Christmas: Pray For Troops To End Insecurity – Defence Minister

A file photo of soldiers travelling in a truck.

 

The Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi, has urged Christians to pray for the country to overcome its security challenges as they celebrate the birth of Christ.

Gen Magashi gave the charge in a Thursday statement felicitating with Christians on the special Christmas occasion.

He urged Christians to be Christ-like in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ by showing compassion to fellow Nigerians irrespective of religeous differences and to pray for peace in the country.

READ ALSO: FG Declares December 25, 28 And January 1 As Public Holidays

The Defence Minister harped on the need for peaceful co-existence, unity and peace especially as the country is fighting insurgency, banditry and kidnapping among other criminal tendencies.

He said the season is the reason to turn to God in fervent prayer to crown the sacrifices of our fighting forces to attain maximum victory over the adversaries.

While giving kudos to the troops – who by reason of their call to duty, which is primarily to defend the nation’s territorial integrity, will not be able to celebrate Christmas with their families and loved ones – he assured them that the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari will not allow their sacrifices to go unrewarded.

Gen. Magashi noted that the least appreciation Nigerians can show to the nation’s gallant soldiers who are fighting patriotically so that the citizens can sleep with their eyes closed (even when they themselves can’t afford to sleep) is to pray for them and be security conscious at this auspicious time.

He thanked the leadership of the services and heads of security agencies and their civilian counterparts for the recent feat attained in the timely rescue and return of the kidnapped students in Kankara, Katsina State.

The Minister described the successful operation that culminated in bringing back the kidnapped children as unprecedented in denying the kidnappers freedom of action, saying that such victory over the adversaries is the most beautiful Christmas and New Year special gift to the nation.

The Minister tasked the troops in various locations to be focused in invigorating their firing power and to hold the ground resolutely without allowing any crack on the walls of national defence; adding that the support of all Nigerians is critical to the attainment of security for the country for hitch free yuletide celebrations and beyond.

Troops Kill Bandit, Arrest Two Others In Zamfara

A file photo of soldiers travelling in a truck.

 

Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have killed a bandit and arrested two others in Zamfara State.

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

He explained that the success was recorded by troops of the Forward Operating Base Shinkafi in continuation of efforts to forestall banditry and other criminal activities in the north-central region of the country.

Enenche who noted that the military has sustained its aggressive fighting posture in the region said the incident occurred on Thursday.

He disclosed that the soldiers were on night patrol when they came in contact with some armed bandits at Bakinruwa Riverside in Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

READ ALSO: ‘How I Became President’, Buhari Inspires Kankara Boys To Return To School

The military spokesman said the troops engaged the criminals who fled in disarray due to the overwhelming superior firepower of the security operatives.

During the encounter, he stated that one of the bandits was neutralised, while two of them were arrested with an AK-47 rifle and a loaded magazine recovered from them.

A day after the incident, Enenche said troops deployed at Shinkafi LGA arrested one Zainab who was found roaming the town in police uniform.

According to him, a preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is from Birnin Magaji Local Government Area of the state and has been involved in defrauding unsuspecting residents.

“All arrested suspects have been handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for necessary action,” the major general said.

Troops Of Operation Hadarin Daji Rescued Kankara Schoolboys, Says Military

A picture taken on December 18, 2020, shows the released Kankara students at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The abducted students of the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State were rescued, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said hours after the children regained freedom.

Major General John Enenche, who is the Coordinator of Defence Media Operation at the DHQ, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

He explained that the schoolboys, 344 of them, were rescued on Thursday by troops of Operation Hadarin Daji – a military operation in the north-west region of the country.

The military spokesman noted that the rescue operation was conducted in line with the promise of the Armed Forces to ensure all the students return safely.

According to him, they were rescued following credible intelligence received by the troops who carried out the operation with a high degree of professionalism.

Enenche, on behalf of the military authorities, commended the troops and personnel of other security agencies involved in the operation, as well as the civilians who provided the information that led to the success recorded.

The statement read,

TROOPS OF OPERATION HADARIN DAJI RESCUE ABDUCTED STUDENTS OF GOVERNMENT SCIENCE SECONDARY SCHOOL KANKARA, KATSINA STATE

Keeping to its promise to ensure the safe return of all abducted students of Government Science Secondary School Kankara, Katsina State, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI rescued all 344 abducted students on Thursday 17 December 2020.

The students were rescued on the heels of credible intelligence by our gallant troops, with a high degree of professionalism to ensure they were all rescued alive.

The Military High Command commends troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, including all security agencies for their dexterity. The general public who volunteered information are also hereby appreciated.

 

Schoolboys Were Released

Elsewhere, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, told reporters in Abuja that the students were released by their captors.

Although he did not disclose if there was any term agreed before the children were released, he noted that the schoolboys would undergo necessary medical tests before they were handed over to their families.

“As you are aware, 344 schoolboys who were kidnapped from their school in Kankara in Katsina State last Friday have all been released unharmed.

“The Federal Government is most grateful to our security and intelligence agencies for this great feat. We also wish to thank the governments of Katsina and Zamfara states, and indeed all Nigerians and friends of Nigeria,” he said.

The minister added, “The release of these schoolboys is a testament to the importance that this administration attaches to the security and safety of all Nigerians.

“There is no government in the world that will not face the challenges of security at one time or another.”

I’m Impressed With Masari, Military But We Still Have A lot Of Work To Do – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the release of the Kankara Schoolboys saying that he is impressed with the state governor, Aminu Masari and the military.

“I am very impressed with him, he has been up and doing since it happened,” the President stated in an interview with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on Friday.

“I congratulate the governor that the schoolboys have been successfully released. I congratulated the governor and the army for organising the operation and sacrament of the abductors in getting the release of the children.”

Read Also: Hundreds Of Schoolboys Abducted In Katsina Released

The President noted that law enforcement agencies, the military especially the Army, and the governor worked extremely hard.

The 78-year-old explained that “As as soon as they got them the governor called me and informed and I congratulated him and the army for organizing such operation. The military is well trained, I think they are motivated”.

When asked when other Nigerians who are in captivity will be released, said his administration is trying his best, he said, “when we closed our borders we found out that still, the terrorist gets weapons and ammunition, still hold people hostages, collecting millions of naira”.

President Buhari admitted that the military still had their work cut out for them, but said “some of the things we may not say, I don’t want to compromise the efforts by the security being put n place by the law enforcement officials but our responsibility is to secure the country so I’ll say we have a lot of work to do.”

Hundreds of students abducted from a school in Kankara Local Government Area (LGA) of Katsina State were on Thursday released.

Governor Masari confirmed the release of the students a week after they were kidnapped by gunmen and met him on Friday at the State House where he assured the schoolchildren that they will be well taken care of.

Masari also assured them that they will each go through proper medical checks while adding that their education will also be taken care of.

Zabarmari Massacre: Military Counted 43 Bodies Not 110, Says Enenche

 

Military spokesman John Enenche on Monday said only 43 persons have been confirmed killed during the onslaught on farmers in Zabarmari, Borno on Saturday by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.

On Sunday, the United Nations had reported that 110 civilians had been killed.

“We have also received reports that several women may have been kidnapped. I call for their immediate release and return to safety,” the UN Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon said, in a statement.

“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice.”

READ ALSO: UN Says At Least 110 Were Killed In Borno, Demands Immediate Release Of Kidnapped Victims

Responding to the UN report during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Enenche said the military’s casualty count still stood at 43.

“I have to respond, it is coming from the United Nations,” he said. “This is a source that identified itself that 110 persons specifically were killed.”

According to him, military officials accompanied Governor Babagana Zulum to the site of the killings where the 43 bodies were counted.

But some persons had fled the scene, as they tried to escape the onslaught.

The spokesman added that the military is still searching for casualties.

“Probably we may count up to the figure he gave in the future,” Enenche said. “But as it is, up till the time I came here, what we have counted with the locals is still 43. And we are hoping that we don’t get beyond that. So that’s the real situation.”

Civilian Informants Sabotage Operations In Northeast, Says Military

 

The military on Monday said it is worried about the trend of some locals in the northeast declining to provide useful information to security agencies.

At least 43 farmers were killed in a deadly assault in Zabarmari, Borno on Saturday by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.

The United Nations has said the death toll is as high as 110.

The attack was one of the latest in a series of violent events being reported across the northeast.

READ ALSO: Governor Zulum Leads Residents To Bury Farmers Killed By Boko Haram

But military spokesman, Major-General John Enenche, while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said some local residents reduce the military’s effectiveness to combat the insecurity scourge in the region by not providing relevant information.

“That has been our worry,” he said. “It’s a concern to us. You need a guide, you need information. Will they tell us? That’s a question that we have to ask. Yes, sometimes. And most times, no. And that was one of the issues we have been ensuring to overcome, with civil-military cooperation activities, reaching out to them, even sending people by proxy to talk to them.

“Those are the things that have been one of the banes of the final success in the whole of this operation.

“Our patrols will pass through a route, in a village. By the time you are going, some people are looking at you. When you are coming back, the next thing is that you meet an IED planted on the road. And people saw them, they won’t tell you. So that’s the area I think we are all working together as stakeholders.

“And it is not possible to force information out of people. It’s not possible, just like they say you force a horse to the river, but not to drink water. So all we are trying to do is to build up their confidence in the system and encourage them that look, this is not good for you. Now they do not expect that this will happen, even those ones that they deceived, that they are preaching to them.”

43 Bodies Counted, Yet

Responding to the United Nation’s report on Sunday that 110 people had been killed in the Zabarmari attack, Enenche said the military’s casualty count still stood at 43.

“I have to respond, it is coming from the United Nations,” he said. “This is a source that identified itself that 110 persons specifically were killed.”

According to him, military officials accompanied Governor Babagana Zulum to the site of the killings where the 43 bodies were counted.

But some persons had earlier fled the scene, as they tried to escape the onslaught.

The spokesman added that the military is still searching for casualties.

“Probably we may count up to the figure he gave in the future,” Enenche said. “But as it is, up till the time I came here, what we have counted with the locals is still 43. And we are hoping that we don’t get beyond that. So that’s the real situation.”

Replacing the Service Chiefs

The Zabarmari attack has intensified calls for the nation’s service chief to be sacked.

The hashtag #SackTheServiceChiefs was one of the top trending topics on the social media site Twitter on Monday morning.

When asked what the Military’s position was on the issue of refreshing the military top hierarchy, Enenche declined to respond.

“You are not being fair to me, asking me that question about change of service chiefs,” he said. “It is beyond me.”

Airstrikes Decimate Terrorists Hideout In Borno, Says Military

FILE: A screen grab from the Air Force video shows the scene of the airstrikes on Boko Haram Logistics Base in Borno State. Credit: Defence Headquarters.

 

The military on Saturday said it has neutralised several Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) elements and destroyed their hideouts.

According to a statement signed by spokesman John Enenche, the airstrikes were carried out on Friday by a new subsidiary operation of Operation Lafiya Dole tagged ‘Wutar Kabir II’.

The airstrikes, the military said, were carried out after series of aerial surveillance missions had confirmed the terrorist’s location.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram Waylay 60 Rice Farmers In Borno, Kill 40

“The Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has neutralized several Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) elements and destroyed their hideouts at Ngwuri Gana, along the Gulumba Gana-Kumshe axis, as well as at Tumbuma Baba on the fringes of Lake Chad, both in the Northern part of Borno State,” the military’s statement said.

“The coordinated attacks launched by the Air Task Force, employing an enhanced force package of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships, resulted in the destruction of some of the terrorists’ structures as well as the neutralization of several ISWAP fighters.”

Military Will Always Be A Step Ahead Of Security Challenges- Major-General

 

The Commandant of the Army War College, Major-General Solomon Udounwa, on Thursday said the military will always have a grip on the security situation across the country.

The top-ranking officer’s comments come amid several reports of violent crimes across the country, including kidnapping and banditry.

At least seven soldiers were feared dead following a landmine ambush in the northern axis of Borno state on Saturday.

While acknowledging the nation’s security challenges, Major-General Udounwa maintained that the country has witnessed a massive improvement in security.

“I think we should commend the efforts of the military in turning these very difficult and complex security challenges,” he said.

READ ALSO: Military Kills 22 Insurgents, Five Bandits, Loses One Soldier

“And we can only have it better in the coming months. I am aware that a lot of efforts are ongoing now in all our theatres to finally address these lingering challenges. They might never go away completely, but the military will always be a step ahead.

Major-General Solomon Udounwa, Commandant of the Army War College, made an appearance on Sunrise Daily on November 26, 2020.
Major-General Solomon Udounwa, Commandant of the Army War College, made an appearance on Sunrise Daily on November 26, 2020.

 

“And that’s what we teach at the Army War College, trying to see these challenges even before they occur, linking them up, scanning the environment continuously, looking out for indicators and evolving solutions even before they become major challenges for our country, for the sub-regions and for other parts of the world.”

Major-General Udounwa also said the army was conscious of improving civil-military relations by adopting early training of officers on the imperatives of upholding human rights and a professional code of conduct.

Nigerian Army Submits Affidavit To Lagos Judicial Panel Of Inquiry

File Photo of the Nigerian Army logo.

 

The Nigerian Army has submitted an affidavit to the Lagos State Judicial Panel on police brutality set up by the state government to probe the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate on the night of October 20.

Brigadier General Ibrahim Taiwo, representing the army authorities had been summoned and was already seated.

In the statement already before the panel, he confirmed that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos had requested the intervention of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai to suppress the already brewing violence within some parts of the state.

According to the affidavit, Lieutenant Colonel Salisu Ovada Bello, the Commander of the 65 Battalion was at the Lekki Tollgate and had fired blank bullets into the air in order to disperse the protesters.

The commander explained that no one had died, adding that only two people fainted.

The affidavit also explained that Brigadier General Francis Omata, who was also at the Lekki tollgate, confirmed later that evening that there were no fatalities.

READ ALSO: Absence Of Youth Representatives Stalls Lagos Inquiry

Omata noted that live ammunition was not used.

Meanwhile, the panel failed to sit on Saturday after members could not form a quorum.

Chairman of the panel and retired Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Doris Okuwobi said the youth representatives did not show up for today’s sitting.

Their absence may not be unconnected to the freezing of the accounts of 19 individuals and a public affairs company linked to the #EndSARS protests in which one of them, Rinu Odulala, a member of the panel is said to have been affected.

A source close to the panel confirmed to Channels Television that it views this as a direct attack on the sitting.

This comes a day after a Federal High Court in Abuja granted the request of the Central Bank of Nigeria to freeze the said accounts as filed by the apex bank on October 20.

The court order directed the affected banks to freeze all transactions on the accounts for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of an investigation currently being conducted by the CBN.

Military Kills 22 Insurgents, Five Bandits, Loses One Soldier

A file photo of soldiers travelling in military trucks.

 

Troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies are again renewing their commitment to ending insurgency, banditry, and other sundry crimes in the country.

This is according to the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, who briefed reporters on Thursday in Abuja on the activities of the military in the fight against insurgency and banditry.

He disclosed that in the last five days, the land component of Operation Lafiya Dole repelled terrorist attacks on troops’ location at Army Super Camp, Damboa in Borno State.

Enenche noted that this led to the death of 22 insurgents who succumbed to the superior power of the Air Task Force.

He added that troops killed three bandits at Diskuru village in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The DHQ spokesperson stated that some other bandits fled in disarray with various degrees of gunshot wounds.

He said during the exploitation phase, the bodies of two more bandits were discovered along their withdrawal route while three abducted women and their infants were rescued.

Enenche regretted that a brave soldier paid the supreme price in an attempt to save one of the rescued nursing mothers in the heat of the encounter.

He stressed the need for residents to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information that would assist them in the operations.

The DHQ spokesperson also gave an update on the series of military operations carried out in the north-central and south-southern parts of the country.

Read the full text of the briefing below:

GENERAL UPDATE ON ARMED FORCES OF NIGERIA OPERATIONS FROM 30 OCTOBER – 4 NOVEMBER 2020

The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued their major operations across the country with attendant results. This briefing will cover from 30 October – 4 November 2020.

NORTH-WEST ZONE

In continuation of intensive clearance operations in the North-West zone of the country, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have continued to record serial successes against armed bandits with significant results. The period in focus witnessed a decline in criminal activities in the zone.

However, within the period under review, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY reacted swiftly to a distress call about bandit’s activities that attacked Diskuru village in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The gallant troops engaged the criminals in a fierce firefight forcing them to withdraw in disarray while three bandits were neutralised by the troops as several others escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds.

During the exploitation phase, two additional bandits’ bodies were discovered along their withdrawal route. Equally, three women and their infants earlier kidnapped by the bandits were rescued.

Regrettably, one brave soldier paid the supreme price in an attempt to save one of the rescued nursing mothers in the heat of the encounter.

 

Bandits Killed, Collaborators Arrested, Nursing Mothers Rescued

In the same vein, troops deployed at Dan Ali village arrested two suspected bandits’ collaborators namely Samaila Usman and Idi Bello.

Similarly, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI arrested two suspected bandits’ collaborators at Yarkirya village and Kankara Market in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State.

On 31 October 2020, Forward Operating Base KANGO patrol team arrested two suspected bandits at Kango village in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

Deducing from the above successes, it is clear that troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies are committed in their endeavour to end banditry and other sundry crimes in the country.

While the good people of the North West are once again assured of Armed Forces of Nigeria’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 operations.

 

NORTH-EAST ZONE

In the North-East zone, the Armed Forces of Nigeria working together with other security agencies have continued to sustain the onslaught against the insurgents.

Within the period under review, troops recorded appreciable successes as several terrorists were neutralised, while many were arrested with caches of arms and ammunition.

Between 30 October and 4 November 2020, troops conducted comprehensive ground and air operations.

Within the period, the Land Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE under its subsidiary Operation FIREBALL exhibited its operational readiness and repelled terrorists’ attacks on troops’ location at Army Super Camp, Damboa in Borno State.

Scores Of Fighters Neutralised

With superior firepower and support from the Air Task Force, troops neutralised 22 insurgents while several others escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds.

During the encounter, troops recovered caches of arms and ammunition as well as of their equipment.

Equally, troops of Operation FIREBALL in conjunction with local vigilante arrested a BHT/ISWAP member identified as Mohammed Bello at Damaturu Town in Yobe State.

The terrorist was arrested while trying to purchase arms and ammunition, while he was in possession of one AK-47 rifle and a magazine.

The criminal element has been handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for necessary action.

Meanwhile, within the period under review, the Air Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE conducted several air operations involving both offensive and support missions.

With the use of a force package of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the Air Task Force conducted Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions over various locations in the North East.

The air surveillance missions revealed terrorists’ activities and their hideout which enabled the Air Task Force to execute air interdictions and strikes on the identified locations, causing devastating hits on the terrorists’ hideouts at Mudu and Garin Maloma Villages in Borno State.

Scores of their fighters were neutralised and their structures and logistics facilities destroyed.

From the records of these operations, it is glaring that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security operatives are resolute in their determination to end the insurgency and achieve sustainable peace in the North-East zone of the Country.

 

NORTH-CENTRAL ZONE

In the North-Central zone, troops have continued to intensify aggressive clearance operations amongst others, to decisively curtail activities of armed bandits and other criminals.

This has led to a gradual reduction in the activities of criminality in the zone. Notably, within the period, troops of Sector 2 Operation WHIRL PUNCH while on patrol at Bassa village in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State repelled armed bandits’ attack.

In the course of the encounter, several bandits were neutralised. Also, within the period in focus, troops of Headquarters Command Army Records, Lokoja in conjunction with Defence Intelligence Agency operatives arrested four suspected criminals with three locally made guns at Auko village along Lokoja- Abuja Highway in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Peace Meetings

In another development, between 29 October and 3 November 2020, Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN conducted extensive Civil-Military Cooperation activities to cultivate cordial relations with the various ethnic groups in Plateau State.

Notably, on 29 October 2020, Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN fostered security meetings with stakeholders from Kibadu, Foka and Ungwar Doruwa villages in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

This was followed by another round of meetings on 30 October 2020 at Gero village in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Furthermore, meetings were held with Heads of Security Agencies and Local Government Chairmen on 31 October 2020.

The same day, peace meetings were also held with representatives of Fulani, Irigwe, Berom, Hausa, Afizere and Rukuba communities in Jos South and Bassa Local Government Areas of Plateau State, and Godo-Godo District of Jama’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

As it is, these meetings were organised in continuation of peace and reconciliation efforts amongst the various ethnic groups in the zone. The meetings focused extensively on farmers/herders clashes, kidnapping, farm encroachment/destruction and other sundry security challenges in the state.

Furthermore, on 2 November 2020, Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN commissioned five boreholes at Angwan Rana, Kurmin Masara, Boto, Zikpak, and a solar energy panel project in Sabon Kaura clinic in Kauru, Zangon-Kataf and Jama’a Local Government Areas of Kaduna State respectively.

This was followed by the commissioning of a newly renovated administrative block at Government Secondary School Gidan Waya in Jama’a Local Government Area.

Consequently, the locals are requested to cooperate with the security agencies by availing them with the required information which will be useful to our collective objective of taking out the criminals from the zone.

 

SOUTH-SOUTH ZONE

Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have continued with the aggressive fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and economic sabotage in the zone with significant successes.

Illegal Refineries Destroyed, Suspects Arrested

Notably, within the period in focus, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE discovered and immobilised three illegal refineries containing seven boilers, two reservoirs and two tanks loaded with illegally refined oil products around Orutoru in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Additionally, troops in conjunction with local vigilante arrested five suspected cultists at Jesse Community in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State.

Similarly, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE while on patrol arrested a suspected armed robber with a locally made pistol at Igbudu Market in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.

In another development, Operation CALM WATERS II and Operation SWIFT RESPONSE have continued to record more successes. Between 30 October and 3 November 2020, Forward Operating Base IBAKA gunboats while on routine patrol around Utan Iyata intercepted and arrested two wooden boats laden with 326 of 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled in from Cameroon.

The arrested items have been handed over to the Nigerian Customs Service for further action. On 30 October 2020, Forward Operating Base IBAKA patrol team intercepted and arrested one small size wooden boat laden with product suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) along Mbo River, being smuggled to the Republic of Cameroon.

Items recovered from the arrest include one small size wooden boat, 44 300-litre drums of PMS, one pumping machine and two 40 HP Yamaha engines. The arrested items have been handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for necessary action.

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 commitment, determination and dedication.

They are equally encouraged to remain firm and decisive in curtailing the activities of all criminal elements in the country.

Members of the general public are hereby assured that the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies will continue to tackle the security challenges and will ensure that normalcy is attained in all the geo-political zones of the Country.

However, their support is highly solicited in the area of providing credible information to assist our operations.

Thank you.

JOHN ENENCHE

Major General

Coordinator

Defence Media Operations

Defence Headquarters

5 November 2020

Military Kills 75 insurgents, Loses One Officer, Two Soldiers In North East

A file photo of soldiers travelling in a truck.

 

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.

BENARD ONYEUKO

Brigadier General

Ag Director

Defence Media Operations

3 November 2020

35 Suspected Terrorists Killed In Borno – Military

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, John Enenche

 

The military says it has killed 35 suspected terrorists in Borno State, within the last week.

This is part of efforts to restore peace in the North East and the country in general.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Coordinator of the Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche while confirming the death of the terrorists says the military in conjunction with other security agencies across the country progressed satisfactorily with significant successes.

“The land component of Operation Lafiya Dole conducted robust operations, the troops executed several attacks in the terrorist hideout, repelled their attacks, locations and forstalled attacks on the IDPs convey”.

General Enenche explained that these operations led to the neutralization of armed bandits, the arrest of suspected bandits and their collaborators, rescue of kidnapped victims and recoveries of rustled cattle as well as a large cache of arms and ammunition.

“During the encounters, the superior power of home troops resulted in the decimation of several Boko Haram terrorists and ISWAP elements.

“Two, three, and eight of their fighters were killed in contacts by the troops all in Gombe State.

“Large ammunitions, materials meant to produce IEDs were captured from the terrorists”, he added.

He further revealed that in a similar operation, the troops successfully repelled two several attacks by the Boko Haram members and ISWAP, two communities in Borno State.

General Enenche reassured Nigerians of the unwavering commitment of the Armed Forces to secure the country for all human activities to thrive.

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