DHQ: Boko Haram, ISWAP Fighters Depleted Vows to contain security challenges – THISDAY Newspapers
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said yesterday that fighters of terror groups, Boko Haram and the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) were depleted following intensified kinetic operations launched by the military.
It said the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) was committed to containing security challenges in the country.
Speaking in the same vein in Kaduna, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Faruk Yahaya, charged General Officers Commanding (GOCs) and brigade commanders to end terrorism and armed banditary.
He said the Nigerian Army was being repositioned to defeat adversaries threatening the nation’s security. The military high command made the declarations as troops killed 27 Insurgents, arrested 51 while 1000 surrendered to troops in the past two weeks even as it recovered a cache of arms.
At a media briefing in Abuja, the Acting Director Defence Media Operations (DDMO), Brigadier-General Bernard Onyeuko, said the armed forces remained committed to fight criminalities until peace is restored in Nigeria.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have and will continued to remain committed to fight all forms of criminality until sustainable peace is achieved in our dear country.
He said various kinetic operations were carried out to deny terrorists, armed bandits and other criminal elements freedom of action as well as frustrate movement of arms and other illegal items in all theatres of operations leading to the depletion of their fighting force.
He said between July 29 and August 12, Operation Hadin Kai intensified counter-insurgency operations in
the North-east which culminated in the surrender of 1000 insurgents and their families
“The intensity of these operations has yielded tremendous results as evidenced in the number of casualties and massive surrender of terrorists in Buni Yari, Gorgore, Baga and Monguno Towns as well as Maiduguri – Baga Road, Maiduguri – Damboa Road and Bula Yobe – Darel Jamel Road. “Operations were also carried out at Kayamri and Mairari villages as well as Monguno and Kukawa Towns, all in Borno State. Cumulatively, the operations led to the neutralisation of 27 BHT/ISWAP fighters, arrest of 51 BHT/ISWAP terrorists, three terrorists’ collaborators as well as recovery of 35 assorted arms and 1,051 round of ammunition including AK-47 and FN rifles, Dushka anti-aircraft guns, GPMG, PKT guns, 60mm mortar tubes, Makarov pistol and other machine guns, amongst other items”, he said.
The Director of the DDMO stated that “in addition, 29 abducted civilians were rescued within the period under review. Gentlemen no fewer than 1,000 terrorists and their families comprising adult females and children surrendered to own troops at different locations in the North-east.
“Notable among them are the notorious BHT bomb expert named, Musa Adamu aka Mala Musa Abuja and his deputy, Usman Adamu aka Abu Darda. This has in no small measure depleted the BHT fighting force”.
Speaking on Operation Delta Safe in the Niger Delta region, Brigadier-General Onyeuko affirmed that within the period in focus, troops of Operation Delta Safe conducted series of anti-illegal oil operations in the South-South zone of the country.
“These operations were conducted at Orutoru area in Bayelsa State; Olutoro and Adamakiri villages in Bonny LGA, Udeyeada Community in Andoni LGA of Rivers State and Opuebubor Creek in Warri South LGA of Delta State. “These led to the discovery and deactivation of several illegal refining sites with a total of 21 ovens, 12 dugout pits and 58 metal storage tanks laden with a total of 2.329 million litres of illegally refined AGO and 2.19 million litres of stolen crude oil as well as two boilers and 750 bags of illegally refined oil products.
“During the operations, troops also recovered one speed boat, one AK-47 rifle, one FN rifle, 3 smoke gun rifles, 12 fabricated RPGs, 263 live cartridges, 20 rounds of 7.62mm NATO and 7.62mm special ammunition among other items.
On the South-east, he said within the period under review, security forces ambushed and neutralised six IPOB/ESN members, who were involved in the killing of a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at Omuma Town in Orlu East LGA of Imo State.
“Furthermore, security forces following intelligence report arrested one notorious IPOB/ESN member named Obumneke Gabriel at Umueli Amaraku Town in Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo State. The criminal was in possession of arms and ammunition during the arrest. Relatedly, troops raided IPOB/ESN members’ hideout at Amaechi Idodo community in Nkanu LGA of Enugu State and Nguzu Edda in Afikpo South LGA of Ebonyi State. During the operations one ESN commander was neutralized and another apprehended. “Cumulatively, a total of six IPOB/ESN members were neutralised and 13 criminal elements arrested by own troops and other security forces operating in the Zone within the period”, he said while eating that troops also recovered a total of 19 AK-47 rifles, two single barrel dane guns, one G3 assault rifle and three locally-made pistols. Other items recovered were 30 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, three daggers, and one locally-made double barrel pistol loaded with 10 rounds of cartridges were recovered in the course of the operations.
“The military high command appreciates the enormous sacrifices of the troops in the various theatres of operations across the country.
“It salutes their courage, service and commitment to the nation. We appreciate the general public and the press for the support and you are further encouraged to continue to provide credible and timely information that will facilitate our proactive engagements in all the theatres of operation”, it said.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Faruk Yahaya, charged General Officers Commanding (GOCs) and brigade commanders to end terrorism and armed banditary.
He said the Nigerian Army was being repositioned to defeat adversaries threatening the nation’s security.
An army statement said the military chief “charged the GOCs and brigade commanders to devise multidimensional, multidisciplinary and multifaceted approaches to defeat all adversaries and challenges”.
Yahaya affirmed that despite contemporary security challenges, the Nigerian Army under his leadership, was being repositioned to conduct its operations efficiently.
He said this had become imperative in order to defeat the myriad of adversaries behind threats to internal security of the country.
He spoke during the second Senior Command and Leadership Seminar held at the 1 Division Auditorium, Kaduna.
The seminar was targeted at incumbent and potential GOCs and brigade commanders.
According to the COAS, the Army would be better positioned under the current leadership through effective training and re-training.
He stated that training will improve the capacity of the Army to checkmate security challenges currently bedeviling the country.
He also assured that mechanisms were already in motion to reinvigorate training and to effectively plan and conduct operations, drawing lessons from previous operations.
Addressing participants at the seminar, the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj Gen Kabiru Mukhtar, noted that the seminar was a clear indication of the premium the Chief of Army Staff places on quality leadership in the Nigerian Army.
He stressed that contemporary threats and operating environment demand innovative leadership and competence from commanders.
He further declared that operations under the division yielded remarkable successes leading to a marked decline in security incidents in the Division’s Area of Responsibility.
He attributed the achievements to the concerted effort of troops of the division and sister security agencies, under the guidance of the Chief of Army Staff.
Present at the event were General Martin Luther Agwai (Rtd) former Chief of Defence Staff, who delivered the keynote address, Maj Gen Chris Olukolade,former Director Defence Information, Maj Gen Lawrence Ngubane former Chief of Operations, as well as principal staff officers from the Army Headquarters, corps commanders, commanders of military Institutions, formations and other security agencies.