Reveal Soldiers Who Shot At Lekki #EndSARS Protesters, NBA Tells Military

A combination of photos from the scene of the Lekki #EndSARS protest on October 20, 2020.

 

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers in the Lekki area of Lagos State.

NBA President, Olumide Akpata, faulted the incident in a statement personally signed by him on Tuesday hours after the incident.

A team of armed security personnel had stormed the Lekki toll gate – where a series of protests had held peacefully – and fired live bullets at a crowd of youths there.

“The Military High command is hereby requested to immediately identify and name the officers involved in this gross professional misconduct for immediate prosecution and dismissal in line with extant laws,” Akpata said.

He added, “The NBA shall immediately commence legal proceedings at all relevant fora – both locally and internationally – against the Nigerian Military and other relevant authorities, on behalf of the families of the victims, for abuse of power, disregard of rules of engagement and the infringement of the fundamental rights (including the right to life) of the affected citizens.”

Akpata explained that given the degenerating nature of the crisis, an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the NBA would be convened within the next 48 hours.

According to him, the meeting is to review the state of the nation and take other appropriate steps to decisively deal with the situation and prevent Nigeria from further going adrift.

The NBA president described the shooting as an act of recklessness and lawlessness by the security apparatus of the government.

He stressed that based on reports available to the lawyers, it appeared to have been a carefully calculated and premeditated attack.

Akpata argued that even if the Lekki #EndSARS protesters were in breach of the curfew imposed by the Lagos State government, such a misdemeanour did not warrant the use of live ammunition by the military to confront peaceful, unarmed and defenceless protesters.

He stated that Tuesday’s events should never be seen or considered as normal in any democracy in any country.

“The NBA believes that the current situation in the country calls for dynamic leadership and, as critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project, invites the President of Nigeria and others in authority to show uncommon leadership in saving the situation, instead of deploying troops against defenceless citizens whom they swore an oath to protect,” the NBA president said.

Babangida: Military Started Development, Democracy And Free Market Economy In Nigeria

 

Former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, on Friday said the military provided Nigeria with the democracy being enjoyed today.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s NewsNight, Babangida said contrary to claims that the military was responsible for the problems in the country; it rather provided the nation with development.

“No, we didn’t provide problems. We tried to provide the framework upon which subsequent governments who are going to come after us could build upon,” he said.

“Most of the infrastructural developments, even the democracy, we midwifed it. We started development, democracy, and a free-market economy.

“We were able to capture what the world is doing now and to try to bring it into our own country. The politicians, civilians are the best people in handling all of these things.”

Speaking further, he praised the masses for surviving what he described as the civil war in the country.

Former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida speaks on military intervention among other issues during an appearance on Channels television’s NewsNight which aired on October 2, 2020.

 

The former Head of State said Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world to survive a civil war.

READ ALSO: FG Orders Reopening Of Unity Schools

Reacting to the Mali coup that ousted President Ibrahim Keita, he described the soldiers that participated in the exercise as stupid.

He commended the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for issuing an 18-month ultimatum for the country to return to democracy.

“Military intervention in some of these things is an aberration. I don’t think we should encourage the military at all.

“From 1989 till now, things have changed. The whole world has embraced democracy, economic reform, open market and so forth. There is no place for the military. It is best done by the politicians and the civilians,” he said.

Troops Kill 869 Criminals, Rescue 321 Kidnap Victims In Three Months

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, John Enenche absolves the military of sabotage as claimed by Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum.

 

Troops of the Nigerian Armed Forces have killed 869 criminals and rescued 321 kidnap victims.

The feat was achieved in various operations carried out within the last three months.

The Armed Forces through its spokesman, Major General John Enenche, disclosed that within the time under review (July 1 and September 30), the troops recovered 9,040,300 litres of stolen AGO and 33, 500.00 litres of DPK  during various clearance operations.

According to the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, 1,708 other criminals were arrested in connection with various crimes while a large cache of arms and ammunition were also recovered.

Major Enenche said the results from the theatres of operations within the time, confirm the military is winning the war from various operations within the third quarter of the year.

He was of the opinion that it is obvious that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is winning the war against the enemies of the country.

“The efforts and sacrifices of the gallant officers and men of the Military as well as other security agencies that conduct these operations have been progressive. It thus behooves on us to keep the Public abreast of our unrelenting and committed efforts in the various theatres of operation,” Major Enenche said.

Below is the full speech by the military spokesman.

READ ALSO: Soldier Dismissed, Sentenced To Five Years For Defiling Teenage Girl

THIRD QUARTER SCORECARD ON THE ARMED FORCES OF NIGERIA’S OPERATIONS (JULY TO SEPTEMBER 2020)

1. As you are aware, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have been involved in different operations across the country. The efforts and sacrifices of the gallant officers and men of the Military as well as other security agencies that conducts these operations has been progressive.

It thus behooves on us to keep the public abreast of our unrelenting and committed efforts in the various theatres of operation. Hence, the need for this third quarter scorecard, to give the general public a succinct outlook of our performance between July and September 2020.

This would give a better perspective of the cumulative results of the operational activities and achievements of the Military operating with sister security agencies in the various theatres of operation, across the geopolitical zones of the Country.

2. Within the period under review, troops engaged in series of land, maritime and air operations, involving both kinetic and non-kinetic activities across the country in major and subsidiary operations.

The land operations conducted among others across the various theatres of operation include; clearance, ambush, raid, picketing, cordon and search operations as well as artillery bombardments and aggressive patrols. Others were maritime operations involving anti-piracy, anti-illegal bunkering, anti-crude oil theft and anti-pipeline vandalism operations as well as other duties such as anti-smuggling operations.

Furthermore, comprehensive air operations including air patrols, Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions, offensive air strikes, air interdictions, search and rescue operations as well as close air support and air cover for ground troops. These operations resulted in the deletion of several terrorists and bandits, inhibition of activities of economic saboteurs as well as exposures and obviation of other criminal activities.

3. In all these efforts, some of our troops paid the supreme prize. However, troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have consistently exhibited gallantry and resilience in the various operations.

Just as evidenced in our press releases and weekly briefings, during the period, scores of terrorists and bandits have been neutralized, others incapacitated and their camps destroyed through ground, maritime and air operations.

In addition, several criminal elements, including high profile members were killed in action while others arrested, sometimes together with their families as well as informants and gunrunners. Besides, there are records of scores of them surrendering to troops due to overwhelming superior firepower.

Other feats recorded in the course of our operations were the rescue of kidnapped victims, repel and forestallment of terrorists attack on civilians and troops as well as recovery of caches of arms and ammunition, equipment and vehicles and oodles of livestock.

You may also recall that, in the maritime environment, troops in major and subsidiary operations were able to disrupt smuggling activities, deactivate illegal refining sites, arrest perpetrators, seize foreign parboiled rice and recover tons of petroleum products.

4. In the North-West zone of the country, between 1 July and 30 September 2020, a total of 3,829 livestock, 6,830 rounds of ammunition and 93 assorted rifles were recovered from the armed bandits by the gallant troops in the zone.

Furthermore, within the period under review, a total of 91 kidnapped victims were rescued and 312 armed bandits were killed in action. In the same vein, a total of 391 arrests were made in the zone including high profile armed bandits, gun runners and bandit’s collaborators.

A total cash of Four Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N4,800.000.00) was recovered from armed bandit’s informants in the zone.

5. Meanwhile, in the North-East zone of the country within the period, 66 kidnapped victims were rescued by the gallant troops of operation LAFIYA DOLE.

Also, a total of 285 rounds of ammunition as well as 84 assorted rifles were recovered from the BHT/ISWAP fighters. Similarly, a total of 450 insurgents/terrorists including commanders were killed by the troops.

Additionally, 10 gun trucks as well as 38 grenades were recovered. Also, within the period a total of 53 arrests were made including high value targets.

6. In the North-Central zone of the country, within the period, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN, WHIRL STROKE and THUNDER STRIKE have achieved appreciable successes. A total of 116 kidnapped victims were rescued. Furthermore, troops neutralized a total of 107 armed bandits including militia gang leaders.

In the same vein, 84 assorted rifles as well as 385 rounds of ammunition were recovered from armed bandits and other criminal elements in the zone. Similarly, a total of 1,136 criminals including family members of the Darul Salam sect were arrested within the period in the North-Central zone.

7 In the South-South zone, the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies have continued to record tremendous successes against economic sabotage and other sundry crimes in the zone.

Within the period under review, a cumulative total of Eight Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety, Three Hundred (8,890,300) litres of stolen Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and Thirty Three Thousand Five Hundred (33,500.00) litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) were impounded by troops of Operation DELTA SAFE.

In the same vein, the gallant troops immobilized a total of 70 illegal refining sites, 66 dug out pits and 134 metal storage tanks within the period.

Troops also, impounded a cumulative total of Twenty Six Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Two (26,772) barrels of stolen crude oil from oil thieves in the zone. Additionally, a total of Three Hundred and Thirty One, One Hundred and Seven Thousand (331,107) litres of product suspected to be stolen Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) was recovered.

Troops also impounded 263 drums of stolen PMS within the period. A total of 18 kidnapped victims were rescued while 46 arrests were made. Furthermore, a total of 2,647 bags of 50 kg foreign parboiled smuggled rice were impounded and 27 boats engaged in illegal activities were arrested.

Troops also arrested a total of 46 pirates, 11 trucks and recovered 10 rifles and 60 rounds of ammunition, this is in addition to 15 sea pirate camps that were destroyed.

8. Equally, troops of Operation AWATSE in the South-West zone have continued with the fight against pipeline vandals and economic saboteurs with attendant successes. Between 1 July and 30 September 2020, troops of Operation AWATSE have impounded a total of Three Hundred and Eighty Three Thousand, Six Hundred (383,600) litres of PMS and Ten Thousand Three Hundred and Forty Five (10,345) barrels of stolen crude oil. Additionally, a total of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand (150,000) litres of stolen AGO was recovered within the period.

Troops also, recovered a total of 3,594 rounds of ammunition as well as 14 assorted rifles. Also, within the period, a total of 30 kidnapped victims were rescued, 36 arrests were made and 18 illegal refining sites were immobilized. In the same vein, a total of 5 boats and 5 trucks engaged in illegal activities were arrested within the period.

9. In addition to the kinetic operations, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have carried out non-kinetic operations in form of Civil Military Cooperation Activities (CIMIC).

A total of 81 boreholes were sunk for host communities across the country. Equally, a total of 14 schools were renovated. Additionally, 14 clinics and dispensaries were constructed and donated to host communities as well as renovation of 2 worship centres.

Furthermore, 2 buses were donated to some host communities. Additionally, the Armed Forces of Nigeria constructed road, installed transformer and solar power equipment in some host communities.

The military also fostered several stakeholders and reconciliation meetings between hostile communities and carried out medical outreaches.

10. In summary, the Armed Forces of Nigeria from 1 July to 30 September 2020 neutralized 869 criminal elements and rescued 321 kidnapped victims across the country.

Furthermore, a cumulative total of Nine Million, Forty Thousand, Three Hundred (9,040,300) litres of stolen AGO and Thirty Three Thousand Five Hundred (33, 500.00) litres of DPK were recovered.

A total of 1,708 arrests were made as well as recovery of large cache of arms and ammunition. Also, a cumulative total of Thirty Seven Thousand One Hundred and Seventeen (37,117) barrels of stolen crude oil was recovered. Additionally, a cumulative total of Nine Hundred and Fourteen Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seven Thousand (914,707) litres of stolen PMS was recovered.

11. From our operations within the third quarter of this year, it is obvious that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is winning the war against the enemies of our great country. Consequently, the Armed Forces of Nigeria will remain resolute and highly committed to this cause.

It will sustain the offensive and will not relent until peace is restored to every troubled zone of Nigeria. The general public is also assured of the commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to protect our economic assets.

The High Command of the Nigerian Military wishes to thank the general public for their support and further solicit their cooperation towards providing credible and timely information that will facilitate proactive engagements in our operations.

12. The third quarter performance of operations conducted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies is a show of our commitment, synergy and determination to lay down our lives to protect our great Nation.

The gallant troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and operatives of other security agencies will sustain the tempo against the enemies of our dear Nation.

The Military High Command commends all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their resilience, doggedness and commitment.

Troops are further encouraged to remain resolute and decisive in securing the country.

The general public is thus encouraged to continue to support the gallant troops by providing credible intelligence to the troops operating within their localities.

Thank you.

JOHN ENENCHE
Major General
Coordinator
Defence Media Operations
Defence Headquarters

Military Airstrikes Decimate Boko Haram Camps In Borno – Spokesman

File: A screengrab from an Air Force video shows the scene of the airstrikes on Boko Haram Logistics Base in Borno State. Credit: Defence Headquarters.

 

The Nigerian military on Saturday said it has neutralised scores of terrorists in Borno state through airstrikes.

According to a statement signed by spokesman John Enenche, the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole under subsidiary Operation Hail Storm 2, recently destroyed Boko Haram camps in Tongule, Bone and Isari B Musa areas of Borno state.

READ ALSO: Buhari Condemns Attack On Zulum’s Entourage

The strike on Tongule, which was carried out at night on September 24, was “undertaken after surveillance missions revealed continued assembly of the terrorists within the settlement at nighttime,” Enenche said.

“Accordingly, the Air Task Force dispatched Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter gunships for a night attack on the location, with their barrage of rockets neutralizing several of the terrorists.”

The airstrike operations at Bone and Isari B Musa were carried out during the day on September 25.

“Bone, a settlement along the Yale-Kumshe axis, on the other hand, was attacked by a force package of NAF fighter jets and helicopter gunships after credible intelligence reports established that the location served as a staging area from where the terrorists launch attacks,” the statement said.

“The NAF attack aircraft engaged the location in multiple bomb and rocket runs, destroying several of their structures and neutralizing scores of terrorists.

“Similarly, at Isari B Musa several terrorists, who were observed both within and in bushes surrounding the settlement, were taken out as the NAF attack aircraft took turns in engaging the target area.”

Military Rescue Three Kidnapped Victims In Nasarawa – Spokesman

A file photo of The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, John Enenche

 

The Nigerian military on Saturday said it has rescued three kidnapped victims and killed two kidnappers in Nasarawa state.

The victims were rescued by troops of Operation Whirl Stroke, a statement signed by spokesman Major General John Enenche said.

“In continuation of aggressive clearance operation to stamp out banditry and other criminal activities in North Central zone of the country, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE and 117 Guards Battalion recorded appreciable successes against criminal elements,” the statement said.

“Troops while on joint clearance operation on 25 September 2020 around Mararaba Udege in Nasarawa State raided a suspected kidnappers’ camp along Bakonu road in Nasarawa Local Government Area. In the course of the operation, 3 kidnapped victims were rescued while 2 kidnappers were killed in action. Rescued victims have been reunited with their families.”

READ ALSO: Three Killed As Truck Plunges Into Epe River

The military also said it has killed two bandits in Taraba state.

“In another development, following credible intelligence on the possible regrouping of some elements linked to late Gana at a hideout around Kwaghaondo village in Chanchanji council ward of Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State, troops of Sector 2 conducted a dawn raid operation at the identified hideout,” the statement added.

“The gallant troops made contact with the armed militia elements who opened fire and fled as troops closed in on their position. Troops swiftly responded with superior firepower which led to the killing of 2 bandits while one AK 47 rifle, one magazine and 15 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition were recovered. Currently troops have continued to dominate the area with aggressive patrols and ambushes to deny bandits freedom of action.”

The military reiterated its commitment to securing the country and eliminate all forms of criminal elements.

“Members of the general public are requested to always continue to provide timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the nearest military and other security agencies location for prompt action,” the statement said.

22 Killed In Ukraine Military Plane Crash

This handout picture taken and released by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine on September 25, 2020 shows rescuers working on the place of the Antonov-26 transport aircraft crash at Chuhuiv military airbase, 30 kilometres southeast of Kharkiv. AFP

 

At least 22 people including military cadets were killed and two others seriously injured Friday when a Ukrainian air force plane crashed near Kharkiv in the east of the country, the interior ministry said. 

“Twenty-two people died,” Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko told AFP, adding that “the search for two other people is continuing”.

The transport plane was carrying a total of 28 passengers when it crashed, including 21 military students and seven crew, he said.

“It’s a shock,” he added. “At the moment it’s impossible to establish the cause” of the crash.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he would travel to the region on Saturday.

“We are urgently creating a commission to investigate all the circumstances and causes of the tragedy,” he wrote on Facebook.

The Antonov-26 transport aircraft crashed at around 8:50 pm local time (17:50 GMT), two kilometres (1 mile) from the Chuhuiv military airbase, the emergency services said.

The plane caught fire after the crash and was extinguished after one hour.

The town of Chuhuiv is around 30 kilometres southeast of Kharkiv and 100 kilometres west of the front line with the pro-Russian separatists.

AFP

Military Kills Top Boko Haram Commanders – Spokesman

A file photo of army combatants.

 

The military on Thursday said it has successfully eliminated several top Boko Haram leaders at the Lake Chad Basin in Borno.

According to a statement signed by a spokesman, Major-General John Enenche, the commanders were killed by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.

“In continuation of the aggressive clearance operation against terrorism and other sundry crimes in the North East, troops of Army Super Camp Malumfatori at the Lake Chad Basin conducted massive clearance operations,” Enenche said.

“The successful operation led to the destruction of several identified terrorists’ camps and hideouts located at Tunbun Gini, Tunbun Nbororo, Tunbun Kayoma, Tunbun Kaza, Tunbun Fulani at the fringes of Lake Chad in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State.

“Several top BHT/ISWAP terrorists commanders were killed during the successful operation including Abu Usman, Alhaji Shettima, Modu Mainok, Bukar Gana, Abu Summayya, Amir Taam and Amir Kuraish among others.”

Enenche added that the military was committed to ending the insurgency and other security challenges in the country

“While the good people of the North East are once again assured of troop’s commitment to the safety of lives and property within the zone, they are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information that will assist them in the conduct of their operations,” he said.

Gana’s Death: Ortom Asks Military To Release 40 Suspects, Confiscated Official Vehicles

A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom
A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has asked the military to release about 40 other militias said to be in custody.

Briefing journalists after a five-hour security meeting at the Government House Makurdi on Friday, Governor Ortom also called for the release of some official vehicles purportedly confiscated by the military authorities.

The governor explained that the call for the release of the repentant militias is necessary to enable them to embrace the amnesty programme of the state government.

“It is the resolve of this meeting, the expanded State Security Council meeting, that the repentant youths who were arrested by the military should be released so that they will continue from where they were coming to receive their amnesty and they were arrested.

“Also items that were confiscated, we are also appealing to the military to return them. Some of those vehicles were hired, some are official vehicles to our government officials. Some other things are documents. We appeal that all these be returned to us,” he said.

READ ALSO: Wanted Militia Leader Gana Killed, Says Military

Reacting to the death of the state’s ‘most wanted criminal,’ Terwase Akwaza, alias Gana, Governor Ortom said the Sankara people and the state is pained by the development.

He however noted that nothing can be done to bring back the dead to life, calling on the people of the state to cooperate with the security agencies particularly the military.

While seeking more clarification on the true incident that transpired leading to Gana’s death, Ortom said the state government will continue to engage the military rather than being confrontational.

“We are going to find out the truth of what happened. That is what the entire stakeholders here are demanding to know because from the press statement and information to us gives us a cause to worry.

“We have resolved to move on and continue to interphase with the military and other security agencies to ensure that this kind of ugly incident does not happen again,” he said.

Gana was killed on September 8 in what military authorities described as a firefight.

But Governor Ortom said soldiers snatched Gana from a government convoy of repentant militants in Gboko.

Mali Soldiers Open Talks On Power Handover

President of the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) Assimi Goita (C) prepares for a meeting between Malian military leaders and an ECOWAS delegation headed by former Nigerian president on August 22, 2020, in an aim to restore order after the military coup in Bamako. ANNIE RISEMBERG / AFP
FILE: President of the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) Assimi Goita (C) prepares for a meeting between Malian military leaders and an ECOWAS delegation headed by former Nigerian president on August 22, 2020, in an aim to restore order after the military coup in Bamako. ANNIE RISEMBERG / AFP

 

Mali’s military junta began talks with opposition groups on Saturday on its promise to hand power back to civilians, after mounting pressure from neighbouring countries in the weeks since it overthrew the nation’s leader. 

The West African country has long been plagued by instability, a simmering jihadist revolt, ethnic violence and endemic corruption, prompting a clique of rebel soldiers to detain president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last month.

They pledged to step down after a transition period, but the putsch has prompted Mali’s neighbours and former colonial ruler France to demand a swift transfer of power to civilian rule, with fears the crisis could impact neighbouring states.

The talks in Bamako are being held under junta chief Assimi Goita but he was not present Saturday, a military source said.

“Since August 18, we are charting a new history for our country,” junta number two Malick Diaw told the opening session.

The summit was originally planned for last weekend but was called off at the last minute after a quarrel between the military and the June 5 Movement, which spearheaded the protests that led to the toppling of president Keita.

The opposition coalition of civil and religious leaders has demanded that the military rulers give it a role in the transition to civilian rule, but was not invited for the transition talks last Saturday.

The spokesperson for the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) Ismael Wague (L) and Vice president of the CNSP Malick Diaw, wearing face masks, wait to greet former Nigerian president as he arrives at Bamako airport before a meeting between Malian military leaders and an ECOWAS delegation he is heading on August 22, 2020, in an aim to restore order after the military coup, in Bamako. ANNIE RISEMBERG / AFP
FILE: The spokesperson for the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) Ismael Wague (L) and Vice president of the CNSP Malick Diaw, wearing face masks, wait to greet former Nigerian president as he arrives at Bamako airport before a meeting between Malian military leaders and an ECOWAS delegation he is heading on August 22, 2020, in an aim to restore order after the military coup, in Bamako. ANNIE RISEMBERG / AFP

 

It was then included for the rescheduled talks, along with political parties, former rebels, unions, civil society organisations and media representatives.

However, a mostly Tuareg coalition of armed rebel groups known as the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA) was not present on Saturday.

The National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), as the junta is known, said parallel talks were taking place in regional capitals, led by regional governors.

But in Kidal, a northeastern city controlled by the CMA, “consultations were postponed for lack of compromise between the CNSP and the CMA,” an administrative official told AFP.

The CMA, which signed a peace accord with Keita’s government in 2015, said in a statement that it expected “the implementation of the agreement resulting from the Algiers process with the previous government to remain in force”.

The 2015 peace deal was meant to disarm rebel groups and integrate them into the national army, but its implementation has dragged on for years despite international pressure.

Saturday saw two French soldiers with the anti-jihadist Barkhane force in Mali killed in Tessalit province north of Kidal when their armoured vehicle hit an improvised explosive device, the French presidency said.

The deaths brought to 45 the number of French soldiers who have died serving in the Sahel region since 2013.

Closed borders

The CNSP said members of the Malian diaspora would also have their say in this weekend’s talks.

One of the key issues will be the length of the transition to civilian rule.

Originally the junta proposed a three-year transition, before bringing that down to two years.

The June 5 Movement has said it wants a transition period of 18 to 24 months.

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc, which has imposed sanctions and closed borders to Mali as part of efforts to press the junta into handing over power quickly, has called for elections within 12 months.

West African leaders will meet via videoconference on Monday with the Mali situation at the top of their agenda.

Keita, under house arrest in Bamako, is preparing to leave Mali after being treated at a hospital this week for a mini-stroke, sources told AFP.

He may head to the United Arab Emirates for further treatment, they said.

 

AFP

100 Bandits Killed, 107 Victims Rescued In North West Since July – Military

A photo released by the military on September 5, 2020, shows some soldiers riding on motorbikes during an operation in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

At least 100 armed bandits have been killed in various parts of the North West by troops of Operation Sahel Sanity in the last two months, the military has said.

The Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, disclosed this on Saturday at a press briefing in Katsina State.

He explained that the operation was aimed at supporting Operation Hadarin Daji to curb the activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers, and other criminals in the region.

Onyeuko revealed that during the series of search and rescue operations conducted between July 1 and September 4, troops rescued 107 kidnapped victims.

He added that the soldiers arrested 148 suspected bandits and 315 illegal armed miners, as well as nabbed 20 bandits’ informants and collaborators, six arms suppliers, 13 rustled cattle marketers, and 32 bandits’ logistics suppliers.

The military spokesman noted that 3,984 rustled cows, 1,627 sheep and rams, and three camels were recovered.

In this photo released by the military on September 5, 2020, troops burn a hideout of bandits in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

He said a large cache of arms and ammunition were recovered, including 43 AK47 rifles, one GPMG, and 100 Dane guns, among other weapons.

According to him, 81 bandits’ camps, including the notorious Dangote Triangle and their logistics bases were destroyed by troops, while 74 bandit attacks and 54 kidnap incidents were foiled withing the period under review.

Read the full text of Onyeuko’s briefing below:

GENERAL UPDATE ON THE ACTIVITIES OPERATION SAHEL SANITY FROM 1 JULY – 4 SEPTEMBER 2020

Sequel to the official commencement of Operation Sahel Sanity in July 2020, as part of activities of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2020 at the Nigerian Army Special Super Camp IV Faskari in Katsina State, the Operation has in no small measure affected the economic life of the people of the north-west zone of the country positively.

The operation was aimed at supporting Operation Hadarin Daji to stem the tide of the activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers, incessant killings, and other sundry crimes in the zone.

These acts of criminalities orchestrated by the bandits have been curbed and reduced to its lowest ebb, thanks to the relentless efforts of the troops of Operation Sahel Sanity.

There is no gainsaying that the hitherto crippled agricultural, social and economic lives of the people of this zone by bandits’ activities have been restored to normalcy.

The above assertion was corroborated during the visits of the Chairmen of the Committees on Army in the National Assembly, Executive Governors, and a host of prominent Traditional Rulers from the north-west zone of the country during their official visits to the Headquarters of Operation Sahel Sanity at the Nigerian Army Special Super Camp IV Faskari Katsina State from 7-14 August 2020.

A photo released by the military on September 5, 2020, shows some arms and ammunition recovered from bandits in Nigeria’s north-west.

 

During the visits, they lauded the efforts of the Nigerian Army in their quest to rout out all forms of criminality in the zone. They attested to the fact that normal life has indeed returned to the zone as farming, economic and social life of the people are being carried out without any form of hindrance and molestation by criminal elements.

The tremendous successes achieved since the operation started could not have been possible without the sacrifice, commitment, and gallantry exhibited by the professional soldiers of the Nigerian Army, some of whom have paid the supreme price within the period under review.

The gallant troops of Operation Sahel Sanity, within this period, carried out a series of clearance operations, ambushes, and other aggressive and confidence-building patrols.

Also, farm and highway patrols were carried out within Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, and Zamfara States, thus boosting the confidence of the people in carrying out their daily activities.

These operations have most importantly led to the rescue of kidnapped victims, recovery of rustled cattle, the arrest of suspected armed bandits and their collaborators, smashing of local and international illegal arms syndicates and illegal armed miners.

A photo released by the military on September 5, 2020, shows some suspects arrested by troops in the North West.

 

Furthermore, there were recoveries of a large cache of arms and ammunition, as well as recovery of motorcycles and dislocation of bandits’ logistics network within the period.

So far, in all the operations conducted, 100 armed bandits were neutralised, a total of 3,984 cows, 1,627 sheep/rams, and three camels recovered, 148 suspected bandits, and 315 illegal armed miners were arrested.

Furthermore, a large cache of arms and ammunition were recovered, which include 43 AK47 rifles, one GPMG and 100 Dane guns, 3,261 rounds of 7.62mm (special), and 151 live cartridges of ammunition.

In all the search and rescue operations carried out, 107 kidnapped victims were rescued, 20 bandits informants and collaborators, six arms suppliers, 13 rustled cattle marketers, and 32 bandits logistics suppliers were arrested.

Also, a total of 81 bandits’ camps, including the notorious Dangote Triangle and their logistics bases were destroyed by troops of Operation Sahel Sanity. Relatedly, 74 bandit attacks and 54 kidnap incidents were foiled by the troops.

The gallant troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have continued to dominate all the volatile areas with confidence building patrols, ambushes, and clearance operations to deny the bandits and other criminal elements freedom of action.

Consequently, the troops of Operation Sahel Sanity are hereby commended for their gallantry, sacrifices, successes, and the professionalism exhibited within the short period of Operation.

A photo released by the military on September 5, 2020, shows some arms and ammunition recovered from bandits in Nigeria’s north-west.

 

They are also urged not to rest on their oars but build on the achievements recorded so far.

The people of the north-west zone of the country are also appreciated for their cooperation in providing credible information for the success of the operation.

They are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with actionable information that would aid the desired goal of the operation.

They are further reassured of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to restoring total peace in the zone and indeed the whole country.

The entire press family both in this zone and across the country are also appreciated for their professionalism, patriotism, commitment in our quest to restoring peace and normalcy in the north-west zone of our dear country.

Finally, I thank you most sincerely for coming to this press briefing. I wish you all journey mercies back to your respective destinations.

God bless.

BENARD ONYEUKO

Brigadier General

Ag Director

Defence Media Operations

5 September 2020

Military Hands Over 778 Victims, Wives, Children Of Terrorists To State Authorities

A photo taken on August 31, 2020, shows women and children intercepted by security operatives in northern Nigeria.

 

The military has handed over 778 people comprising abducted victims, as well as wives and children of dislodged Boko Haram terrorists to authorities in their respective states.

They were handed over to the authorities on Monday during an event held at the 4 Special Forces Command of the Nigerian Army in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

In his remarks, the Commandant, Major General Maude Gadzama, revealed that the persons came from various northern states.

He revealed that they were intercepted during various joint ‘Operation Nutcracker’ by a combined team of security operatives who forced the terrorists to flee from their hideouts, leaving their victims, wives, and children behind.

The operatives include troops of Operation Whirl Stroke, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Lugard, Nigerian Air Force, Command Army Records, Guards Brigade, Nigeria Police, and the Department of State Services (DSS).

“Our gallant men and tracking experts are tracking escapee leaders such as Sadiqu, Babuji Yellow, and Buji,” Gadzama said.

He added, “The dragnet is becoming closer and closer by the day while the tracking signals are getting stronger by the seconds, therefore, catching up this window of opportunity given by the Chief of Army Staff for all terrorists to surrender. They must not miss this ample opportunity.”

The major general revealed that the terrorists settled in forest areas at the borders of Benue and Nasarawa States eight years ago but became hostile only seven months ago.

According to him, members of the group previously known as Darus-Salam are said to have relocated from Niger State before a Boko Haram leader came there, executed their leader and deputy, as well as brainwashed them with the beliefs of Boko Haram.

A photo taken on August 31, 2020, shows some of the weapons recovered by security operatives from terrorists’ hideouts in northern Nigeria.

 

Gadzama explained that the terrorists were planning to unleash mayhem in the FCT and parts of the North before they were busted by security operatives.

He said while some of the women were abductees who were forced to become sex slaves, others aided and abetted terrorism.

The military officer stated that those being handed over would be profiled and rehabilitated and others found culpable would be investigated and prosecuted accordingly.

At the event, Nasarawa, Kogi, and Niger States, as well as the FCT were represented while there was no representation from the remaining northern states.

The Deputy Governor of Nasarawa, Emmanuel Akabe, whose state received 19 people added his voice to the call by the military for terrorists to surrender their weapons.

He said, “We need peace in this country, we need peace everywhere. Without peace, there can’t be development and Nigeria needs development.

Some women and children intercepted by security operatives in northern Nigeria are handed over to state authorities on August 31, 2020.

 

“Without peace, there cannot be progress and Nigeria needs to progress and it is for their own good that wherever they are (the fleeing terrorists), they should come out and surrender themselves.”

On his part, Niger State Deputy Governor, Ahmad Ketso, whose state got 318 people, revealed the action plan of the government.

He explained that the government has made an arrangement that on arrival, the persons would be profiled and questioned on where they were coming from and their various local governments.

The Senior Special Assistant on the Kogi State Governor on Security, Doru Jerry, also received 46 people on behalf of the state government.

He said, “The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies must go all out ensure that they clear the remnants and ensure that those captured are well profiled by the various states.”

Several arms, ammunition, improvised explosive devices, and rocket making materials recovered from the camps of the criminals were paraded at the event.

410 ‘Terrorists’ Surrender In Nasarawa, Bomb Factory Destroyed – Military

A file photo of Nigerian soldiers in action
A file photo of Nigerian soldiers in action

 

The Nigerian military on Wednesday said some 410 members of the Darul Salam Terrorists Group have surrendered.

A bomb-making factory belonging to the terrorists has also been decimated.

The information was contained in a statement signed by a military spokesman, Major-General John Enenche.

The surrender followed “aggressive intensive kinetic operations at identified bandits’ enclaves” by a military unit, Operation Whirl Stroke, and other security agencies deployed at Uttu in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Enenche said.

Among the surrendered terrorists were women and children.

The military said, on August 26, 2020, said at least 410 'terrorists', including women and children, surrendered in Nasarawa.
The military said, on August 26, 2020, that at least 410 ‘terrorists’, including women and children, surrendered in Nasarawa.

 

The military also said Operation Whirl Stroke personnel “stormed a Darul Salam terrorists bomb-making factory” and recovered several rocket launcher bombs and other explosive materials.

“The camp was subsequently destroyed while troops are equally combing the surrounding forests for fleeing members of the sect,” Enenche said.

 

READ THE MILITARY’S FULL STATEMENT:

TROOPS OF OPERATION WHIRL STROKE BUST TERRORISTS CELL; RECOVER EXPLOSIVES, ARMS AND AMMUNITION
IN NASARAWA, AS 410 MEMBERS OF DARUL SALAM TERRORISTS GROUP SURRENDER

1. In continuation of aggressive clearance operations aimed at decisively riding the North-Central zone of armed banditry and other forms of criminality, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE have recorded a major success against the criminal elements.

2. Following aggressive intensive kinetic operations at identified bandits’ enclaves, not less than 410 members of the Darul Salam Terrorists group, including women and children, surendered to the troops of operation WHIRL STROKE and other security agencies deployed at Uttu in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. This development took place on 25 August 2020.

3. Relatedly, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE while on a robust clearance patrol around Uttu, on 26 August 2020 stormed a Darul Salam terrorists bomb-making factory following actionable technical and human intelligence on the activities of the terrorists in the general area. In the course of the operation, troops recovered several Improvised Explosive Device making materials at the location including 2 scales, 6 rocket launcher bombs, one bag of fertilizer, half a bag of gun powder, 10 locally made hand grenades, one Rocket Propelled Grenade bomb fuse, one locally made Rocket Launcher, 2 Improvised Explosive Devices,13 Improvised rocket bombs, amongst others. The camp was subsequently destroyed while troops are equally combing the surrounding forests for fleeing members of the sect.

4. The Military High Command commends the gallant troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE for their professionalism and dexterity in achieving this notable feat and also urges them to sustain the tempo in the push to decisively curtail the activities of armed bandits and other criminals operating in the North-Central zone.

5. You are please requested to disseminate this information through your medium with the photos attached for the awareness of the general public. Thank you for your usual support and cooperation.

JOHN ENENCHE
Major General
Coordinator
Defence Media Operations
Defence Headquarters
26 August 2020.