Recent Setbacks Apart, we won’t relent in protecting Nigerians – Defence HQ;  As Military Launches ‘Operation Stop the Thief’ against Crude Oil Theft/Illegal Oil bunkering in Niger Delta; 51,114 Boko Haram terrorists and families have so far surrendered

 

The Defence headquarters on Thursday acknowledged recent operational setbacks in the fight against terrorists/bandits and other internal security threats in the country but vowed that the military would not relent on the arduous task of protecting lives and property of Nigerians.

 

This is just as Defence headquarters disclosed that a Special Operation code-named ‘Operation Dakatar Da Barawo (Operation Stop The Thief), has been flagged off at Onne, Port Harcourt targeted at curbing crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta area.

 

Furthermore, DHQ said a total of 51,114 Boko Haram Terrorist and families have so far surrendered to troops comprising of 11,398 men, 15,381 women, 24,335 children as at 5 April 2022 noting that all surrendered terrorists have been documented, while arrested, rescued civilians and recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.

 

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Benard Onyeuko who made this known while briefing the media on operations across the country noted that the objectives of Operation Stop the Thief was among others, “to secure critical maritime infrastructure, to create enabling environment for the sustenance of desired level of hydrocarbon production, safe shipping and economic activities. And to restore investor confidence in Nigeria Maritime domain, amongst others.

 

Onyeuko said, “The last few days was characterized by some operational setbacks orchestrated by terrorists and criminals in North Central. This however, has not dimmed the light on the huge gains and success achieved by own troops in other theatres of operation especially in the North East, North West and South – South.

 

“The Defence headquarters wishes to use this opportunity to assure Nigerians on the determination of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the Nigerian Police and other security agencies to deal with all terrorists and other criminal elements in the Country. The events of the last few days should not bring despair to the populace.

 

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria remain committed in its resolve to bring peace back to the country as we are stepping up our operations in all the theatres. We thank the entire members of the media community for keeping faith with us.

 

Speaking on the milestone achieved by the Nigerian Navy in the survey and charting if Nigeria’s offshore waters, the DMO said, “On 23 March 2022 the Nigerian Navy recorded a milestone in indigenous systematic survey and charting of our offshore waters. The commencement of the indigenous survey is necessary to support the Federal Government’s economic diversification initiative through maritime security, maritime trade and transport.

 

“The indigenous surveying and charting will also lead to safety on our waters and boost confidence of mariners. With this achievement Nigeria has joined the elite group of chart producing nations in the world. Hitherto Nigeria sourced its charts from Europe. Prior to this time all the navigational survey and charts was surveyed and charted by the United Kingdom Hydrographic office. Some of them were conducted as back as 1938.

 

“Furthermore, Nigerian Navy took delivery of a new Ship NNS KADA. The change of flag was carried out in UAE by the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Naval Staff. The Ship is billed to stop over in 5 ports in different for flag show before it berths in Nigeria. With the acquisition of this Landing Ship Tank (LST) it will give more impetus for aggressive combat patrol, policing and other duties in our coastal waters by the Nigerian Navy.

 

“Troops in Operation Delta Safe theatre conducted anti crude oil theft and anti-illegal oil bunkering related operations at different locations which include; Opuama Celestial, Lolomu Ruler in Warri North Local Government Area, Obodo water-ways in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. Other locations are; Egbeda, Ibaa, Oduoha, Rumekpe in Emohua Local Government Area, Elele – Owerri in Ikwere Local Government Area of River State and Brass Creek in Ozobo community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

 

“Accordingly, troops discovered and destroyed 30 illegal refining sites, 37 reservoirs, 31 ovens, 12 large wooden boats, 2 cooling systems, 3 receivers, 3 storage pits and b metal drums. Cumulatively, troops with the period under review recovered Twelve Million One Hundred and Fifty Thousand (12,150,000) liters of illegal refined AGO, Four Thousand (4,000) liters of stolen crude oil, 3 tankers, 3 vehicles, 73 galvanized pipes, 2 motorcycles, 1 bus, 1 Toyota Camry, Mercedes Benz car.

 

“Furthermore, 2 electricity cable thieves associated with vandalization and stolen of high-tension cables were apprehended. all recovered items and apprehended criminal element were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.

 

In the war against bandits/terrorists, Onyeuko said, “Within the last two weeks, troops of Operation Thunder Strike recorded some modest success as the air component on 30 March 2022 conducted air strikes upon receiving credible intelligence report about the movements of some terrorists on motorbikes towards Akilibu – Sarkin Pawa road at Mangoro village, between Kaduna and Niger State.

 

“The air component intercepted and neutralized scores of the terrorists. Accordingly, 34 terrorists were neutralized while 14 locally fabricated guns and 17 motorcycles were recovered. All recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for necessary action.

 

“Also, on 31 March 2022 a large concentration of terrorist was sighted around Kusasu after deliberate air surveillance and air interdiction was carried no fewer than 33 terrorists were neutralized according to eyewitness account.

 

“Troops in Operation Hadarin Daji intensified offensives against bandits and other criminal elements in their operational activities in location such as; Maigama, Dan Kampani, Makarari, Kirsa, Sunke, Kadabdaba, Walo, Tungar Dutse, Babban Baye and Tungar Kware villages in Anka Local Government Area, Gezanyari village in Boko district in Zumu Local Government Area of Zamfara State and Kaburu forest, lamba village in Tureta Local Government Area of Sokoto State respectively.

 

“Consequently, troops within the weeks under review neutralized 10 bandits, rescued 5 civilians, arrested 7 bandits and recovered 3 AK 47 rifles, 7 magazines, 5 MC and 8 Dane guns. All rescued civilians, apprehended bandits and items recovered have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.

In the North East, troops of Operation Hadin Kai with the support of the air component conducted offensive operations at different locations of the theatre such as: Ukuba/Camp Zairo, Sabil Huda, Ba Masaa, Wulgo, Marta,fulatari village, Uraha Crossing Point, Mbalala, Gamboru town all in Borno State.

“Notably among the exploits of own troops was the capture of the terrorist’s stronghold by Ukba/Camp Zairo in the Sambisa Forest where some artillery guns, Armored Personnel Carrier, trailers, and large cache of arms and ammunition were captured. Also, own troops destroyed terrorist enclaves, captured some terrorists, destroyed terrorists improvised explosive making factory.

 

“Furthermore, troops also rescued kidnapped civilians and arrested terrorist’s spies and their logistics suppliers. The Air Component between 28 – 31 after several days of surveillance of terrorist’s activities at Bukar Meiram and 2km South of Kollaram conducted air interdictions which took out heavy stockpile of ISWAP weapons in their depot.

 

“Cumulatively, in the last 2 weeks’ troops recovered 1 Battle Tank, 5 artillery guns, 2 GTS, 3 AA guns, 1 Mine Resistance Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, 3 gun trucks, 1 MOWAG Armored Personnel Carrier, 2 RPG tubes, 3 RPG rockets, 3 RPG bombs, 1 NSVT gun, 2 GPMG, 1 light MG, 1 PKM, 3 GPMG belts, 4 belts of PKT rounds, 600 7.62mm NATO rounds, 16 AK 47 rifles, 1 Dane gun, 270 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 1 Toyota Buffalo vehicle, 1 Golf saloon car, 4 motorcycles, 6 magazines, 2 pairs of camouflage, 2 terrorists flags, 1 tricycle and 1 active drone.

 

“Also, troops neutralized scores of terrorist arrests, 22 terrorist spies, 11 terrorists, 3 logistics suppliers, rescued 30 civilians, of significant is the surrendered of a high-profile terrorist, Commander Sale Mustapha (Ibin Kathir) to own troops in Bama. He was the Qaid of Garin Ba-Abba. While a total of 51,114 Boko Haram Terrorist and families surrendered to troops comprising of 11,398 men, 15,381 women, 24,335 children as at 5 April 2022. Accordingly, all surrendered terrorists have been documented, while arrested, rescued civilians and recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.”

 

“Operation Safe Have theatre of operation organized cultural day event as a non-kinetic measure to promote tolerance among the diverse culture and custom of the people towards harmonious co-existence with one another.

 

“The Commander Operation Safe Haven, on Saturday 26 March 2022 during the Peace and Unity Cultural Day Celebration edition held in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State and the first Peace and Unity Gwash Ball tournament held in Jos Plateau State, called on youths in Plateau and Kaduna States to distance themselves from any act capable of compromising the collective peace of the people and take the lead in development ventures of the society.

 

“In attendance were the Chairman Sanga Local Government, Tradition rulers of Ninzo, Gwantu, the paramount ruler of the Anaguta Kingdom, Director of Sport Plateau State and Igbo Community leader in Plateau State. Highlight of the events were presentation of cash, medal and trophy to winners and participants.

 

“Troops in Operation Whirl Stroke continued sustained offensive attacks on bandits and other criminal to checkmate their unlawful activities with operational patrols and clearance operations in various locations such as; Tekpese village in Ugbama Council Ward, Tyoga village in Uam Council Ward in Ukum Local Government Area, Enger, Tse Adudu, Tse Lagu, Akapata in Gbaage Tongov, Ty oughatee Ijaha, Mbapa Council Ward of Gwer West Local Government Area, Maidadura, Chembe village, Mbarav, Amoh, Kendev villages in Mbakor Council Ward in Kwande Local Government Area, Torkpande in Mbadwen Council Ward of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.

 

“Other locations include Apura village and Umaisha in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. Subsequently, troops within the week under review recovered 3 dane gun, 10 cell phones, 2 locally made pistols, 2 smoke grenades, 65 rounds of 7.62mm ammunitions, 5 motorcycles, 1 AK 47 magazine and 5 cutlasses. Troops also neutralized 3 bandits and apprehended 9 bandits. All recovered items as well as the apprehended bandits were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.”

 

END

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