Nigerian Military eliminated 600 Boko Haram/ISWAP Terrorist & bandits in 26 Days; Says Amnesty’s Allegation on Maltreatment of Children false, ploy to scuttle purchase of military hardware for final sweeping of Boko Haram terrorists.
The Defence Headquarters disclosed on Thursday that troops of operating in various theatres across the Country, between the 6th to 28 of May 2020, killed a total of 188 Boko Haram terrorists and 392 armed bandits while a total number of 236 abducted victims were rescued.
This is just as the Military High Command has said that Amnesty International’s allegation in his report that troops fighting terrorism in the North East were maltreating children arrested in the course of the war and allowing them to be sexually abused, were a plot hatched to scuttle purchase of military hardware for final sweeping of Boko Haram terrorists.
Furthermore, the Defence headquarters dismissed as untrue, the allegation by Senator Danjuma La’ah representing Kaduna South Senatorial Constituency, early in the week whereby he said the people of Southern Kaduna are under siege of attacks and killings from herdsmen and armed bandits and that when they run to the military of help and protection, the military turns a blind eye.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche who made the disclosures at a briefing in Abuja said, “In Operation Lafiya Dole, several members of the Boko Haram Terrorists/ISWAP (BHT) fighters and senior commanders were neutralized and their logistics facilities, gun trucks and other structures destroyed as well as recovery of weapons.
“Within the period, a total of 188 BHT/ISWAP fighters were killed and several others suffered various degrees of gunshot wounds with narrow chances of survival. This is in addition to several others killed in air bombardments.
“Troops also rescued several 236 civilians – women and children, who were abducted by the terrorists. The victims have undergone medical checkups and treatments at our health facilities.
“Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have in various clearance operations neutralized 392 armed bandits and destroyed some of their dwellings and logistics warehouses within the period at Dunya, Abu Radde’s Camp and Ibrahim Mai Bai’s Camp in Jibia and Danmusa Local Government Areas of Katsina State as well as Maikomi and Kurmin Kurain Birnin Magaji and Zurmi Local Government Areas of Zamfara State.
“This is in addition to several others killed by air bombardments. Also, the air interdiction led to destruction of several logistics facilities and compounds, housing some key bandits’ leaders. Human intelligence report confirmed the casualty figures.
“In Operation Whirl Punch during the period, 19 armed bandits were killed in Benue and Taraba States. The gallant troops also carried out a raid operation on a criminal hideout off Zaki Biam and Katsina-Ala highway where a notorious armed robber Terugwa Igbagwa alias Orjondu was killed.
“Troops also recovered large cache of arms and ammunition within the period under review. The killing of Orjondu has brought a great relief to the good people of Benue State and some parts of Taraba State. He was the mastermind of various civilian deaths including kidnapping and assassinations.
“Equally, notorious militia leader Gana narrowly escaped with injuries when his hideout was raided.
On Maritime operations, Gen Enenche said, “Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder Patrol Team, on 26 May 20, conducted Anti-Crude oil theft/anti-illegal bunkering operations around Briakiri off Onne and Abise community off Abonema Akukutoru Local Government Area of Rivers state.
“During the operations, the team located 2 illegal refining sites with 4 storage tanks laden with estimated 400,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO.
“The products were impounded while two pumping machines were recovered to the base. No arrest was made as the perpetrators fled on sighting the patrol team.
“In the same vein, Nigerian Navy Ship Delta, on 25 May 20, intercepted a wooden boat and a speed boat around Ilaopashe, Bennett island and Lokpobri communities in Warri and Burutu South Local Government Areas of Delta State.
“The team located 4 illegal refining sites with 14 dug-out pits, 32 surface metal storage tanks and 43 ovens laden with about 628.98 barrels of suspected stolen crude oil as well as 72,000.00 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO.
“Likewise the team located a 3-inch pipe and associated fittings close to NPDC pipeline around Bennett Island, suspected to have been laid by crude oil thieves. Subsequently, the team disconnected the pipes and fittings.
“The storage facilities were dismantled while the speed boat was recovered to the base.
“Similarly, the Forward Operating Base IBAKA on 26 May 2020 while on routine patrol around Ewang Creek intercepted and arrested a medium size wooden boat laden with drums of products suspected to be stolen PMS with 2 suspects. Suspects and items recovered from the arrest include 49,000.00 litres of products suspected to be stolen PMS.
“The suspects are currently undergoing investigation and will soon be handed over to the relevant prosecuting agency. Furthermore, within the period under review, the Nigerian Navy in furtherance of its quest to secure our Exclusive Economic Zone, and the Gulf of Guinea rescued a Chinese fishing trawler HAILUFENG 11, rescued 18 crewed and arrested 10 sea pirates.
Reacting to Amnesty International’s report which accused the Nigerian Military of maltreating children in conflict areas, Gen Enenche asked, “Why is it that Amnesty International always comes up something like this whenever we (armed forces) are recording successes? How credible is their research findings? Which persons or people are they using, Are they genuine, why don’t they come to us?
He continued, “We are at the stage of the war against terrorism where we have flattened the curve and we are about defeating BHT/ISWAP. We have placed request for equipment and weaponry for sweeping the remnants of these terrorists. Both within and outside the country, our military is being commended for the feat we are achieving.
“Why this Amnesty report now. They are doing this to scuttle this final phase of the war. This is why questions are being asked as to who really are Boko Haram sponsors. Are these people collaborators? Who is paying them for what they are doing? Are they double agents?
“Let me say categorically that all the allegations are lies. None is the truth. To say we (military) are torturing children and maltreating them is not true. We follow and obey international conventions and protocols on children and we are a professional military.
Regarding Senator La’ah’s allegation, the Coordinator said, “The military has never turned a blind eye to people in distress because as security outfit, our job is to prevent crisis and ensure peace. We get situation reports every day and nothing like this was reported anywhere.
“My advice is that we, all stakeholders, the civil populace should cooperate and give timely information to the security agencies. If they see strange people in their areas, moving about and behaving suspiciously, security agencies should be alerted on time.
“If this is done, we will stop the attacks. Again, whenever there are misunderstandings between farmers and herdsmen, over issues of land ownership, grazing land and killing of cattle, security agencies should be informed rather than resorting to retaliation and the situation getting out of hand.
Speaking on apprehension of Nigerians over niter state movement of armed bandits as a result of military bombardments of their camps, Enenche said, “There are worries from some quarters in the North West and North Central parts of the Country that armed bandits could escape from states where the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies are conducting various operations at the moment, to other states.
“In this regard, the High Command of the Nigerian Military hereby assures all concerned that proactive measures are in place to handle such occurrences.
“To address this specifically, all current operations are in synergy with the ongoing operations in the North West to tackle interstate movement of armed bandits and other criminals within the North West and North Central zones.
“In addition, air assets have been deployed to cover Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi states.
“I am to affirm that, the Armed Forces of Nigeria is totally committed to tackling all the security challenges in the country until normalcy is restored.
“Hence, the public is requested to continue to provide credible information to the Nigerian Military.”
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