By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Thursday said the renewed spirit of jointness is boosting the North East operational environment.
This is as Nigerians got assurance that normalcy would soon return to the country’s security space.
The Director of Defence Media Operations, (DDMO), Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, disclosed this during a press briefing in Abuja.
He said that the security and intelligence forces, were working very assiduously to that effect.
The military high command hinted that machineries and strategies were already in place to achieve the peace that citizens have long being praying and yarning for.
He said the Chief of Defence Staff, General LEO Irabor, and his Service chiefs are mapping out strategies to help the country achieve its desires in this regard.
Accordingly, Brigadier General Onyeuko said since their resumption, scores of criminal kingpins have been killed alongside their gang members, while other fighters have also being incapacitated and camps destroyed.
“I must state that, a lot have been going on in the various theatres of operations across the country. Recall that the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs have conducted several operational visits to the various theatres of operation.
“They have been interacting with commanders, troops and other stakeholders in various theatres. Also, a Security Summit was held in March 2021 at the National Defence College with relevant stakeholders in attendance.
“Furthermore, the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs also visited the 6 geo-political zones and had consultations with Government Officials, traditional and religious leaders and various interest groups for the purpose of sensitization on the current security challenges facing the country.
“These engagements were aimed at ensuring that the Military High Command comes up with improved ways and means of tackling the myriad of security challenges across the Country in partnership with other stakeholders.
“Today’s update will cover the combined operational efforts of the land, maritime and air components across the country between 1 and 20 May 2021.
“These operational efforts of the Nigerian military are intended to achieve sustainable peace and to ensure normalcy returns to all troubled zones of our dear Country.
“Within the period in focus, troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria remained resolute in their operations and engaged in series of kinetic and non-kinetic operations in all theatres of major and subsidiary operations.
“We have also worked cooperatively and in great synergy with other security and intelligence agencies to gain several successful and credible outcomes in our operations.
“For land operations, our gallant troops have been actively engaged in constant clearance patrols, ambush, raid, picketing, cordon and search operations as well as artillery bombardments.
“In the maritime environment, troops conducted various operations involving anti-piracy, anti-illegal oil bunkering, anti-crude oil theft, anti-pipeline vandalism and anti-smuggling operations.
“Moreover, the Air Component conducted comprehensive air operations, which included air patrols, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions, offensive air strikes, air interdictions, search and rescue operations as well as close air support for ground troops.
“As a result of these operations, our troops neutralized scores of terrorists and bandits including senior BHT/ISWAP and ESN commanders as well as major bandit leaders.
“Similarly, many of their fighters were incapacitated and their camps destroyed through artillery and air bombardments.
“Additionally, troops rescued several kidnapped victims and arrested bandits/kidnappers informants and collaborators in different parts of the country.
“Our operations also inhibited activities of economic saboteurs as well as exposed and forestalled other criminal activities. Troops also recovered large caches of arms and ammunition as well as equipment, vehicles and livestock within the period.
“In the maritime domain, troops disrupted smuggling activities, immobilized illegal refining sites, arrested some perpetrators, seized illegally imported rice and other contraband goods as well as recovered petroleum products”, General Onyeuko stated.
The DDMO said although some of personnel paid the supreme price in the course of these operations, the dogged troops have consistently demonstrated gallantry and resilience in pursuit of the peace.
He said the renaming of Operation LAFIYA DOLE to Operation HADIN KAI in the North East theatre, was done to reflect the renewed spirit of jointness in the North East operational environment.
“The combined efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies demonstrate our commitment, synergy and determination to lay down our lives to protect our great Nation.
“We will continue to sustain the offensive posture and will not relent until peace is restored to every troubled zone in Nigeria. The general public is also assured of our commitment to protect our economic assets anywhere”, the military stated.
The DHQ encouraged every well-meaning Nigerian to support the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies, by providing credible and timely information that would facilitate proactive engagements to address the threats.