The Defence Headquarters, (DHQ), today Thursday, declared that the military operation in the Northeast theatre has heavily depleted the fighting force of Boko Haram insurgents.
According to it, the Islamic States in West Africa Province (ISWAP), fighting alongside the insurgents have also received a deadly blow as a result heave artillery and mechanized operations carried out by the Nigerian military.
This, he stated,, is as result of the Nigerian military’s operations nationwide between July 29 and August 12, 2021, which “have yielded much dividends”.
“Troops killed 27, arrested 54, recovered 35 assorted arms, while 1,000 insurgents and their families also surrendered to troops at different locations”, he acknowledged.
The Director of Defence, Media Operations, (DDMO) Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, , who briefed newsmen on Thursday stated that this was the result of the intended operations conducted in the theatre of war by the headquarters of Operation Hadin Kai, which has yielded tremendous results.
Onyeuko affirmed that the results were 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, adding that the operations were also carried out at Kayamri and Mairari villages as well as Monguno and Kukawa Towns, all in Borno State.
His word, “Cumulatively, the operations led to the neutralization 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.
“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.
Against this backdrop, General Onyeuko maintained that Operation Hadin Kai was living up to its billing in the theatre.
On operation Hadarin Dani, he said, “on 31 July 2021, there were distress calls from locals, on cattle rustling and kidnapping incidents and armed bandits’ attacks on farmers, at Bagida village in Sokoto State; Shinkafi in Zamfara State and Maigora, Falale and Ungwan Dudu villages as well as Kankara – Katsina Road in Katsina State.
He added, “In all incidents, troops repelled the criminals, rescued farmers and kidnapped victims as well as recovered arms, ammunition and some livestock, while some criminal elements were arrested.
“Cumulatively, a total of 89 livestock, 5 AK-47 rifles, 3 rounds of 9mm ball and 48 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition were recovered and 4 kidnap victims rescued. Also, 2 notorious cattle rustlers named, Mallam Buda Umar from Niger Republic and Mai Hatsi Ibrahim from Gada LGA of Sokoto State as well as 4 armed bandits and drug peddlers were arrested.
“Furthermore, between 2 and 6 August 2021, the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI, carried out intensive air strikes on bandits’ hideouts at the South of Dansadau Town; North of Kwiambana Forest Reserves as well as North of Sububu Forest and Dudufi village under Faru District in Maradun LGA, all in Zamfara State.
“The air strikes resulted in the destruction of bandits’ structures including the residence of one of their leaders, Halilu Tubali, in which the armed bandits converged for a meeting. The air strikes in conjunction with ground troops’ assaults resulted in the neutralization of no fewer than 123 armed bandits and destruction of their logistics facilities in the process”.
On Operation Whirl Stroke, the General disclosed thus “on 5 nnd 8 August 2021, troop carried out raid operations and responded to distress calls at Nwokporo Agbagedo Community in Ado LGA and on bandits’ hideouts at Zaki Biam in Ukum LGA of Benue State as well as Garin Dogo village in Lau LGA and Lau – Jalingo Road, Taraba State.
“The operations led to the destruction of bandits’ hideouts, arrest of 8 armed bandits including their informants and rescue of some kidnap victims. Items recovered in the course of the operations include, 6 AK-47 rifles, one SMG, 2 pistols, 66 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition among other items.
On Operation Thunder Strike, the Defence Operations spokesman said, “the various operations conducted within the period led to the arrest of armed bandits and their collaborators in Kaduna and Niger States.
On 30 and 31 July, troops arrested one Zubairu Shehu at Toll Gate Area in Kakau village as well as one Shehu Yahaya, who runs errands for and provides logistics supplies to bandits at Sabon Gayan village in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State. Also, on 5 and 8 August, troops carried out Cordon and Search operations on a notorious bandits’ hideout at Mangoro village in Munya LGA of Niger State and Gwagwada village in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State.
“Items recovered during the operations include 2 AK-47 rifles, one Dane gun and 14 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition.
On Operation Delta Safe, he said within the period in focus, troops 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 oils as well as 2 boilers and 750 bags of illegally refined oil products.
“During the operations, own 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 secessionists activities he said, “Within the period under review, security forces ambushed and neutralized six IPOB/ESN members, who were involved in the killing of a District Police Officer (DPO) at Omuma Town in Orlu East LGA of Imo State and arrested 3.
“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 6 IPOB/ESN members were neutralized and 13 criminal elements arrested by own troops and other security forces operating in the Zone within the period.
“Troops also recovered a total of 19 AK-47 rifles, 2 single barrel Dane guns, one G3 assault rifle and 3 locally-made pistols. Other items recovered were 30 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 3 daggers, and one locally-made double barrel pistol loaded with 10 rounds of cartridges were recovered in the course of the operations”, he asserted
General Onyeuko said the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies had, and would continued to remain committed to fight all forms of criminality until sustainable peace is achieved in our dear Country.
The DDMO affirmed that the Military High Command appreciated the enormous sacrifices of the troops in the various theatres of operations across the Country, and salutes their courage, service and commitment to the nation, just as it also appreciates the general public and the press for the support, further encouraging all to continue to provide credible and timely information that would facilitate our proactive engagements in all the theatres of operation.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.