within the period in focus, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE discovered and immobilized 3 illegal refineries containing 7 boilers, 2 reservoirs and 2 tanks loaded with illegally refined oil products around Orutoru in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“Additionally, troops in conjunction with local vigilante arrested 5 suspected cultists at Jesse Community in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State. Similarly, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE while on patrol arrested a suspected armed robber with locally made pistol at Igbudu Market in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
“In another development, Operation CALM WATERS II and Operation SWIFT RESPONSE have continued to record more successes. Between 30 October and 3 November 2020, Forward Operating Base IBAKA gunboats while on routine patrol around Utan Iyata intercepted and arrested 2 wooden boats laden with 326 of 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled in from Cameroon. The arrested items have been handed over to the Nigerian Customs Service for further action. On 30 October 2020, Forward Operating Base IBAKA patrol team intercepted and arrested one small size wooden boat laden with product suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) along Mbo River, being smuggled to the Republic of Cameroon. Items recovered from the arrest include one small size wooden boat, forty four 300 litres drums of PMS, one pumping machine and two 40 HP Yamaha engines. The arrested items have been handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for necessary action.”