Troops of Operation Fire Ball, a subsidiary of Operation Lafiya Dole have killed 22 Boko Haram terrorists in northeast Nigeria.
The acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday at the Army Special super Camp 1 Ngamdu, near Borno State.
He said while a large number of women and children were rescued unhurt between November 1 to 24, a terrorist who specialised in the manufacturing of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was captured alive.
“Most importantly, a number of women and children hitherto held captive were rescued unhurt. In this regard, a total of 22 Boko Haram/Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists were neutralised while one terrorist Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert was captured alive during one of our encounters with them,” he said.
“As a result of the aggressive and offensive actions carried out by the troops, several elements have been neutralised and large numbers of their equipment were captured including large quantities of their logistics consignments which were intercepted recently by our troops.
“Equally, the gallant troops courageously intercepted some Boko Haram criminals while attempting to collect ransom from the relations of the abducted victims leading to the decimation of the criminals and rescue of three women and two children.”
The defence spokesman explained that large weapons such as gun trucks, anti-aircraft, General Purpose Machines among others were also recovered from the terrorists.
While assuring the residents of its determination to flush out the remnants of the terrorists, the Army said six soldiers injured in action and have been evacuated for treatment.
In a relative development, the “Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole has knocked out an Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) logistics base and neutralized several of their fighters in airstrikes conducted at Tumbun Rego on the fringes of Lake Chad in Borno State.”
The Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, who confirmed this in a statement said: “the mission was executed on 22 November 2020 on the heels of credible intelligence reports indicating that the location, with its makeshift structures camouflaged under dense vegetation, was being used by the terrorists as a hub for logistics items conveyed via the lake and its tributaries for onward transportation using trucks/ motorcycles.”
Reacting to the operation, the Military High Command commended the Air Task Force for their professionalism, urging “them to remain resolute in the conduct of operations in order to rid the Country of all terrorists’ elements.”
Boko Haram insurgents operating in the Sambisa forest area of Borno State have come under intense attacks from the Air Task Force of the Operation Lafiya Dole.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Monday by the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche.
Enenchen said multiple airstrikes were launched in the vicinity of the Sambisa forest on November 14, adding that several of the terrorists were killed after the Air Task Force dispatched attack aircraft to engage the target areas where the armed fighters were spotted under the dense vegetation.
The two locations at Gobara and the Sambisa ‘s’ region were said to have been used by the terrorists as logistics bases as well as staging areas to launch attacks.
Zulum has commended the United Arab Emirates for tracking alleged sponsors of the Boko Haram sect.
In a statement on Tuesday by his spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusau, the governor was reacting to the report that six Nigerians were convicted by the government of the United Arab Emirates for wiring funds to the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
He asked the Federal Government to deploy a multi-stakeholder team to follow-up and explain searchlight on the discovery.
“Governor Babagana Umara Zulum is glad that for the first time in 11 years, there appears to be headway on tracking some alleged financiers of Boko Haram’s activities which have left thousands of citizens killed, millions displaced and private property and public institutions worth $9bn destroyed in Borno, and other parts of the North-East and Nigeria at large,” the statement partly read.
See Full Statement here:
Zulum hails UAE on ‘Boko Haram sponsors’, asks FG to deploy a multi-stakeholder team to follow-up, expand searchlight
Governor Babagana Umara Zulum is glad that for the first time in 11 years, there appears to be headway on tracking some alleged financiers of Boko Haram’s activities which have left thousands of citizens killed, millions displaced and private property and public institutions worth 9 billion dollars destroyed in Borno, other parts of the northeast and Nigeria at large.
Zulum’s message, contained in a statement on Tuesday, by his spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, was in reaction to Monday’s cover story of Daily Trust, titled: 6 Nigerians Convicted in UAE Over ‘Boko Haram Funding’. The story detailed how an Abu Dhabi appeal court upheld conviction of some Nigerians for allegedly supplying almost N300m to fund Boko Haram. The convicts, according to the court, allegedly used bureau de change operations to send $782,000 to Boko Haram in 17 separate transfers from Dubai to Nigeria between 2015 and 2016.
The Borno Governor however noted that he acknowledges and respects the rights of families of those convicted who, according to the cover story, have raised questions on the UAE court judgment, maintaining that the convicts were innocent of the charges.
Zulum “urged the Federal Government to consider setting up a multi-stakeholder team with trusted representatives from the Federal Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, the Defence Intelligence Agency, DIA, the Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad, and the ECOWAS Intergovernmental Action Group on Terrorism Financing in West Africa, GIABA, to assiduously work with the UAE Government to look into the issues raised by families crying foul play, and more importantly, to follow-up on the findings by the UAE with the hope of using the intelligence, if authenticated, to expand search on other Boko Haram sponsors that may be helping in similar ways”.
The Governor, who in February, and October this year, declared two days of statewide fasting and prayers against Boko Haram and their sponsors, urged the people of Borno to sustain prayers for
God to expose all sponsors of Boko Haram and anyone who knowingly benefits from the crisis at the expense of peace in the State.
The 22nd report of the United Nations Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team had identified charitable donations, extortion, smuggling and ransom remittances from kidnapping as some of the ways through which Boko Haram raises funds.
The United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General and ex-Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed has visited Banki, a border town in Borno State.
She arrived in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital on board a UN jet, and immediately flew to Banki.
The deputy secretary-general was accompanied by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, other principal officers, and Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum.
Addressing journalists in the state, Mohammed said her mission was to assess the government’s responses to the humanitarian crisis in the northeast with the intention of amplifying priorities.
“Coming to Borno was very specifically for people to understand that in the context of Nigeria, there is still an ongoing challenge with some areas of Borno State in post-conflict, and many areas under the threat of the Boko Haram insurgency,” she said.
“Our visit to Banki was to see the collaboration with Cameroon in a camp and that collaboration with the Borno State Government and the UN, how that is evolving first in meeting the needs of those that have found themselves displaced and those that are coming back across the border and really finding a pathway for that resettlement and reintegration of the people of Borno State to a life of peace and prosperity.”
According to her, the camps visited were overcrowded and feelers from interactions with the people indicated the desperate desire to return to their homes and live normal lives again.
On his part, Governor Zulum said the state government is working with the Federal Government to commence the repatriation of citizens from Cameroon latest on December 5.
The governor asked all partners to support the state government as it drives responses to the humanitarian crisis.
“I am very happy to inform you that we are gradually having peace restored and with the restoration of peace we have received overwhelming requests by our people to return to their places of origin these processes of return are being carefully planned to take into account all the factors such as security, livelihoods, and continuous presence of civil authority to restore confidence in the communities,” he said.
“Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had great success in returning people to areas that are confined to be safe.
“We call on all our partners to put the government of Borno in the driving seat of support being given out in order to gain sustainability and lasting impact.”
Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum has condemned police brutality in the country.
Speaking on Friday during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Zulum warned Nigerian youths against escalating protests.
“Let me also use this opportunity to condemn police brutality in other parts of the nation. Let me use this opportunity to condemn the killings in Lekki,” he said
“I will also use this opportunity to condemn the excesses of some of the Nigerian youths in taking the laws into their hands by destroying some of our basic infrastructures.
“I am calling all Nigerians, especially the youths to be very careful. The whole Boko Haram saga started as a result of a protest by some youths of Maiduguri against the use of helmets by motorcycle riders. You have seen the situation now.”
The governor also blamed poverty as one of the root causes of the insurgency that has gripped the north-eastern part of the country for 11 years.
He, therefore, called on the government at all levels to avail the young people of employment opportunities, adding that military exercise is not sufficient enough in tackling terrorism in the region.
“One of the greatest root cause of insurgency is poverty. Government at all levels need to provide job opportunities to the youths, enabling environment for the poor to have access to their farmlands.
“This is the only solution. Military solution alone will not solve the problem,” Governor Zulum said.
Seventy-five members of the Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorist groups have been killed by the military across the North East in the last six weeks.
The Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday at the Army Special Super Camp 1 in Ngamdu, near the border between Borno and Yobe States.
He noted that the feat was recorded by personnel of the Nigerian Army attached to Operation Fire Ball, a subsidiary operation under Operation Lafiya Dole, between September 28 and October 31.
Onyeuko, however, said an officer and two soldiers paid the supreme price while four other soldiers were wounded in action during the period.
He thanked the troops for their sacrifice, commitment, and gallantry which led to the successes achieved so far in the region.
The military spokesman, however, urged them not to rest on their oars but build on the successes recorded.
Read the full text of Onyeuko’s briefing below:
Operation Lafiya Dole: Update On The Activities Of Troops Of Operation Fire Ball From 28 September To 31 October 2020
Sequel to the commencement of Operation FIRE BALL, a subsidiary operation under Operation LAFIYA DOLE which is meant to clear the remnants of the Boko Haram/ Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists from their identified enclaves in the North East region, the Operation has recorded tremendous successes within the short period from its existence with the last week of the preceding month proving to be the deadliest against the criminals.
The troops in the various Sectors of the Theatre have continued to carry out their tasks relentlessly.
The successes so far achieved wouldn’t have been possible without the sacrifice, commitment, and gallantry exhibited by the well-motivated troops, some of whom have paid the supreme sacrifice.
Within this period, the troops have carried out aggressive clearance operations, ambushes, robust day and night patrols, in order to finally decimate the remnants of the Boko Haram/ISWAP criminals.
Consequently, as a result of the aggressive offensive action carried out by the troops, several terrorist elements have been neutralised as a large number of their equipment were captured while some were equally destroyed in the process.
In this regard, a total of 75 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists were neutralised within this period.
In terms of the criminals’ equipment, four x Gun Trucks, one x Bedford Truck, three x Anti-Aircraft guns, were destroyed.
The captured weapons include: six x Gun Trucks, four x Anti-Aircraft guns, one x PKT gun, four x General Purpose Machine Guns, one x Automatic Grenade Launcher, one x Dushka Gun, one x Light Machine Gun, 48 x AK 47 Rifles, one x Locally made Pistol and 10 x AK 47 magazines.
Furthermore, a large cache of ammunition was captured also.
These include: one x 36 Hand Grenade, 567 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 448 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, 50 x Rocket Propelled Grenade Bombs, 17 locally manufactured rounds, three shells for making Improvised Explosive Device, one x Smoke Grenade, and two x belts of PKT rounds.
Other assorted non-lethal items were also captured from the criminals.
Regrettably, one officer and two gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while four other soldiers were wounded in action over the period.
However, the wounded soldiers have since been evacuated to a military medical facility and are currently responding to treatment.
The troops of Operation FIRE BALL under Operation LAFIYA DOLE are hereby commended for their resilience, doggedness, and commitment exhibited since the beginning of the Operation.
They are equally encouraged not to rest on their oars but build on the successes recorded so far.
The entire populace of the North East region is hereby assured of the Nigerian military high command determination to finally rout the remnants of BHT/ISWAP criminals from their enclaves in this zone.
To you the members of the Press, I want to thank you most profoundly for your cooperation and commitment in covering our activities. You are well appreciated.
Kindly disseminate this above information through your medium to the general public. Thank you for your usual cooperation.
The Borno State Government has provided scholarships for children, most of them orphans, whose fathers were volunteers amongst the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), hunters, and vigilantes that were killed at battlefronts while fighting Boko Haram in the last seven years.
Governor Babagana Zulum announced this on Wednesday in Maiduguri, while addressing a gathering of about 9,000 volunteers who have been fighting alongside the Nigerian armed forces to contain the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno.
Each of the 9,000 volunteers is to receive 20,000-naira cash, a 50-kg bag of rice, a carton of spaghetti and a gallon of cooking oil, all of which were outside their regular monthly allowances.
‘Why Owe Families Of CJTF’
Governor Zulum said the emergence of the Civilian JTF in 2013 is the greatest miracle that has emanated from the state within the last ten years.
He also commended the volunteers from hunters and vigilantes for devoting their lives to fearlessly and patriotically fight side by side with soldiers and other armed forces in liberating the state from the insurgents.
“Of all the components of persons who make up the Borno society today, for me, there is no group that is as important and as critical to us as the brave men and women gathered before us today, who have given up their basic and entitled needs for safety and comfort so that millions of fellow citizens can be safe and comfortable,” he said.
“Our indomitable men and women of the civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes, the people of Borno State are mightily and gratefully proud of each of you.
“Nothing can compensate for the sacrifices you are making, only Allah can adequately compensate each of you. This is particularly so for many of our fellow compatriots who have died on the battlefields.”
The governor explained that the state has recorded instances whereby volunteers have lost their lives while fighting the terrorists.
Although he didn’t mention their names, Zulum praised their efforts, noting that they gave their lives while fighting for the people of the state.
“In the last seven years, we have recorded instances in which volunteers in the civilian JTF have intercepted suicide attackers and in the process lost their lives. We have recorded more instances of many killed in major battles after they also succeeded in our shared victories over Boko Haram at different encounters.
“I will not mention names, but there are records of warriors in the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes from Southern, to Northern and Central Borno, who fought so hard and gave their lives fighting for Borno.
“These volunteers fought and died with no death benefits, no pension, and no gratuities. As we should expect, orphaned children and widows left behind by these fallen Civilian JTF and hunters have been struggling whether to feed, to access medical services, or to access basic and secondary education.”
Borno has been experiencing a series of attacks as the nation grapples with the terrorism war that has lasted for more than 10 years.
Several people have died with many more displaced in the northeast despite repeated claims by the military authorities that the terrorists have been decimated.
The Multinational Joint Taskforce (MNJTF) and the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has organised an inception workshop to articulate an inclusive regional communication strategy to prevent violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin.
According to a statement by the Chief Military Public Information of the MNJTF, in Chad, Colonel Muhammad Dole, the proactive initiative is in recognition of the need to reinforce information and communication line of operation to counter (prevent) and replace the extremist ideology propagated by the Boko Haram and armed groups with a Constructive Alternative Narrative capable of discouraging extremism, restoring trust, confidence and a secured future.
He explained that the inception workshop includes to consult technical experts and representatives from the affected areas on MNJTF’s military Influence Operations that are meant to discourage sympathy and support for terrorists and deter Boko Haram and ISWAP from radicalizing and recruiting innocent people, particularly across Troop Contributing Countries and the Lake Chad Basin in general.
To design a common regional approach to information and communication activities in order to prevent violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin and to suggest methodologies and channels of communication appropriate with messages and Target Audiences.
The statement quoted the MNJTF Force Commander, Major General Ibrahim Yusuf to have highlighted the need for a comprehensive regional non-kinetic strategy to complement the largely kinetic approach of the MNJTF to combat the security challenges in the Lake Chad Basin.
In addition, General Yusuf acknowledged the existence of gaps in the current communication strategy of the MNJTF, which according to him, makes the workshop imperative.
In his goodwill message, the Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zulum, expressed support for the workshop and charged both organisers and participants to create adequate awareness among the populace with a view to replacing the destructive ideology and harmful narrative of the violent extremist group.
Participants including the UNDP Resident Representative in Chad, Mrs Lisa Singh, acknowledged the fact that military operation is not the only practical solution to ending the insurgency, hence, the need for a review of strategies to also deliberately target the ideologies and psychology of the Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgents, as well as populations in the region.
To achieve the set objectives, a team of experienced technical experts, comprising seasoned academics, reputable international and local media practitioners and the military deliberated during the interactive session with key stakeholders and personalities from communities affected by the Boko Haram conflict.
Participants from affected communities included traditional, community, religious and women leaders. Others were representatives of local authorities across the Lake Chad region.
The 4-day workshop attracted representatives of the Government of Chad, European Union, African Union and Ambassadors of MNJTF Troop Contributing Countries; Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.
Other participants included representatives from the Centre for Coordination and Liaison and Civil Society Organizations.
At the end of the workshop, the facilitator and technical experts are expected to study the recommendations and subject same to a validation process before implementation.
On his part, the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant. General Tukur Burutai, applauded the delivery of more equipment which he believes would help in the prosecution of the war against terror.
Borno State has been one of the worst-hit by insurgents with the governor also coming under a series of attacks in recent times.
On September 27, while on his way out of Baga town after a two-day visit to receive indigenes of the town back home after 21 months of exile, the governor’s convoy was attacked.
Few kilometres away from Baga, unknown assailants believed to be Boko Haram opened fire on his escorts.
The attack happened barely 48 hours after his officials were ambushed on the same route while travelling to Baga.
At least 11 security personnel made up of eight policemen and three civilian JTF members were killed in the attack.
Saddened by the incident, which according to him, is the first in 18 months since he became governor, Zulum assured the wives of the slain officers of his commitment to supporting their livelihood and education of their children.