CDS, Service and IGP
Troops of the Nigerian Military backed by air strikes, tackling the myriads of security challenges in different theaters of operation across the country, eliminated a total of 480 bandits, terrorists and kidnapping gang members between the 2nd of September and 30th September, 2021, the Defence headquarters said on Thursday.
A breakdown of those neutralized in the confrontations showed that a total of 395 armed bandits were neutralized, 85 BHT/ISWAP terrorists were neutralized, 42 terrorists arrested, 57 bandits and their collaborators were arrested while 6 oil pipeline vandals were also arrested in the South-South.
Making this known during a briefing in Abuja, Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig Gen Bernard Onyeuko also stated that several arms and ammunition were recovered after the operations.
They include a total of 121 assorted weapons including SMG, HK21 guns, AK-47 and locally-made rifles with magazines, 3,372 rounds of 7.62mm NATO/Special ammunition, locally made pistols and smooth body grenades, RPG -7 bombs as well as 12,250 bags of fertilizers used for making IEDS and 178 rustled livestock among several other items were recovered from the North East Theatre. Furthermore, a total of 2,783 terrorists and their families surrendered within the period”.
For the offensives against bandits, he said, “Apart from a total of 240 armed bandits who were neutralized, 125 assorted arms including AK-47 and FN riffles and Dane guns as well as 1,166 rounds of 7.62mm special/NATO ammunition, 1,304 livestock and 54 motor cycles among other items were recovered within the period. Also, 47armed bandits, informants and bandits’ collaborators were arrested within the period”.
In offensive against economic saboteurs in the Niger Delta, Onyeuko said troops discovered and deactivated a total of 69 illegal refining sites which cumulatively had a total of 79 ovens, 77 cooking pots/boilers and 76 cooling systems, 48 large dugout pits and 246 storage tanks as well as drums and sacks.
“These were cumulatively laden with two million, one hundred and fifty-seven thousand litres of illegally refined AGO as well as 1,300 tons and four million, five hundred and thirty-eight thousand litres of stolen crude oil”.
The Acting Director said, “Troops also discovered and disconnected some illegally connected pipelines and deactivated other illegal bunkering materials at Rumuekpe community as well as Ihuowo – Okoma Pipeline Right of Way in Abua/Odua LGA of Rivers State. Additionally, troops arrested 6 militants and recovered 4 locally-made pistols, 22 cartridges and 13 wraps of cannabis sativa among other items at Government Jetty in Creek town.
“Troops of Operation Hadin Kai had several encounters with terrorists at different locations. In the course of the operations, significant results were recorded in different locations in the North East. These locations include; Mazga – Kamuya, DamboaWass – Bitta – Balo – Gwozaand Damboa – Bulabulin – Maiduguri roads as well as at Bazza, Jigaiambu and Michika towns, in Borno State. Other locations are; Mairari, Rumirgo and Fuye villages; Gashua market, Takaskala axis, Damaturu – Maiduguri main supply routes, Mafa town as well as along Gulumba Gana – Dikwa road, all in Borno State.
“In addition, dozens of ISWAP/BHT terrorists and their collaborators were neutralized in coordinated air strikes executed by the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai on 26 September 2021. This feat was achieved at Daban Masara, north of Lake Chad in Kukawa LGA of Borno State, from where the criminal elements launch attacks on own troops’ locations and innocent civilians in the area.
“In operation Hadarin Daji, troops in the North West Zone, drastically degraded their operational capabilities of bandits and denied them freedom of action as well as frustrated movement of arms, ammunition and other illegal items, and at the same time built confidence among locals. During the period own troops responded to distress calls on bandits’ activities at different locations in Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina States.
“These include; armed bandits’ attacks on Gidan Kwaru village in Tsafe LGA of Zamfara State,Kaiga general area and Tafoki village in Funtua LGA of Katsina State. Other incidents recorded were bandits’ invasions of Burkusuma town and Makuwana village in Sabon-Birni LGA of Sokoto Stateand Sabuwa Town as well as bandits’ road block along Gimi-Gora Road also in Katsina State.
“Troops’ swift responses with superior firepower during the incidents led to the repelling of armed bandits who were forced to flee in disarray, neutralization of scores of them and arrest of some others, including their informants and collaborators. Also, arms and ammunition among other items were recovered. Additionally, troops neutralized and arrested armed bandits and their arms supplier and informant at Kofar Fada village in Kankara LGA, Shabba village under Jibia LGA, Kaiga general area as well as Ummandau and Gammu villages, all in Katsina State.
“Furthermore, troops conducted clearance/raid operations on bandits’ enclaves at Falaliya, Yan Duwatsu, Kunkare, Jangeme, Mazarko andKasala villages under Talata Mafara LGA in Zamfara State as well as Yarmariya village in Tudun Wada LGA of Kano State and cleared bandits’ camps”.
“In the same vein, the Air Component conducted air bombardments on criminal enclaves in different locations including Magami and Dansadau forests in Zamfara State. Also, it carried out coordinated offensive air strikes were also executed on bandits’ hideouts, from where they launched attacks own troops’ locations and innocent civilians between 22 and 26 September 2021. The air operations yielded attendant successes at Danmusa, Safana and Dutsinma LGAs as well as Gonar, Sani, Jikan and Malam villages at the Yantumaki forest, Lelet village forest and Yantumaki – Maidabino road in Katsina State.
“The operations resulted in the neutralization of no fewer than 53 armed bandits, while several others escaped with varying degree of gunshot wounds and destruction of several of their structures used as hideouts and logistics facilities. The Air Component also provided close air support for ground troops during their operations.
“In Operation Safe Haven area of responsibility, troops’ response to distress call on 4 September 2021 yielded significant result along Ganawuri – Manchok Road, where 2 drug peddlers were arrested with 320 parcels of cannabis sativa worth Nine Million, Six Hundred Thousand Naira, stocked in a vehicle.
“In another development, troops on same day swiftly mobilized to forestall farmers/herders’ clash over farm encroachment and destruction by herders’ cattle at Jebbu Miango village in Bassa LGA of Plateau State resulting in the arrest of two of the armed herdsmen. Similarly, on 6 September, troops on Cordon and Search operation arrested 11 armed bandits who were involved in an earlier attack on Angwan Thabo village in Zangon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State.
“Troops also rescued some civilians who were kidnapped at Jakko Gashish District in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State and arrested 2 kidnappers at Antor village in Sanga LGA of Kaduna State on 9 September 2021. In the same vein, a gun runner and impostor named, Saliu Ibriahim, was arrested at Mailafiya village in Jama’a LGA of Kaduna State.
“A total of 14 locally fabricated rifles, 27 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 14 cartridges and 44 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition among other items were recovered in the course of our operations”.
“Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke swiftly responded to distress calls and thwarted bandits’ attacks as well as averted communal clashes in different locations in the North Central Zone. These include; Akwuana village in Logo LGA and Tse-Chula and Tse-Aza villages in Guma LGA of Benue State.
“In an operation, security operatives arrested a notorious militia leader named Keffas Aondofa aka Azonto at Jalingo Metropolis in Taraba State. Azonto who took over leadership of the late Gana’s militia gang had been terrorizing and imposing levies on locals in the State and has been on the wanted list of Operation Whirl Stroke and other security forces.
“In the course of the operations, a total of 15 armed bandits were neutralized, while 23 AK-47 rifles with magazines as well as 66 rounds of 7.62mm special and 39mm ammunition were recovered.
“In Operation Thunder Strike/Whirl Punch, troops maintained highway and fighting patrols to dominate and provide security in major and minor roads as well as deny armed elements freedom of action along Abuja-Kaduna-Katsina – Minna Highways. On 5 September 2021, offensive air strikes were executed, using a force pack of Nigerian Air Force platforms, on a bandits’ camp at Kuza Hills, which led to the destruction of some of the criminals’ hideouts and logistics facilities.
“No fewer than 43 armed bandits were neutralized in the process. In same vein, over 40 armed bandits were neutralized at Fadaman Kanauta in Kidandan forest under Giwa LGA of Kaduna State. This feat was achieved when the Air Component carried a 3 day intensive air offensives on bandits’ enclaves at the location between 13 and 15 September 2021.
“During the operations, several structures that housed the bandits were also destroyed along with their logistics installations and supplies. In addition, troops neutralized 3 armed bandits around Kasamari Bridge along Kaduna – Abuja Highway and recovered 3 AK-47 rifles with magazines and 48 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.
In the South-South Zone, Brig Gen Onyeuko said, “Troops of Operation Delta Safe sustained the tempo in its anti-illegal oil operations to forestall economic saboteurs. Some of the operations recorded significant results at different locations in Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States.
“In Bayelsa State, troops recorded attendant successes at Okarki, Kalatirama, Bille, Orutoru and Otuesegha communities in Ogbia LGA. Also in Delta State, troops recorded successes at Saghara Creek in Warri South West LGA and Yokri-Ebge Seashore in Burutu LGA.
“Troops also discovered and disconnected some illegally connected pipelines and deactivated other illegal bunkering materials at Rumuekpe community as well as Ihuowo – Okoma Pipeline Right of Way in Abua/Odua LGA of Rivers State.
“Additionally, troops arrested 6 militants and recovered 4 locally-made pistols, 22 cartridges and 13 wraps of cannabis sativa among other items at Government Jetty in Creek town, Rivers State during the period. In another development troops on maritime patrol intercepted a vessel identified as ‘MT AKEMIJOE BUNKER ONE’ without a Maritime Mobile Service Identity or NIMASA document in the south of Bartholomeo River. The vessel which was laden with 150,000 litres of AGO was arrested and handled appropriately.”