The Nigerian Military high Command, on Thursday, said that no criminal elements would escape its ongoing nationwide operations, to restore the peace, as troops were giving them close marking to either arrest or eliminate them.
Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, (DDMO), while briefing journalists in Abuja, on the successes of military operations nationwide, averred that the new strategy was paying off, leading to a decrease in crimes rate.
The DDMO said that troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in various theatres of operation across the country, have continued to tackle the security challenges, characterized by killings, maiming and destruction of properties by criminal elements.
General Onyeuko, whose brief highlighted the operational activities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other Security Agencies in the theatres of operations between 3 and 16 June 2021, said within the period in focus, troops sustained the onslaught against all forms of criminalities by conducting series of operations ranging from aggressive ground operations to comprehensive air operations and exclusive maritime operations against criminal elements and their enclaves.
During these operations, he said scores of criminal elements were decimated and neutralized with their hideouts destroyed and large caches of arms and ammunition as well as equipment recovered.
In other cases, he said some kidnapped victims were rescued and rustled cattle recovered; and economic saboteurs also arrested.
Speaking on Operations HADIN KAI; the military operations spokesman said between 3 and 16 June 2021, troops conducted several raid operations and extensive air strikes, responded to distress calls as well as repelled and thwarted terrorists’ attacks.
He said these operations were conducted concurrently in different locations in the North East Zone of the Country, including Damboa Town in Borno State where air strikes executed with NAF platforms on 3 June, dislodged several terrorists and inflicted significant damages on their logistics facilities.
He said troops also repelled terrorists’ attacks on Damboa Town in Borno State on same day, where several fighters of the ISWAP sect, including one of their commander named Umar Tela, were neutralized.
Other locations where troops recorded significant results General Onyeuko said, were; Gujba Town in Gujba LGA of Yobe State, Magumeri Town in Borno State and Mubi Town in Mubi LGA of Adamawa State; where troops conducted raid operations on Boko Haram terrorists’ hideouts on 4 and 5 June 2021.
Furthermore, he said, “in the course of these operations within the period under review, several of terrorists were neutralized, while some escaped with gunshot wounds. Large number of their gun trucks and other logistics facilities were as well destroyed in the process.
“Troops operations also led to the arrest of some terrorists and kidnappers including the leader of a notorious kidnapping syndicate in the North East Zone, named Mohammed Maki, who is a Chadian. Troops also recovered large caches of arms and ammunition, large quantities of PMS and AGO in jerry cans in the course of the operations.
“The attendant results recorded by troops through their superior operational engagements have continued to degrade the terrorists’ operational capabilities and deny them freedom of operation in the North East theatre within the period under review.
Speaking on troops operational activities in Operation HADARIN DAJI theatre of operation within the period, he said troops, during an ambush operation on 3 June, intercepted and neutralized some gunrunners who were in possession of assorted arms and ammunition between Naimaimai Village and Sabon Birni Town in Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State.
Similarly, he said on 4 June 2021, troops, following credible intelligence report, conducted cordon and search operation along Gurbin Baure – Jibia Road in Katsina State, during which they intercepted and neutralized some armed bandits.
In another development on June 6, the DDMO said that the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI conducted air raids on bandits’ enclaves at Jibia area in Katsina State, leading to the neutralization of several armed bandits and destruction of structures used as hideouts.
In same vein, he had troops while on aggressive fighting patrol arrested some kidnappers and rescued some of their victims at Bena Market in Danko Wasagu LGA of Kebbi State, where large caches of arms and ammunition as well as equipment and vehicles were captured from the criminal elements.
In Operation SAFE HAVEN theatre of operations, the military operations spokesman said troops conducted operations resulting in the neutralization of several armed bandits, arrest of armed bandits/cultists and recovery of arms and ammunition.
“These incidents occurred when troops on fighting patrol came in contact and engaged some armed bandits along Bokkos – Gana Rop Road on 4 June 2021. Several of them were neutralized during the encounter while others escaped with gunshot wounds.
“In another encounter on 5 June, troops on the heels of credible intelligence report, ambushed and arrested some cultists who reportedly belong to a criminal gang that attacks and robs commuters and dispossess’ them of their belongings at Terminus general area of Jos, Plateau State.
“Similarly, troops on patrol on same day arrested a notorious kidnapper, who has been on the wanted list of security agents, by name Halilu Umaru, who was in possession of assorted arms and ammunition and other dangerous weapons around Mangu Market in Mangu LGA of Plateau State.”
Speaking on operation WHIRL STROKE, he had troops on June 3, arrested some criminal gang members at Ayiin Town in Logo LGA of Benue State, disclosing that the criminals were among others involved in kidnapping and other related criminal activities in the area.
General Onyeuko further told that within the period, operation DELTA SAFE also conducted series of anti-illegal oil bunkering and raid operations that thwarted activities of economic saboteurs.
He added that these operations led to the deactivation of several illegal oil refining sites, disconnection of illegal pipelines, arrest of different criminal elements, interception and confiscation of contraband vessels, recovery of stolen items and resealing of reactivated illegal oil refining sites.
“These feats were achieved on 3 and 4 June 2021 as troops conducted anti-illegal oil bunkering operations to deactivate illegal oil refining sites at Ibaa in Emohua LGA and Kumufari and Yalama Towns in Asari-Toru LGA of Rivers State, during which operations, several barrels of illegally refined PMS and AGO were impounded and storage tanks immobilized.
Relatedly, he said troops, while on patrol on 4 June, intercepted and impounded several wooden boats; some laden with large quantities of stolen crude oil, others loaded with vandalized pipes at DSC Roundabout in Udu LGA and Opuama Creek in Warri North LGA of Delta State.
“Additionally, troops on 5 June disconnected an illegal pipeline laid by criminals connected to SPDC pipeline around Ibaa in Emohua LGA of Rivers State. Troops also re-sealed some illegal oil refining sites reactivated by criminal elements at Koko Community in Warri North LGA of Delta State on 6 June 2021.
“In another development same day, troops arrested some criminals disguised as lunatics, who were in possession of some stolen and illegal items, including several fake military barrack permit ID cards and military uniforms, at Tipper Garage and Navy Scrape Yard in Uvwie LGA of Delta State.
“Meanwhile, the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies while conducting operations in the South East Zone of the Country contained several Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) activities in the Zone between 3 and 16 June 2021.
“Within the period, troops responded to several distress calls on IPOB/ESN attacks on police stations, maiming and killing of security operatives as well as civilians and destruction of properties in the Zone.
“Some of these operations were conducted at Ikot Ukpong in Obot Akara LGA of Akwa-Ibom State, in which the hoodlums had a hideout from where they perpetrate illicit acts. On 4 June 2021, troops raided the hoodlums’ hideouts and dislodged them.
“Troops also, on the heels of credible actionable intelligence on 4 June, engaged and repelled some IPOB/ESN hoodlums who attacked Okposi Town in Ohaozara LGA of Eboyin State and the Criminal Investigation Department, Abia State Command. Similarly, troops on 5 June 2021 repelled IPOB hoodlums attack on commuters along Igbo-Ekiti – Nsukka Road in Enugu State.
“In another development on same day, troops tracked and apprehended some hoodlums who vandalized and stole railroad sleepers at Nkwubor Road within Emene in Enugu East LGA of Enugu State”, he said.
The DDMO also said that in the South West Zone, troops of Operation AWATSE sustained their operations against criminal elements in the Zone within the period, when on 5 June 2021, they conducted operations to repel armed herdsmen attack and raided some criminal hideouts.
“One of these operations was executed at Igangan Community in Ibarapa North LGA of Oyo State where some armed herdsmen attacked and invaded the Community. However, troops mobilized to the scene and engaged the herdsmen, during which some of them were neutralized while others fled with gunshot wounds.”
In another development, General Onyeuko said troops conducted a raid operation on some criminals’ hideouts at Ona-Ara LGA of Oyo state on 7 June, during which some of the criminals were arrested.
The Defence operations spokesman said that all recovered items, arms and ammunitions, as well as arrested persons, have been handed over to appropriate prosecuting agency for further action.
“Considering our operational activities in the various theatres of operation as highlighted in the brief, comparatively there is a decrease in the criminal activities within the period under review.
“This is as a result of troops’ operational efforts to deny criminals freedom of operation and we remain resolute to take decisive and adequate actions to further abate terrorists and bandits’ activities as well as other vices across the Country.
“The Military High Command also lauds the efforts of the troops for their resilience and unrelenting commitment and we wish to encourage the general public to support our efforts by providing credible and timely information that will facilitate our proactive engagements,” General Onyeuko stated.