Tuesday’s explosion adds to the increasing cases of bombings in the northeastern state.
Late last month, there were two bombing incidents in a space of four days in Taraba State. One of them, which the terrorist group ISWAP took responsibility for, killed at least six persons.
Irked by the development, Governor Darius Ishaku ordered a stop and search operation across the state as part of efforts to firm up security.
“Governor Ishaku described the incident as ungodly, inhuman, barbaric, and a deliberate attempt by evil people to destabilize the state,” a statement signed by his spokesperson, Iliya Bekyu Akweh, said.
“He directed security agencies in the state to a network through proper investigation to fish out the terrorists whom he said are working relentlessly to destabilize the peace of the state
“The Governor further directed security agencies to immediately introduce operation stop and search across the state especially in the state capital to checkmate the nefarious activities of terrorists and their cohorts who have infiltrated the state recently.”
According to the governor, who lamented the loss of lives in the state, “his administration would not allow evil people and their sponsors including those harbouring them to destabilize the peace he had worked hard to restore in the state”.
The Nigerian Army on Tuesday condemned the recent killing of two soldiers by suspected members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), saying the secessionist group is not protecting the interest of the Igbo.
Director of Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement, three days after gunmen killed and then beheaded two soldiers at an unknown location in Imo State.
Following the gruesome murder, military authorities confirmed that the victims – Linus Audu, a retired Master Warrant Officer, and his partner, Gloria Matthew, a Private – were travelling to Imo State for their traditional wedding when they were attacked and killed by the gunmen.
Matthew hailed from Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo state, Nigeria’s South-east, according to the army spokesperson. He expressed surprise that the outlawed group killed the female soldier despite being an indigene of the South-east, where the terror group claim they are on a mission to protect and liberate.
“Ironically, the fact that one of the soldiers, Gloria Matthew who hails from Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State (and) has an ethnic affiliation with the good people of South-east Nigeria, did not prevail on the sensibility of the dissidents,” the statement partly read.
“This dastardly act, one too many, clearly portends the deep seated hate, desperation and lawlessness with which foot soldiers of IPOB/ESN have been unleashing terror on Ndigbo, whom they claim they are on a mission to protect and emancipate, as well as other innocent Nigerians who are resident or transiting the South-east.
“This gruesome murder, in which they did not spare even their own child, clearly depicts callousness, impenitence and is indisputably, a brazen act of terrorism perpetrated by IPOB/ESN,” he said.
According to the army spokesperson, the proscribed group has “continued to live in denial, while masquerading as unknown gunmen in their criminal (and) violent campaign in the region.”
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Farouk Yahaya has commended troops of Operation Hadin Kai in the Northeast for capturing large number of weapons from the enclave of Boko Haram insurgents during its recent operations in Sambisa forest.
The COAS, who was taken round the equipment at the headquarters of the theatre command by the General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Nigeria Army, Major-General Christopher Musa, assured Nigerians of the Army’s readiness to get rid of all terrorists in the country.
While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for all the support, the COAS asked the terrorists to lay down their arms as soon as possible before it is too late.
“The weapons that were captured from these terrorists speak for themselves,” the army chief said. “And we cannot but appreciate the troops and urge them to do even more. I am very impressed with the commitment and zeal I am seeing in the theatre and indeed all our theatre of operations.
“Challenges are part of operations but the military and other agencies are not deterred by the few setbacks we’ve had. But we are determined to defeat this enemy. Our call to all these terrorists and bandits is to know that the tide is against them.”
The Nigerian Army on Thursday described as misleading the viral video of a soldier who claimed he had been abandoned by his colleages.
“I’ve suffered a lot,” the soldier with the nametag Musa said in the video. “I’m trying to save my life. I’m the only one in the bush. The remaining soldiers have ran and left me. God, help me. God, protect my life.”
In a statement signed by spokesperson Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, the army said the video was shot by the soldier after he absconded from his duty.
“Contrary to the claims and impression created by the soldier in the video footage, preliminary investigations have revealed that the video footage was a deliberate attempt to shield himself from being accused of cowardice, having abandoned his colleagues during an ongoing clearance operation in Gurara, Niger State,” the statement said.
“It could be recalled that troops of the NA, recently carried out a clearance operation in Gurara Local Government Area of Niger State. Disappointingly, during an encounter, the said soldier abandoned his colleagues and absconded in an outright display of cowardice and possible sabotage, which negate the precepts of the military profession.
“Sensing the gravity of his action and its consequences, the soldier surreptitiously uploaded the video online in a calculated attempt to whip-up public sentiment and cover up his act of cowardice. The soldier’s action amounts to a betrayal of the esprit de corps and comradery that are synomous with a military unit and fighting formation, particularly during operations. The soldier’s conduct is therefore an aberration and against the ethics and core values of the military profession.
“The video footage is thus, in all intent, and purpose a misrepresentation of what actually transpired between the soldier and his colleagues. The soldier has rejoined his unit and further investigations are currently ongoing to unravel the reasons behind his unprofessional conduct.”
Troops of 82 Division Nigerian Army (NA) conducting clearance operations along Anambra/Imo States border communities today dislodged a criminal hideout used by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate; Eastern Security Network ( ESN) in Orsumoghu, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
In a statement military spokesman, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, explained that the notorious groups have serially launched attacks on defenseless civilians and security targets from the hideout.
“During the clearance operations along the border communities, troops were met with stiff resistance from the dissident elements, as they closed in on their enclave.
“They were overwhelmed by troops’ superior firepower, forcing them to abandon their hideout. After over running their camp, the gallant troops carried out further exploitation and recovered a cache of arms, comprising 22 Pump Action rifles, 19 Dane guns and 6 machetes. Other items recovered include assorted mobile phones, simcards, monitor and a laptop.
“One operational Hilux vehicle and various voodoo items and charms were also recovered,” the army spokesman enunciated.
According to him, investigations revealed that the hideout served as the operational base of one Innocent Obieke (aka Double Lion), who is said to be the head of the vigilante group in the area, but surreptitiously coordinates the criminal activities of IPOB/ESN in the area.
General Nwachukwu said the suspect is currently on the run, while troops have intensified operations to close in on him and his cohort.
He urged members of the general public to continue to support troops and other security agencies with credible and timely information that will lead to the arrest of criminal elements in their vicinity.
Troops of the Nigerian military have neutralized 18 terrorists and 115 bandits in various operations in the Northeast, Northwest, and North Central regions of the country.
The Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko disclosed this during the bi-weekly media briefing at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, where he highlighted some of the achievements of the military within the last two weeks.
He said troops of Operation Hadin Kai sustained aggressive posture by conducting clearance operations in the fight against Boko Haram terrorist/Islam State West Africa (ISWAP) province terrorists and other criminal elements in the theatre of operations in Borno State during which significant results were recorded including the neutralization of twelve terrorists and the recovery of guns as well as ammunitions were made.
“The troops’ operational efforts yielded significant results in some locations in the northeast such as Mandara Mountain, Kwatara Hill, Fadagwe village in Gwoza Local Government Area, Timbuktu Triangle, Buk Village in Damboa Local Government Area, Hawul Village, and Mallam Fatori in Biu Local Government Area, all in Borno State.
“Notably, own troops during a robust clearance operation engaged ISWAP terrorists at Mandara mountain in Gwoza Local Government Area and Timbuktu Triangle in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno; during the encounter, 10 terrorists were neutralized.
“Troops also recovered 4 aa-guns, 2,000 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, 10 bicycles, 1 unexploded improvised explosive device, 1 mowag apc, 1 truck mounted with 122 artillery gun, 1 machine gun, 4 AK 47 rifles, 1 60mm mortar tube with 5 bombs,” General Onyeuko stated.
In a similar vein, Onyeuko revealed that the troops “had an encounter with Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists along Debiro-Shaffa village in Hawul Local Government Area, and there, two terrorists were neutralized and the troops recovered 1 AK 47 rifle, three magazines, 143 rounds of 7.62mm special, one Dane gun, one pump action rifle, and six cartridges.”
He said 174 terrorists, mainly members of ISWAP, have also surrendered to the military in the last two weeks.
“The Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa province have continued to surrendered to own troops at different locations in the theatre; a total of 174 Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West Africa province terrorists and their families comprising of 43 adult males, 58 females and 73 children from villages around Bama and Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State surrendered to own troops. All surrendered terrorists and their families have been profiled,” he said.
In the northwest, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralized 96 bandits in Zamfara, Katsina, and Kebbi states during clearance patrol, rescuing eight kidnapped victims.
Major General Onyeuko said the troops also recovered 574 rustled cattle, 22 motorcycles, three AK 47 rifles, 21 rounds ammunition, two locally fabricated rifles, two pump action guns, one locally-made pistol, five rounds of 7.62mm special, and four phones.
He further explained that “in the last two weeks’ operation whirl stroke carried out kinetic and non-kinetic operations in its theatre.
“Some of the areas in which the operations were conducted are; Akula, Alijo, Hillega, Ihuwakaa, Akirga, Tse Mela in Yooyo Council Ward, Tyodoo in Mayongo Council Ward of Katsina Ala Local Government Area, Kwanta Sule Village, Gbekyor in Guma Local Government Area, Tse Ogo Village in Ugbaam Council Ward, Tse Jundo in Mbamema Council Ward of Ukum Local Government Area and Tse Kyegh Ugondo in Logo Local Government Area, all in Benue State.
“The renewed intensity by own troops in the fight against banditry and other criminal elements resulted in the destruction of many bandits’ camps. Notably on 24 February 2022, while on fighting patrol, own troops responded to a distress call from Tse Mela in Yooyo Council Ward of Katsina Ala Local Government Area about the criminal activities of Iortyom Wuave aka Janta, a notorious armed militia gang leader on operation whirl stroke wanted list.
“Our troops mobilized and moved to the location and in a subsequent gun battle, Janta was neutralized.
“Relatedly on 25 February 2022 troops raided the hideout of the notorious armed bandits at Tse Jundo in Mbamena council ward in Uukum Local Government Area of Benue State. During the shootout with troops, 2 of the notorious armed bandits. Terdoo Kiorga aka Apaapa, and Orkulam Mom aka Orbutee were neutralized.
“The duo has been on the wanted list of Operation Whirl Stroke and is known to have unleashed mayhem on Zaki Biam and its environs in the past. Furthermore, five AK 47 rifles, one pump action rifle, one pistol, one locally made gun, three AK 47 magazines, 127 pieces of 5.56mm rounds, six pieces of 9mm rounds, four rounds of 7.62mm, 12 cartridges, five cell phones, and assorted charms were recovered and handed over to the appropriate authorities for necessary actions”.
In another development, troops on patrol and clearance operations encountered bandits in Kutunku, Baban Lamba villages in Wishishi, and Kontagora Local Government Area of Niger state.
In the encounter, seven bandits were neutralized, three AK 47 rifles, five magazines, 71 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 37 motorcycles, and 10 mobile phones were recovered.
Within the period under review, Operation Whirl Stroke has cumulatively neutralized nine bandits, recovered eight AK 47 rifles, eight magazines, 208 special ammunitions, and 15 cell phones.
The Nigerian Army on Thursday said troops of 82 Division have dislodged camps of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra at Azia, Orsumoghu, Lilu Forest, Mbosi, and Uli in Ihiala and Orsu Local Government Areas of Anambra and Imo states respectively.
Army spokesman, Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this via a statement, noting that troops overpowered the outlaws who staged an ambush against them during the clearance operations.
“The troops then proceeded to clear Lilu Forest, where they were met with resistance from the outlawed group. The criminals were again overrun by the troops who effectively cleared Lilu Forest and the adjoining areas earlier occupied by the dissidents,” the statement partly read.
According to him, the troops also uncovered decomposing remains of kidnapped and murdered victims dumped in a deep well by members of the irredentist groups.
While clearing four ambush sites along roads Orsumoghu-Mbosi – Ihiala-Uli, the troops also dislodged the miscreants from their criminal havens.
“The gallant troops neutralized one of the criminals, arrested three suspects, and recovered one Pump Action Shotgun, two live Cartridges, two mobile phones, One black coloured Toyota Hilux vehicle, a polythene bag containing substances suspected to be Cannabis and the sum of N1,920.
“In a separate operation conducted today 24 February 2022, troops of 82 Division Nigerian Army in collaboration with the Nigerian Police have busted an IPOB/ESN syndicate that disrupted the just concluded Local Government Council elections at some polling stations in Nkanu West of Enugu State.”
The army spokesman stated that troops uncovered seven AK 47 rifles, two Pump Action rifles, 10 rifle Magazines, eight live cartridges, 74 live rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, one hand grenade, a tipper truck containing 3 corpses among other items around Centenary Estate, Obeagu Uno.
The items, he added, have been handed over to Enugu State Police Command for further action.
The Army also reassured residents of the South-East of its commitment to restoring lasting peace in the region.
Troops of Operation Hadin Kai have neutralized 120 Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters within the theatre of operation in Borno State.
This, according to the Defence Headquarters, was a feat attained with the last three weeks of operations within the region. Speaking on the development at a briefing by the Directorate of Defence Media Operations, Major General Benard Onyeuko, revealed that 50 other terrorists were arrested within the period under review.
The Director of Defence Media Operations said the troops consolidated their operational success against Boko Haram and ISWAP in various areas including; Bama, Gwoza, Monguno, Kanduga, Damboa, Damasak, Gudumbali and Nganzi Local Government Area. Others include Kukawa, Chibok as well as Sambisa Forest, KirtaWulgo in Marte Local Government of Borno State.
General Onyeuko further stated that the troops also recorded significant results at various locations in Adamawa and Yobe State around Goniri in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State.
The Defence spokesman explained that the air interdiction played a vital role in eliminating several ISWAP Commanders and their fighters during the encounter.
“An ISWAP senior commander Mallam Ari, the Amirul Fiya in charge of KirtaWulgo and some foreign mercenaries fabricating Improvised Explosive Device for the terrorists were killed during the airstrike.
“Relatedly, the Air Component conducted airstrikes on ISWAP enclaves at Abbaganaram, BukarMairam, ChukumGudu and Jubilaram in Marte Local Government Area neutralized scores of terrorists including high profile Commanders while about 25 terrorists got drowned in the lake in an attempt to escape the bombardment.
“The ISWAP armoury and warehouse were also destroyed and arrest of several terrorists, recovery of assorted arms, ammunition and captured their gun trucks and other weapons. Also, livestock and other items of security concern were recovered as well as rescued abducted civilians,” General Onyeuko explained.
According to him, five gun trucks, 50 assorted arms and 200 rounds of different calibers of ammunition were captured from the terrorists.
Additionally, the troops rescued 25 abducted civilians. Similarly, a total of 965 terrorists and their families and 550 children surrendered to own troops deployed at different locations including Gamboru, Tumbumma, Kukawa, Baga, Gwoza, Mallam Fotori, Damboa, KirtaWulgo, Bun Yadi, Gujiba, Madiya, all in Borno and Yobe states.
He highlighted that out of the 965 terrorists that surrendered within the period under review, 104 are from the ISWAP camp that surrendered to Nigerian troops at Marte. The General added that the surrendered terrorist have been properly documented and handed over to the appropriate authorities for necessary action.
One hundred and four members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and their families have surrendered to troops, the Nigerian Army has said.
The army disclosed this on Monday via its verified Facebook page where it shared photos of some of the repentant terrorists and their relatives.
According to the army, the former ISWAP fighters surrendered their weapons on Saturday to troops of the 25 Task Force Brigade in Damboa town of Borno State.
A breakdown of the figure shows that 22 of those received by the soldiers are men, 27 of them are women and the remaining 55 are children.
The Director of Defence Media Operations at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, Major General Bernard Onyeuko, also confirmed this to Channels Television on Monday.
Although he did not give details about the latest development, the military spokesman said troops in the North East have continued to gain successes over the activities of ISWAP fighters in the region.
This followed the week-long sustained aerial attacks by military fighter aircraft, including a Super Tucano of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) that raided ISWAP camps in the area.
The latest feat comes barely two months after 192 people surrendered to troops fighting ISWAP and Boko Haram fighters in the North East.
Onyeuko had during a briefing held in Abuja last December said the surrender of the persons to troops, comprising 51 adult males, 67 adult females, and 74 children, was part of the successes recorded by the military between November 25 and December 9, 2021.
They were said to have surrendered in at Rann/Rumirgo villages and Biu in Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa, as well as Bama, Mafa, and Dikwa Local Government Areas of Borno State.
The Congolese army on said Friday that its troops killed 33 armed men in fighting against local militia allied to Burundi rebels in the east of DR Congo.
The “large-scale operation” was carried out from Wednesday to Thursday in South Kivu province in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The army was fighting members of the Mai-Mai militia, which is allied to the Burundi FNL (National Forces of Liberation) and RED-Tabara rebels.
Regional army spokesman Lieutenant Marc Elonga Kyondwa said the toll at the end of the fighting was “33 militiamen neutralised (killed), including three leaders”.
“This was the army’s response against these rebel groups operating in the mountains overlooking the town of Uvira” after an attack on one of its positions, the spokesman told AFP, adding that the troops were now in control as mopping-up operations continued.
The FNL and RED-Tabara rebel groups have bases in eastern DR Congo, a region destabilised by the presence of dozens of local and foreign armed groups.
The Congolese army regularly accuses Burundi rebels of allying with local militias and causing insecurity in South Kivu province.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya has commenced an operational tour of the North East (NE) Theatre of Operations, where troops are leading the onslaught against Boko Haram(BH) and Islamic State West Africa Province(ISWAP) terrorists.
The COAS arrived at Headquarters Theatre Command(TC) in Maiduguri, on 2 February 2022, where he was briefed by the Theatre Commander, Operation HADIN KAI (OPHK), Maj Gen Chris Musa on the current security situation in the theatre.
The COAS with his team later proceeded to Biu and Buratai towns, where he interacted with troops. In his address, the COAS lauded troops for their sacrifices and commitment to the ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency.
He charged them to be more vigilant and alert to their responsibilities, adding that with discipline and commitment, the war in the North East will end. The COAS reassured troops that administrative and operational challenges confronting their units will be given the desired attention.
While on the tour, the COAS paid homage to the Emir of Biu, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Mai Mustapha Umar, at his Palace. The Royal Father assured the COAS of the unflinching support and cooperation of his traditional council and the good people of Biu Emirate to the Nigerian Army(NA).
The Emir conveyed the appreciation of the Emirate to the COAS for the sacrifices and commitment displayed by troops in combating the insurgency in his domain. He urged the COAS and indeed the NA to remain resolute in discharging its constitutional responsibilities.
Speaking during the visit, the COAS stated that he was at the palace to pay homage and solicit the support of the traditional leader and his subjects in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations. He averred that the cooperation and goodwill of the traditional institution and the citizenry are invaluable for meaningful and sustainable operational success.