The Defence headquarters on Thursday disclosed that troops of Operation Delta Safe during the week, deactivated several illegal oil refining sites at Ibaa in Emohua LGA and Kumufari and Yalama Towns in Asari-Toru LGA of Rivers State during several anti-illegal oil bunkering operations noting that during the operations, several barrels of illegally refined PMS and AGO were impounded and storage tanks immobilized.
Acting Director Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko who made this known at a briefing, pointed out also that raid operations conducted by troops, “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 re-sealing of reactivated illegal oil refining sites.
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 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.
“On 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 Scrap Yard in Uvwie LGA of Delta State”.
Brig Gen Onyeuko said the armed forces, in tackling security challenges in the South East, contained several Independent People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) activities in the zone noting that “In the last 2 weeks, 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 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 also engaged and repelled some IPOB/ESN hoodlums who attacked Okposi Town in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State and the Criminal Investigation Department, Abia State Command.
“Similarly, troops repelled IPOB hoodlums attack on commuters along Igbo-Etiti – 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.
Speaking on non-kinetic approach towards tackling security challenges in the South East, the Acting Director said, “In an extra-ordinary non-kinetic approach to the seemingly intractable security challenges in the South East, on 11 June 2021, the Hon Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), led a Federal Government delegation to Enugu for the “HMOD/CDS Security Meeting with Stakeholders in the South East Geopolitical Zone”.
“The Minister was accompanied by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbeshola and the Chief of Defence Staff General Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea Irabor as well as representatives of the Service Chiefs.
“During the Summit, a whole range of security challenges were discussed with all the Governors of the South East States, religious leaders, traditional rulers, opinion leaders and other stakeholders in attendance.
“The discussions and decisions reached at the end of the Security Summit were far reaching and would go a long way in tackling and bringing peace to the Region.
On insecurity in the South West, Onyeuko said, “In the South West Zone, troops of Operation AWATSE 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, troops conducted a raid operation on some criminals’ hideouts at Ona-Ara LGA of Oyo State on 7 June 2021. During the operations, some of the criminals were arrested and handed over to appropriate prosecuting agency for further action.
Speaking on the middle belt zone, he said, “Operation Safe Haven theatre area of responsibility, troops operations resulted 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, 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.
“All arrested criminals and recovered items have been handed over to appropriate agencies for further necessary actions.
“Within the period, troops of Operation Safe Haven also conducted non-kinetic operations. On 15 June 2021, own troops held stakeholders meetings at different locations of the Safe Haven AOR. The meetings were aimed at building peace, trust and confidence amongst the locals.
One of these meetings was held at Wasa Village in Sanga LGA of Kaduna State, where locals were advised against taking laws into their hands. Another one was held at Tafawa Village in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State with Fulani leaders and herders to discuss measures at tackling insecurity in the area.
“Furthermore, a meeting was held in Bokkos LGA of the State with herders to discuss measures at controlling night grazing and use of minors for grazing as well as destruction of farm lands. At the end, all stakeholders were urged to give peace a chance and were encouraged to provide useful information on criminal elements to security agencies”.
“Furthermore, “Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke arrested some criminal gang members at Ayiin Town in Logo LGA of Benue State.
“The criminals were among others involved in kidnapping and other related criminal activities in the area. The arrested criminals and weapons recovered have been handed over to appropriate agencies for further action.
On counter-insurgency operations, the Acting Director said, “Troops under Operation Hardin Kai conducted concurrent operations 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.
“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 Commanders’ named Umar Tela, were neutralized.
“Other locations where troops recorded significant results 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 BHT hideouts on 4 and 5 June 2021.
“Furthermore, in the course of these operations, 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”.