The fight against insurgency in the country has gathered boost as over 13,000 suspected terrorists have surrendered to Nigerian troops in the last two weeks.
Providing an update on the military operations across the nation, the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko said the figures include some members of the families of the suspects, including women and children.
He also explained that 29 suspected terrorists were killed within the period while 13 others were arrested.
“Troops of this operation have sustained aggressive posture with vigour in the North-East which yielded significant result. The series of land and air operations conducted in different operations across the North-East theatre have reduced the operational capabilities of the insurgents,” he said.
“With the period under review, several terrorist elements were neutralized and several others arrested alongside their informants and logistics supplies.
“Consequently, more terrorists have continued to lay down their arms and surrender to own troops with their families as they could no longer withstand the offensive operations within the theatre.
“With the period, a total of 29 terrorists were neutralized, 13 terrorists including their informants and logistics supplies were arrested in the course of these operations.”
The Force Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, Major General Abdul Ibrahim has reassured troops that the MNJTF Headquarters will reinforce their operational capacities with equipment and other essential materials, which will improve surveillance and tactical manoeuvre in the fields.
He also cautioned about the misuse of social media which he said usually does more harm than good as it can be a source of information on the activities and movements of the troops to terrorists.
Ibrahim made the comments during a visit to the Forward Operating Base at the Mallam Fatori and Headquarters 5 Brigade at Damasak in Northern Borno State.
The Forward Operation Base and unit have won several tactical victories against the Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents in their previous encounters, paving the way for the resettlement and relocation of internally displaced persons and refugees to their ancestral homes in the northeast.
Troops of 25 Brigade operating under the aegis of Joint Task Force, North East, Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) have neutralised four terrorists of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), recovering some arms and ammunitions in process.
Spokesperson of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu in a statement on Thursday said the terrorists were neutralised along Damboa-Bulabulin-Maiduguri road on Wednesday, August 31.
“The terrorists who were on espionage along Damboa-Bulabulin- Maiduguri road ran into a fighting patrol team at Kukawa and were neutralised in the firefight that ensued with the troops,” the statement read in part.
Nwachukwu added that the troops recovered four AK 47 rifles and four Magazines, each loaded with 30 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition from the troops.
In another operation, troops of 195 Battalion, Sector 1 OPHK in conjunction with elements of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) at Dusman-Muna Garage, Borno State eliminated two ISWAP terrorists in an ambush operation conducted along with an identified ISWAP terrorists’ crossing point at Musari village.
The troops also captured and destroyed an ISWAP logistics vehicle conveying assorted goods and contraband items belonging to members of the terrorist group.
“Items recovered from the terrorists’ vehicle include two bags of Hemp (Cannabis Sativa), two bags of detergent, 120 packets of mosquito coils, l2 mosquito nets, and five textile materials. Other items recovered are two bicycles, two bags of beans, a bag of corn, and some quantity of fish,” the statement added.
The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya in response commended the troops for their operational exploits and urged them to maintain the aggressive posture in order to decisively root out the terrorists from their enclaves.
The US military announced the departure of the last US troops from Afghanistan Monday, concluding a 20-year conflict that ended with the Taliban seizing control of the country.
“I’m here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan and the end of the military mission to evacuate American citizens,” head of Central Command General Kenneth McKenzie said.
The last flight, a large C-17 military transport, took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport one minute before midnight Kabul time, McKenzie said. President Joe Biden set a deadline of August 31 for the withdrawal earlier this year.
The final flight took place under heavy security following two attacks on the two-week evacuation operation by Islamic State-Khorasan — one a suicide bombing that left more than 100 people dead, including 13 US troops.
McKenzie said the Taliban had been “very helpful and useful” in conducting the evacuation and the final flights, despite the deep enmity between the two sides.
US troops led a NATO coalition to eject the Taliban from power in 2001 after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States by Al-Qaeda, which was based in Afghanistan and protected by the Taliban.
The sound of gunfire was heard across Kabul after the US military confirmed their exit to end the 20-year war.
Troops of the Operation Safe Haven have rescued 15 abducted commuters at Jagindi town in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna state on Monday.
The victims were travelling in two separate vehicles when they were intercepted by the bandits who laid ambush on them along the road.
According to the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the troops responded to a distress call and swiftly mobilised to the location and repelled the bandits before rescuing the abducted persons.
He noted that the troops are sustaining search and rescue operations in the area with the aim of ensuring the general safety of travellers and residents of the area.
The Nigerian Army has said that Colonel Ibrahim Sakaba died while fighting terrorists in the North-East, and that he was not assassinated as some people have speculated.
In a statement on Thursday, Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, who described the Colonel’s death and the death of other soldiers as painful to the army, dismissed claims attributed to the widow of the late Sakaba, Mrs Oluwaseun Sakaba, suggesting that the soldier was murdered for refusing to steal from funds meant for fighting Boko Haram.
Brig-Gen Nwachukwu said the claim was unfounded and baseless with no element of truth in it.
“While the Nigerian Army is not interested in joining issues with anyone with respect to the enormous sacrifices made daily by our gallant troops, it is however expedient to address the weighty allegations credited to the widow.
“The Nigerian Army acknowledges the emotional agony associated with losing loved ones and that cannot be quantified by any unit of measure,” he stated.
According to him, the military men and women who died along with Col. Sakaba paid the ultimate price while serving the nation, fighting to restore peace and stability in the embattled region.
He added that it would be totally mischievous and an assault on the psyche of the fighting troops to begin to insinuate a plot against a soldier.
“And what is the plot here? That troops were led by their commander for an operational engagement is not a plot, as anyone may want to insinuate,” he said in the statement.
“Rather, it was a clear military mission with clear objective. It is however disheartening that this gallant officer and some of his men paid the supreme price in the operation and we pray fervently for the repose of their souls.
“Col. Sakaba was a respected senior officer who gave his all in the defence of the freedom we all enjoy today. His demise is a great loss to all of us. Insinuating anything contrary is a disservice to our nation and the sacrifices of our troops.”
Regarding the entitlements of the slain soldier, Brig-Gen. Nwachukwu said that available records revealed that the late officer had his son, Samuel Ibrahim Sakaba, as the next of kin and the only child, adding that all entitlements meant to be paid by the Nigerian Army had been paid to the son through Mrs Sakaba.
This was done through the officer’s wife because as of the time his entitlements were processed, Samuel was less than six years and as such, he was not benefiting from army school sponsorship.
“However, now that he has reached the required age, he has been captured for payment of school sponsorship which will commence any moment from now.
“The Nigerian Army will continue to sponsor the child’s education up to graduation from university, as long as he fulfills the requirements outlined in the rules guiding the scheme.
“The only entitlement owed Mrs Sakaba is the Group Life Assurance which is normally paid by the Insurance Company and which would soon be received along with that of other deceased personnel,” Brig-Gen Nwachukwu stated.
He further disclosed that various welfare programmes have been put in place by the Nigerian Army, and the well-being of the troops remained paramount.
Troops have killed three suspected Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and arrested 11 others as part of the counterterrorism operations in the northeast.
Army spokesman, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, who confirmed the incident in a statement issued on Monday, said troops ambushed the terrorists’ crossing point along Banki Junction-Miyanti road to prevent movement of terrorists’ logistics and replenishment.
The insurgents who were nabbed on July 15 were said to have “surrendered to troops along with their families, while fleeing their enclaves, following the continuous bombardment of their hideouts by troops of the Battalion.”
They were said to have been arrested at the outskirts of Aza and Bula Daloye villages in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State by troops at Miyanti and Darajamel areas of the northeastern state.
“The arrested suspects comprised of eleven adult male terrorists, five adult females and twelve children,” the statement partly read.
“The troops also recovered 27 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) ammunition, 3 AK 47 rifle magazines and a black fragmental Jacket from the suspects. They are currently undergoing preliminary investigations.”
Similarly, on July 17, troops of 7 Division Garrison in conjunction with the Civilian Joint Task Force; acting on credible intelligence tracked and arrested Boko Haram informants and logistics suppliers, during a cordon and search operation in Lawanti and Gongolun Communities of Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
The army spokesman said during preliminary investigations, the suspects confessed to have been working as informants for the terrorists, whom they provide with information on troops’ movements, locations, deployments, strength, the caliber of weapons and other activities.
He added, “They also admitted to having supplied the terrorists with basic logistics for their daily survival, ranging from Petroleum Oil and Lubricant (POL), drugs, mosquito nets, kola nuts, recharge cards and foodstuff.
“The suspects also disclosed that they were remunerated by the terrorists with proceeds made from selling dismantled old motorcycle parts to dealers in order to fund their purchases.”
Reacting to the successes recorded, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya commended the troops for being proactive in the ongoing clearance operations.
He however charged them to maintain the tempo and ensure the terrorists are smoked out of their enclaves.
Joint troops of the Nigerian Army and Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) have captured two logistics suppliers to Boko Haran terrorists in Borno State.
Items including one hand grenade, one axe, one vehicle, five bicycles, two mobile phones, and some quantity of petroleum, oil, and lubricant were recovered in the process.
This was disclosed on Monday in a statement signed by the Army Director of Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu.
“Troops of 195 Battalion, Sector 1 Operation HADIN KAI (OPHK), in conjunction with Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) on a clearance operation within Muna general area of Borno state, have captured two Boko Haram Terrorists and recovered assorted items and utensils meant for BHT replenishment on 3 July 2021.
“Items recovered from the BHT logistics suppliers include one hand grenade, one axe, one vehicle, five bicycles, two mobile phones (Techno and Infinix) and some quantity of Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricant. The troops equally recovered a large quantity of psychedelic and sex enhancement drugs, pesticides and insecticides, as well as foodstuff, amongst others,” the statement read in part.
According to the statement, the troops left no stone unturned during the clearance operation, combed the entire area, destroying several identified terrorist camps.
During the operation, troops however came in contact with terrorists at Labe Village, who attempted to flee but were swiftly intercepted by the troops.
The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya in response commended the alertness of the troops, urging them to sustain the aggressive posture of the operation, to ensure they clear terrorists’ enclaves and dominate the general area.
Troops of the Defence Headquarters Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) stationed in the Southern part of Kaduna state have averted an attack by armed bandits that would have led to a loss of lives at Gidan Zaki, in Zangon Kataf local government area of the state.
According to a statement by the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the armed bandits invaded farmlands in the village and destroyed crops with cutlasses.
The bandits went on to vandalize the home of one Mr. Joseph Aboi, a resident of the village, and also damaged a nearby vehicle, before storming a phone charging shop belonging to another resident and carted away phones and chargers.
Troops of the Joint Task Force North East Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) deployed at the Forward Operational Base (FOB) of 152 Battalion, Kumshe in Borno State have on Sunday, foiled an attempted attack by of Boko Haram terrorists.
The terrorists mounted on four gun trucks and several motorcycles attempted to infiltrate and attack the camp through the northern part of the troops’ deployment but were met with fierce fire by the highly alert troops, resulting in the instant killing of six terrorists.
Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
According to Nwachukwu, the troops, who remained dogged and sustained heavy gunfire on the terrorists during the encounter, routed and forced the terrorists to flee in total disarray, leading to the capture of six AK 47 Rifles, one handheld grenade, assorted drugs and other first aid items.
The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya has lauded the troops’ high level of alertness and fighting spirit, urging them to sustain the momentum and ensure that the remnants of terrorists hibernating in the area are completely cleared.
Troops of the Nigerian Army on Friday foiled a planned abduction on Prelude Comprehensive College, Kujama area of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The bandit attack was foiled following receipt of credible intelligence by the troops and Police operatives who mobilized to the targeted school.
Confirming the incident, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan said in a statement that the bandits were alerted of the presence of security operatives, and abandoned their plans to attack the school.