* Rescues kidnapped victims
By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued their major operations across the country with renewed vigor.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche stated this while giving an update on the operations from 7 to 13 January 2021.
He said that troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI successfully neutralised several armed bandits in Kuriya village of Kaura Namoda Local Government Area of Zamfara State. “Following actionable intelligence, the gallant troops with close air support by the Air Component, made contact with bandits at Kuriya village.
“Human Intelligence confirmed that no fewer than 50 armed bandits were killed in the encounter while 4 soldiers sustained injuries. Equally, troops recovered 334 livestock from the bandits. The gallant troops have not relented as they continue to dominate the North West theatre of operation with aggressive fighting and aerial patrols to deny the criminal elements freedom of action.
In the North-east, Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE inflicted heavy casualties on some BHT at Alagarno Village in the Sambisa Forest area of Borno State.
“This was achieved during air strikes executed on the location after the BHT were spotted in a compound concealed in a dense vegetation of the location. The location which served as hideout and used by the terrorists to coordinate their nefarious activities were taken out as the Nigerian Air Force attack aircraft took turns in engaging the targets. During the air strikes, several terrorists were also neutralized.
“Meanwhile, on 7 January 2021, troop of Operation LAFIYA DOLE came in contact with some BHT elements while conducting clearance operation on their enclaves between Goniri and Gorgi in Gujba and Damaturu Local Government Areas of Yobe and Borno States. Accordingly, troops engaged the terrorists and neutralized several of them, while 10 gun trucks were recovered by the troops.
“In another development, on 9 January 2021, troops of the newly launched subsidiary Operation TURA TAKAI BANGO had contact and engaged some marauding BHT criminal elements at Gujba Local Government of Yobe State. During the encounter, 28 terrorists were neutralized and several others escaped with gunshot wounds, while one gun truck and several arms and ammunition were recovered.
“Similarly on same day, troops had an encounter with some BHT/ISWAP terrorists at Gonan Kaji Village along Damaturu-Buni Yadi Road in Yobe State, during which 30 terrorists were killed in contact while caches of arms and ammunition were recovered by troops.
“In same vein, on 10 January 2021, troops had contact and engaged with some marauding BHT elements at Kafa Village in Damboa Local Government Are of Yobe State. During the encounter, 6 terrorists were neutralized and a gun truck and several weapons as well as equipment belonging to the terrorists were destroyed.
In the North Central zone, troops on 7 January, following actionable and credible intelligence, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE successfully carried out a daring rescue operation at Mararaba Udege general area in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, rescuing 3 kidnapped persons and neutralizing one armed bandit in a fire fight. The kidnapped victims were subsequently reunited with their respective families.
“Similarly, on 8 January 2021, troops of operation SAFE HAVEN apprehended 4 suspected cultists at UV Martins Street in Jos North LGA of Plateau State. The suspects, messrs Alfred Song, George Musada, Armani Daniel and Kefas Rotgi were arrested on the heels of credible intelligence reports on their activities in the area. One locally made pistol and 4 cartridges were recovered from the suspects.
“Furthermore, on 11 January 2021, troops of operation SAFE HAVEN recovered 59 rustled cows from rustlers at Kuru Jenta close to Science School Kuru in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State. Following intensive pressure and aggressive posturing of troops on fighting patrol in the general area, the rustlers abandoned the cows and fled. The cattle have since been handed over to their respective owners while troops are on the trail of the fleeing rustlers.
In the South-South, men of Forward Operating Base IBAKA on 9th January, 2021 intercepted and arrested 2 smugglers carrying a large wooden boat laden containing 1,184 of 25kg bags of Yaraliva Nitrabor Fertilizer while on routine patrol around Effiat waterways in the South South part of the country.
“The suspected smugglers were believed to have smuggled the products from the Republic of Cameroon into the country, according to Maj. Gen. Enenche.
While expressing his fear over the arrest of the fertilizer, Gen. Enenche noted that it posed a great threat to insecurity considering the current security challenges in the country.
According to him, the fertilizer has some potentialities that could be used for the fabrication of explosives by the criminals because of some chemical components called ammonium nitrate contained in the product.
He stated, “while fertilizers are majorly for agricultural purposes, the possibility of it being acquired by criminal gangs, terrorists and militants for sinister purposes cannot be disregarded as fertilizer has remained a potential component for the fabrication of explosives owing to its content of ammonium nitrate.”
He said the 2 suspects including the items were currently in custody and will soon be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting authority.
The DMO Coordinator also noted that the troops had on 11th January 2021, while on routine patrol around MBO River arrested another 2 suspects with a medium size wooden boat laden containing 17 drums of 300 litres of products suspected to be PMS within the period under review.
Explaining further, Gen. Enenche said, troops of the Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA has conducted anti-Crude Oil Theft operation
in conjunction with Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS around the general area of Warri South Local Government Area during which one large wooden boat laden with about 215,000 litres of product suspected to be stolen crude oil along Jones Creek, Warri South West Local Government Area was intercepted and apprehended.
The operation which took place on 11th January 21, was sequel to the credible intelligence report by the troops, said Gen. Enenche.
“These arrests affirm Armed Forces of Nigeria’s commitment towards eradicating sundry crimes in the country.”