The Defence headquarters said on Thursday that troops of Operation Delta Safe, fighting against economic saboteurs in the Niger Delta discovered and deactivated a total of 51 illegal refining sites just as 23 oil bunkerers were arrested within the last two weeks.
Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig Gen Bernard Onyeuko who made the disclosure in Abuja, stated that the “Sites cumulatively had a total of 76 ovens, 52 cooking pots/boilers, 22 cooling systems, 102 reservoirs, 16 large dugout pits and 513 storage tanks as well as drums and sacks laden with illegally refined oil products.
“Additionally, 23 criminal elements were arrested and 73 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 5 cartridges, 2 AK-47 rifles, one double-barrel gun, one pump action gun and 3 locally-made pistols among other items were recovered in the course of the operations in the Zone.
“Consequently, a total of 317,450 litres of illegally refined AGO, 8,000 litres of DPK and 159,000 litres of stolen crude were recovered in the course of the operations. These were in addition to several other vehicles and boats loaded with sacks/polythene bags and jerry cans of illegally refined oil products and equipment used for illegal oil production as well as illicit drugs; impounded by troops within the period”.
“Significant results were also recorded at different villages in Nembe and Ekeremor LGAs of Bayelsa State as well as Oron River and Calabar Metropolis in Cross River State. Also some incidents were recorded around some beaches in Akwa-Ibom State; some villages in Ohaji/Ogbema LGA of Imo State and Ukwa West LGA of Abia State.
“Similarly, successes were recorded in some communities and areas in Degema LGA, Port Harcourt City and environs; Akuku-Toru LGA and Bonny LGA of Rivers State. Furthermore, in Delta State, substantial results were recorded in Warri South, Warri South West and Ethiop North LGAs”.
Brig Gen Onyeuko also disclosed that a total of 13, 243 Boko Haram terrorists and their families have so far surrendered to troops of Operation Hadin Kai with view to escaping the combined air and land assault of their hideouts and enclaves in the Sambisa forest and Lake Chad fringes.
Giving the breakdown, he said the surrendered comprises 3,243 adult males, 3,868 adult females and 6,234 children.
He noted that during encounters with recalcitrant BHTs, “a total of 29 terrorists were neutralized and 13 terrorists including their informants/collaborators and logistics suppliers were arrested in the course of the operations”.
“Additionally, a total of 38 assorted weapons and 968 rounds of assorted ammunition as well as 48 rustled livestock among several other items were recovered”.
He said, “The series of land and air operations conducted in different locations across the North East theatre have reduced the operational capabilities of the insurgents. 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. Some of these feats were recorded at; Gwoza – Yamtake – Bita road; Gwoza – Farm Centre – Yamtake road; Mandara Mountain area as well as Pulka and Hambagda towns; all in Borno State”.
“Furthermore, the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai carried out air interdiction missions to foil BHT/ISWAP criminal elements’ attack on ground troops’ location at Aulari village in Bama LGA of Borno State. During the encounter, 3 of the terrorists’ gun trucks were destroyed together with their occupants and another was immobilized, while several other terrorists flee in disarray with varying degrees of wounds.
On the offensive against armed bandits, the Acting Director said, “The Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji sustained its offensive air operations against banditry and other criminal elements in the North West Zone. Within the period in focus, using a force package of NAF platforms, multiple air strikes were executed on bandits’ enclaves in successive passes in different locations. One of which was at the Kwaga forest within Birni Gwari general area in Kaduna State.
“In the course of the operation, no fewer than 40 armed bandits were neutralized and several structures which served as their logistics bases were destroyed. Additionally, several of armed bandits were neutralized and their hideouts destroyed during air interdiction missions executed at some other locations including Meshema, Yanfako, Gebe and Gatawa forests in Isaa and Sabon Birni LGAs of Sokoto State as well as Ranch 10 in the Rugu forest area at the border of Kankara. The success of the air interdictions was confirmed by battle damage assessment carried out on these locations.
“Significantly, some of these successes were recorded at Jibia – Katsina Road, where some civilians were rescued. Also, at Daba and Kurya villages in Kaura Namoda LGA of Zamfara State as well as Nwala village in Bukkuyum LGA of Katsina State, where troops neutralized some armed bandits and recovered several assorted arms and ammunition.
“Relatedly, troops arrested some notorious armed bandits’ collaborators who have been on the watch list of security agencies namely; Mamuda Aliyu Dangulbi, Rilwan Sani Dangulbi, Yusuf Adamu Dangulbi and Yakubu Umar Maihuja at Dangulbi village in Maru LGA of Zamfara State.
“These arrested criminals and items recovered have been handed over to appropriate prosecuting agencies for necessary action. In the course of these operations, troops rescued a total of 4 kidnapped civilians, neutralized 5 armed bandits, arrested 4 bandits’ collaborators and recovered 7 AK-47 rifles and 275 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition among other items and motorcycles.
Speaking on South-East Security, Onyeuko recalled that, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, on Monday 4 October 2021, flagged-off 3 different exercises of the Nigerian Army at Ovie-Emene in Enugu East LGA of Enugu State.
He said, “This is in accordance with the Nigerian Army’s routine annual Field Training Exercises designed to forestall criminalities across the Country.
“Consequently, the newly launched exercises, codenamed; Exercises Golden Dawn, Enduring Peace and Still Waters are to run concurrently in the South East, South-South, South West and North Central Zones of the Country, precisely in the 2 Division, 6 Division, 81 Division and 82 Division.
“The exercises are designed to checkmate all forms of security vices as the yuletide season approaches, to enable persons enjoy hitch-free celebrations; it will also serve as platforms for participating troops to sharpen their skills in the conduct of internal security operations.
Speaking on other operations he said troops of Operation Safe Haven while during kinetic operations arrested criminal elements, recovered of arms/ammunition and livestock as well as impounded drugs among other items.
“Troops’ swift response to distress calls also helped in thwarting/foiling as well as repelling of criminal elements and rescue of victims within the period. Some of these incidents were recorded in different villages and towns in Bassa, Jos North, Jos South, Kanke, Barkin Ladi and Bokkos LGAs within Plateau State. In Kaduna State, significant incidents were also recorded in some villages and town in Jama;a, Zangon Kataffat; Sanga, Kaura, and Lere LGAs.
“Cumulatively, a total of 570 parcels and 7 wraps of cannabis sativa worth #17.1million were impounded. Also, a total of 11 kidnapped civilians were rescued, 41 criminal elements arrested, 11 assorted arms including AK-57 rifles, locally fabricated rifles, pistols and SMG as well as 446 assorted ammunitions and 267 livestock were recovered in the course of the operations within this period.
“On the non-kinetic activities, OPSH engaged youths in sporting activities at different locations of the theatre as well as held peace and security meetings in its area of responsibility. One of the sporting activities was a 15km Peace and Unity Marathon Competition”, which included male and female youths, drawn from diverse ethnic and religious groups to compete harmoniously among themselves.
“Some of the tournaments were conducted across the 4 districts of Sanga LGA of Kaduna State as well as Jos Township; Riyom, Jos North and Jos South LGAs of Plateau State. These, to a great extent, promoted civil-military cooperation and enhanced peaceful coexistence among ethnic and religious groups in the Operation Safe Haven theatre.
In Operation Whirl Stroke, troops sustained their aggressive postures by executing both kinetic and non-kinetic operations in the North Central Zone. Some of these operations yielded significant results at some locations. These include arrest of some criminal elements and recovery of arms and ammunition during raid, clearance and ambush operations.
“At Ahungwa village in Katsina-Ala LGA, Adiga forest in Okpoga; Bandawa and Giru communities in Lau LGA of Taraba State, Odu and Rukubi villages in Doma LGA of Nasarawa State. Within the period, a total of 22 arms, including AK-47 rifles, MGs, and locally-made pistols and 461 rounds of ammunition were recovered, while 15 criminals including armed bandits, herders and drug peddlers were arrested and 4 kidnapped civilians were rescued in the course of the operations.
“Furthermore, troops held peace and security meetings with community/youth leaders as well as other critical stakeholders and security agencies at the Local Government Secretariat at Igumale Town in Benue State and Lau Police Division in Lau LGA of Taraba State.”