Banditry: Nigerian military neutralize scores of bandits in coordinated air strikes in Northwest Nigeria

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Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko,

The Armed Forces of Nigeria says it has neutralized scores of bandits and other criminal elements terrorizing the northwest of Nigeria through coordinated air strikes and land attacks particularly in the Northwest region of the country with attendant successes.

Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko while briefing the media on activities of the military across the country in the last two weeks said, the operations involved both kinetic and non-kinetic engagements in different locations within the various theatres, which yielded substantive results. While the security situation in some locations remained peaceful and calm, some other areas recorded some incidents within the period.

General Onyeuko noted that there is relative reduction in the spate of incidents in the various theatres of operations. However, in the course of these operations, some troops paid the supreme price and some others sustained varying degrees of injuries.

He assured that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies will continue to forestall the activities of the enemies of the Country.

“Thus we have intensified our aggressive posture to reduce the activities of criminal elements. We have also intensified intelligence surveillance reconnaissance operations in all theatres of operations and main criminals’ logistics supply routes to frustrate movement of arms and ammunition as well as other unlawful items to criminal elements using various NAF platforms.

“The NAF also dominated the airspace within all theatres and provided close air support for ground troops during their operations.”

The full text of the briefing reads below;

  1. Gentlemen of the press, you are welcome to today’s operational brief. You are aware of our operational activities in the various geo-political zones of the Country. Therefore, it is imperative to update you and the general public on the efforts and operational activities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies tackling insecurity in our dear Country. Thus, the update today is a cumulative and summarized presentation of the activities of the Armed Forces in all its operations across the Country between 2 and 15 July 2021. These operations involved both kinetic and non-kinetic engagements in different locations within the various theatres, which yielded substantive results. While the security situation in some locations remained peaceful and calm, some other areas recorded some incidents within the period.

OPERATION HADARIN DAJI

  1. Troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI sustained the onslaught against armed bandits and other criminal elements in the North West Zone of the Country. Land and Air operations were conducted simultaneously at different locations in Zamfara, Katsina, Niger and Kaduna States within the period. These include ambush operations against armed bandits’ at Galadi village in Zamfara State as well as stop and search operations along Isa – Shinkafi Road in Zamfara State; Sheme – Ruwan Godiya Road and Gurbin Baure, border between Katsina and Zamfara States. Also, troops responded to distress call of bandits’ attack at Sabon Garin Yankara, in which troops swiftly mobilized to the location and repelled the attack. Additionally, troops conducted clearance and cordon and search operations at Chabi village under Marabu District in Maru LGA of Zamfara State as well as at Jarkuka Yangayya, Mazaya and Buku villages in Jibia LGA of Katsina State. Troops also within the period conducted rescue operations at Mararaba Maigora village in Katsina State and Dogon Hako village in Kaduna State. In each encounter, troops engaged and subdued the criminals. And recovered several livestock as well as arms and ammunition, including AK-47 rifles, locally made pistols, dane guns and several rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.
  2. On 12 July 2021 base on credible and timely on the massing up of bandits around SUBUBU Forest possibly in preparation for an attack. The Air Component of Op Hadarin Daji dispatched its NAF Platforms and engaged the bandits in a precision bombardment. Several armed bandits, motorcycles, camps and other equipment were destroyed. This dealt a serious setback to their criminal activities in the area. The Air Component of the operation has continued to dominate the airspace with reconnaissance and in support of ground troops.
  3. Generally, the security situation in some locations within Operation HADARIN DAJI theatre is considerably calm which is evident as locals were seen carrying out their daily activities peacefully. To this end, residents of Magami District in Gusau LGA of Zamfara State held a peaceful rally in appreciation of military operations that have ensured relative peace in their environment on 3 July 2021. The rally, according to the residents, was as a result of the locals been able to access their farmlands without harassments or attacks by bandits.

OPERATION HADIN KAI

  1. Between 2 and 15 July 2021, troops of Operation HADIN KAI intensified the onslaught on BHT/ISWAP terrorists within the theatre. Within the period, several operations were conducted, which degraded the operational capabilities of the BHT/ISWAP criminal elements and denied them freedom of action in the North East Zone. These operations considerable successes. While on clearance and fighting patrols, troops contacted and engaged some BHT criminal elements with superior firepower and subdued them at Daushe Village along Ngoshe – Ashigashiya Road as well as Yarchida and Wurrajabbe general areas. In same vein troops repelled BHT/ISWAP attack on security operatives between Jakana and Auno and forced the terrorists to flee in disarray.  During the encounters, scores of the terrorists were neutralized and large caches of arms and ammunition, including AK-47 rifles, RPG guns and bags of assorted rounds of ammunition as well as other equipment, gun trucks and vehicles were recovered. In other developments, troops while on stop and search operations at Damasak, Muna Guarage Check Point and Kukawa Towns in Borno State as well as Bultimari forest in Yobe State, intercepted and arrested several terrorists and their logistics vehicles loaded with large quantities of assorted supplies. Additionally, within the period, several of the BHT/ISWAP’s wives and children surrendered to own troops at Banki LGA following the heavy operational activities of the troops within the Operation HADIN KAI theatre.
  2. On 2 July 2021 some elements of BHT/ISWAP terrorist crossing Damaturu – Maiduguri road in 3 Gun trucks attacked innocent civilians along their path. After receiving a distress call on the incident a NAF Mi-35 helicopter was despatched to the location and engaged terrorists. The 3 Gun trucks were destroyed with most of its occupants, other fleeing terrorists were neutralized by the ground troops during mop-up operation and recovered some weapons as well.

OPERATION SAFE HAVEN

  1. Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN within the period executed several concurrent kinetic and non-kinetic operations in Plateau and Kaduna States. These include response to distress calls on farmers/herders clashes at Maraban Dare and Gero Villages in Jos South LGA; Babuje and Shen Villages in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State as well as Zaman-Dabo and Zonzon Districts in Zangon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State. During the encounters, troops successfully ensured amicable settlements between farmers and herders as well as stopped herders from grazing and destroying farmlands at different locations. Also within the period, troops carried out raid operations on drug peddlers’ and cultists’ hideouts at Forbur Village in Jos East LGA and Shen Village in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State. Several of the drug peddlers and cultists terrorizing the areas were arrested along with large quantities of cannabis sativa and other illicit drugs. Similarly, during a stop and search operation conducted along Gidan Ado – Vom Road in Riyom LGA of Plateau State, troops intercepted some criminals and recovered some sacks containing unfinished locally fabricated revolvers and other brands of pistols as well as a filing machine within the period.
  2. On the non-kinetic aspect, troops simultaneously held peace and security meetings with community heads, youth leaders and other critical stakeholders in different locations, aimed at tackling the security challenges in the general areas. The meetings were held at Lamingo Area Council in Barkin Ladi LGA; Headquarters Jos South LGA and in the Hakimi Palace at Langai, Mangu LGA, all in Plateau State. Others were at the Headquarters Sect 5 in Bokkos LGA; Jos South Local Government Council Secretariat at Bukuru in Riyom Local Government Council Secretariat and the Emir Palace in Wase LGA, Plateau State.

OPERATION WHIRL STROKE

  1. The operational engagements of troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE within same period undertook kinetic and non-kinetic operations, which were simultaneously conducted in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States. Troops on 2 and 3 July responded to distress calls on kidnapping and armed robbery incidents along Kente – Chinkai Road in Wukari LGA of Taraba State and along Katsina-Ala – Tukum Road, some perpetrated by the Azonto’s militia group. Several of the victims were rescued, while some of the kidnappers, including an armed robbers’ informant were arrested during the encounters.
  2. Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE also carried out non-kinetic engagements in form of security and peace meetings with critical stakeholders at Lufu Joro Community Primary School, Tukum and Udege Development Area in Nasarawa LGA, and youths of both the Tivs of Katsina-Ala LGA and Fulanis of Takum LGA of Benue and Taraba States.

OPERATION WHIRL PUNCH/THUNDER STRIKE

  1. Troops of Operation WHIRL PUNCH/THUNDER STRIKE have continued to sustain their operational tempo in the North West Zone of the Country. Between 2 and 14 July 2021, troops while on stop and search operation at Barde check point between Jama’a LGA and Wasa in Sanga LGA of Kaduna State intercepted a trailer loaded with railway clips and tracks vandalized from Wasa Village in Sanga LGA. Troops apprehended Abdullahi Bello, Ibrahim Jafar and Mohammed Yakubu in the process and handed them over to appropriate prosecuting agency for further necessary action. In another development, a raid operation was conducted along Jiginda Kyayya – Fanock Bedde Road in Jama’a LGA of Kaduna State following a distress call on kidnap incident. Several of the kidnapped victims were rescued. Similarly, troops responded to a distress call and repelled armed bandits’ attack at Kakau in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State and rescued some victims. These operations successfully rescued some kidnapped victims, arrested some armed bandits and other criminal elements during the period under review.

OPERATION DELTA SAFE

  1. Between 1 and 14 July 2021, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE executed several operations against economic saboteurs and other criminal elements within the theatre of operations. Series of anti-crude oil theft, anti-illegal bunkering and anti-illegal oil refining as well as anti-smuggling and anti-militancy operations were conducted, at Egelebie – Jumbo Area in Rivers State, where an illegal refining site was deactivated and several metal storage tanks laden with large quantities of stolen crude oil were recovered. Also at Port Harcourt Tourists’ Beach, Borokiri in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where troops intercepted and arrested some smugglers along with several trucks, hoses and pumps used in moving illegally refined oil products. Similarly, troops recovered large quantity of illegally refined DPK products in a compound at Macoba area in Rivers State.
  2. In same vein, troops identified a breach point on trunk-lines and stopped ongoing oil siphoning at Kampala Town in Nembe LGA of Rivers State. Additionally, troops located and deactivated an illegal oil refining site with some ovens and metal storage tanks laden with large quantities of stolen crude oil as well as some pumping machines at Okrika Town in Okrika LGA of Rivers State.

OPERATION AWATSE

  1. Troops of Operation AWATSE within the period in focus sustained their operational engagements on anti-crude oil theft, anti-illegal refining and anti-smuggling operations as well as conducted clearance and stop and search operations within the South West Zone. These operations were conducted at Tomaron Community at Corner Loss Axis in the Atlas Cove NNPC Terminal, Lagos State. During the operations, troops arrested some illegal oil bunkerers and recovered large quantities of 50 liters jerry cans filled with PMS siphoned from the NNPC pipeline. Additionally, troops while on patrol within the period discovered and impounded large quantities of PMS and other petroleum products in sacks as well as   in 50 liters jerry cans at Ogogoro Village and Ashipa Beach along Badagry – Seme Shoreline in Badagry West LGA of Lagos State as well as at Igbokoda area in Ondo State.
  2. Gentlemen of the press, gleaning from the updates from the various theatres of operations as I have highlighted, there is no gain saying there is relative reduction in the spate of incidents in the various theatres of operations. However, in the course of these operations, some of our troops paid the supreme price and some others sustained varying degrees of injuries. The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies will continue to forestall the activities of the enemies of our dear Country. Thus we have intensified our aggressive posture to reduce the activities of criminal elements. We have also intensified intelligence surveillance reconnaissance operations in all theatres of operations and main criminals’ logistics supply routes to frustrate movement of arms and ammunition as well as other unlawful items to criminal elements using various NAF platforms. The NAF also dominated the airspace within all theatres and provided close air support for ground troops during their operations.
  3. The Military High Command lauds the efforts of the troops for their resilience and unrelenting commitment and further encourages the general public to support our efforts by providing credible and timely information that will facilitate our proactive engagements.
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