By JOHN NWOKOCHA, Abuja
The Nigerian Defence authorities have said troops of Guards Brigade have arrested 11 illegal miners in the Gwagwalada area of the nation’s Federal Capital territory. The troops which raided the illegal mining sites at Wuna and Tsauni general area in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory also arrested 15 suspected criminals. Similarly, the troops neutralized over 34 terrorists in the North East zone of the country, while more than 250 terrorists and criminal elements surrendered to fire power of the troops within two weeks. By the same token, troops destroyed illegal refineries in the South-South zone of the country. These were made known on Thursday during the biweekly briefing on troops’ activities and operational successes recorded in the various operational theaters within the six geo-political zones of the country.
The director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Danmadami stated that the successes were made possible by both kinetic and non-kinetic operations. He said the successes are significant in the past two weeks.
“Notable, on 4 November 2022 troops of Guards Brigade raided illegal mining sites at Wuna and Tsauni general area in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory and arrested 11 illegal miners with several mining equipment at Wuna as well as 15 suspected criminals at Tsauni mining general area”, Danmadami said.
He also said the military high command commended the troops’ efforts in the various theatres of operation across the nation and the public for the support given to the Armed Forces and other security agencies in the conduct of our operations.
The public is however urged to continue to provide prompt and creditable information on the activities of terrorists and other criminal elements, in their areas.
Danmadami gave the breakdown of the feats as follows:
NORTH EAST ZONE
Military operations in the North East Zone have been aggressively sustained against the activities of terrorist elements’ within the zone aimed at restoring peace, security and creating an enabling environment for law and order to thrive. Accordingly, troops of operation HADIN KAI conducted operational activities in villages and communities within and around Kaga, Damboa, Bama, Ngazai and Gwoza Local Government Areas of Borno State, which resulted in significant achievement. Notable, Between 4 and 15 November 2022, troops ambushed Boko Haram Terrorists along road Darel Jamel-Kirawa and Awulari village in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State. During the encounter, troops neutralized 5 of the terrorists while others fled with gun shot wounds. Troops further exploited the area and recovered 3 AK47 rifles, 15 rounds of 7.62mm special, 2 hand grenades, 2 fabricated 7.62mm special, 25 empty cases of 7.62mm special, 10 livestock, 9 bicycles as well as rescued 6 civilians earlier abducted by the terrorists.
In another development, troops in conjunction with Civilian Joint Task Force conducted artillery fire bombardment as well as clearance operations of Mulimari village in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State on 8 November 2022, following intelligence on the convergence of Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists at the location, troops engaged the terrorists who fled the area. Troops exploited the area and recovered 3 AK47 rifles, 8 bicycles among other items. Also, on 3 November 2022, troops arrest a notorious Boko Haram Terrorist logistic supplier who has been on troops watch list at his residence in Damboa Town Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State. Equally, on 7 November 2022, troops arrested a Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists collaborator in Kwaya Kusar Local Government Area of Borno State, with the sum of Eight Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Ten Naira (N8,259,510.00) only in his possession. Troops equally, arrested 8 other Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province logistics supplier at different locations within the theatre with items which includes; 61 jerricans of 30 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, various food items and medical supplies as well as other sundry items. Similarly, troops arrested a suspected Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province collaborator at Maire in Geidam Local Government Area of Yobe State with the sum of N5,000,000.00 in his possession.
Also, on 8 November 2022, troops arrested a Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorist with his family members while on transit along Gubio Damasak in Gubio Local Government Area of Borno State. Items recovered from the terrorist include 20 cartons of noodles, 3 bags of beans, 21 bags of groundnut, 3 carton of maggi cubes and a bag of sugar. Other items recovered include, 4 bags containing clothes, mobile phones and the sum of Five Hundred and Fifty Seven Thousand Six Hundred Naira (N557,600.00) only. In the same vein troops also rescued 29 family members of the Boko Haram Terrorists at Dissa village in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State. The rescued family members comprises of 2 adult male, 15 adult females and 12 children.
Consequently, within the weeks in focus, troops recovered 8 AK47 rifles, 5 hand grenades, 50 rounds of 7.62mm special, 19 motorcycles, 16 bicycles, 1 vehicle, 8 mobile phones, 89 rustled cattle, the sum of Thirteen Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty Three Thousand Two Hundred Thirty Naira (N13,863,230.00) and 71 jerrycans of 30 litres of Premium Motor Spirit. Troops also neutralized 13 terrorists, arrested 10 and rescued 41 civilians while a total of 250 Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province members and their families comprises of 43 adult males, 80 adult females and 121 children surrendered to the troops at different locations within the theatre. All recovered items, arrested Boko Harm Terrorists were handed over to the appropriate authority for further action while the surrendered terrorists with their family members and rescued civilians are being profiled for further action.
Equally, the land and air component of Operation SAFE HAVEN in a coordinated operation conducted clearance operation at an identified bandits camps in Magama and Dajin Mada forest near Mansur village in Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State on 4 November 2022. During the operation 3 suspected bandits were neutralized while others escaped with injuries. Also, the bandits camps were destroyed and over 200 rustled cattle were recovered during the operation.
Furthermore, the air component of Operation HADIN KAI have continued with series of air strikes to clear the remnants of terrorists and insurgent as well as denying them freedom of movement within the North East region. Accordingly, between 4 and 5 November 2022, the air component conducted air interdiction operation at Belowa and Ngwuri Gana in Abadan and Bama Local Government Areas of Borno State respectively. Precisely, on 5 November 2022, an air interdiction operation was conducted at Belowa in Abadan Local Government Area of Borno State, following intelligence on the convergence of some Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province leaders and their fighters from surrounding area for a meeting on a planned attacks on a likely location within the general area. Consequently, the location was bombarded; after which 2 vehicles observed to be conveying about 13 injured terrorists that survived the initial strike to another hideout were equally struck, neutralizing the terrorists. Feedback after the strikes revealed that Mallam Ali Kwaya, who is a key member of the Islamic State of West Africa Province Shura Council and Mallam Bukar Mainoka were among those neutralized in the strikes.
Similar, air interdiction was carried out same day at Ngwuri Gana in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State, based on intelligence of the convergence of a large group of Islamic State of West Africa Province insurgents in 15 trucks who were armed with assorted weapons, arriving from different locations within Bama Local Government Area of Borno State, to attack an unspecified location within the general area, accordingly the location was bombarded. Feedback revealed that scored of the terrorists were neutralized, and all their structures and vehicles engulfed in fire
NORTH CENTRAL ZONE
Troops in the North Central theatre of operation have sustained offensive action against terrorists and criminal elements with the aim of bringing lasting peace and creating an enabling environment for law and order to thrive in the zone. Notable, on 4 November 2022 troops of Guards Brigade raided illegal mining sites at Wuna and Tsauni general area in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory and arrested 11 illegal miners with several mining equipment at Wuna as well as 15 suspected criminals at Tsauni mining general area. Also, troops of Operation WHIRL PUNCH, engaged terrorists in a fire fight at Garum village in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State and recovered 88 cattle and 6 motorcycles. Also on 9 Nov 22, Guard Bde troops apprenhended 3 suspected criminals along road Andaha-Jos in Akanga LGA of Nasarawa State. Troops recovered 3 locally fabricated weapons, 12 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunitions and 2 AK 47 magazines. All recovered items, arrested criminals have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action.
NORTH WEST ZONE
Troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI in the North West Zone of the Country have continued to sustained and dominate the general area of operation to deny terrorists and other criminal element freedom of action aimed at creating an enabling environment for lasting peace in the zone. Accordingly, troops conducted operational activities at different locations within Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna and Katsina States. Precisely, on 9 November 2022, the special intelligent operation troops tracked and apprehended 2 suspected gun runner at Kude town in Chikun Local Government Area with 400 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition in a truck and the sum of One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00). Also, troops at airport roundabout in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State apprehended a suspected terrorists logistic supplier with the sum of One Million Five Hundred and Eighty Nine Thousand Naira (N1,589,000.00) with list of items meant to be purchased in his possession. Consequently, between 4 to 17 November 2022, troops within the North East Zone, neutralized 16 terrorists, recovered 13 AK47 rifles, 107 rounds of 7.62mm special, 5 hand grenade, 75 motorcycles, and 150 rustled cattle among other items, while 19 civilians were also rescued. All recovered items and rescued civilians have been handed over to the relevant authority for necessary actions.
In a related development, the air component of Operation HADARIN DAJI conducted air interdiction operation on 14 November 2022 at a notorious terrorists kingpin, Alhaji Ganai enclave at Kidandan forest in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Following intelligence report on the activities of Alhaji Ganai and member of his terrorist gang within the general area of operation. Subsequently, the location was engaged and bombarded. The aftermath of the strike revealed that many terrorists were neutralized including Yellow Kano and 7 other notorious terrorists.
SOUTH SOUTH ZONE
Troops of the Joint Task force Operation DELTA SAFE and other security agencies in the South South Zone of the Country have continued to sustain offensive action against oil theft, economic saboteurs and other criminal element in ensuring a relatively safe and peaceful environment for the operations of International Oil Companies (IOCs) and the protection of oil and gas infrastructures in the general area, which has yielded some significant successes. Between 3 and 17 November 2022, the land and maritime component of operation DELTA SAFE conducted kinetic operations geared toward denying criminal elements freedom of action at creeks, villages, communities, waterways, cities and towns within Delta, Bayelsa, and Rivers States with the support of the air component. Cumulatively, within the weeks in review troops of Operation DELTA SAFE in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP discovered and destroyed 44 illegal refining sites, 32 wooden boats, 73 storage tanks, 129 cooking ovens and 40 dugout pits. Troops equally recovered 512,000 litres of stolen crude oil, 114,500 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, 1,000 Premium Motor Spirit, 40 vehicles, 3 motorcycles, 3 generators as well as 5 pumping machines. Troops also arrested 29 criminal elements and recovered 104 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.
Also, the air component of Operation DELTA SAFE conducted series of air mission operation within the joint operation area of the zone. Notably, on 7 November 2022, the air component conducted air interdiction operation at Abacheke, an identified illegal refining site where significant human activities were confirmed. Consequently, the target was engaged and destroyed. The air strike led to an inferno that lasted for almost 24hrs.
SOUTH EAST ZONE
The operational activities of own troops in conjunction with other security agencies to curb the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminal and to restore law and order in the South East Zone has been sustained. Troops conducted operational activities in villages, forest and communities of identified enclaves and hideouts of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals in Abia, Anambra, Enugu and Imo States respectively. Notably, on 3 November 2022, troops responded to human intelligence on an abduction incident along Road Okwun-Ebem Ohafia in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State. Consequently, acting on credible intelligence report troops embarked on a search and rescue operation at the Amangu village forest having confirmed same as Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network enclave where the abductee was suspected to have been held hostage. During the search and rescue operations, contact was made resulting in exchange of fire, troops neutralized 2 criminals while other fled. Troops exploited the area and recovered 2 dane guns. Equally, troops raided another Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network hideout at Amangu community in the same Local Government Area, during the fire fight, troops neutralized 2 criminal while others fled. Following the operation 3 AK47 rifles, 4 pump action guns, 2 locally made pistols, 1 sniper rifle, 10 rounds of 7.62mm special, 15 round of 7.62mm NATO, 6 AK47 magazines, 4 pairs of combat boots, 2 pairs of camouflage uniforms, 2 camouflage jungle hats, 2 CCTV cameras, I transistor radio and a solar panel were recovered. Other item recovered include 2 walkie talkies, 1 INEC image capturing machine, 1 INEC box, and 2 motorcycles among other items.
Similarly, on 4 November 2022, troops on fighting patrol came in contact with the Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals at Okon-Aku community in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State. During the encounter troops neutralized 3 criminals while others fled. Troops also recovered 3 pump action guns, 2 locally made pistols, 8 rounds of 9mm ammunition and 4 cartridges among other items. Furthermore, on 12 November 2022, troops at Isuofia in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State came in contact with the Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals, troops engaged the terrorists in a fire fight and in the process 5 of the terrorists were neutralized and a Toyota Venza was recovered with a boafeng radio and 1 handset. Consequently, within the week in focus, troops neutralized 13 Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals, arrested 6 including their herbalist, troops equally recovered 8 AK47 rifles, 7 pump action guns, 3 locally made pistols, 1 sniper rifle, 15 rounds of 7.62mm special, 13 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 8 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 5 cartridges, 3 pairs of combat boots, 2 pairs of camouflage uniforms and 2 camouflage jungle hats. Other items recovered include; 2 CCTV cameras, 1 INEC image capturing machine, 1 INEC box, 2 walkie talkies, transistor radio, 3 solar panels, motorcycles, vehicles among other items. All apprehended criminals and recovered items were handed over to the appropriate authority for further action.
SOUTH WEST ZONE
Troops in the South West Zone of the Country have recorded appreciable feats in these operation to curb illegal activities of smugglers of contraband goods in border area. Accordingly, between 4 – 17 November 2022, troops of operation AWATSE in the conduct of operation SWIFT RESPONSE conducted joint border patrol at the waterside and villages of Oke Odan, Ilaje Ketu, Olokuta, Oke-Agbede, Okeita, Ijebu Itele in Ogun State and Iyaafin, Gbaji Izube waterside in Badagry, Lagos State. During the operation troops recovered 865 bags of 50kg foreign rice, and 505 x 30 litres jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit. All recovered items were handed over to the Nigerian Custom Services in Ogun and Lagos State for further action.