By Lawrence Audu
Not less than 13,243 terrorists, their families and collaborators have surrendered to troops while over 74 terrorists have been killed in various locations of the Northeast theatre of operations following aggressive campaigns by troops in the area.
Acting Director, Defence Media Operations Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko stated this Thursday while briefing news men onthe operational activities of the military. General Onyeuko noted that the operational activities of troops across the Country in the past two weeks yielded attendant results, while several necessary efforts are being put in place as proactive measures to ensure impending security threats are fore stalled across the Country.
“Consequently, more terrorists have continued to lay down their arms and surrender to own troops with their families as they could no longer withstand the offensive operations within the theatre. Some of these feats were recorded at; Gwoza – Yamtake – Bita road;Gwoza – Farm Centre – Yamtake road; Mandara Mountain area as well as Pulka and Hambagda towns; all in Borno State.
Cumulatively, within the period a total of 29 terrorists were neutralized and 13 terrorists including their informants/collaborators and logistics suppliers were arrested in the course of the operations. “Additionally, a total of 38 assorted weapons and 968 rounds of assorted ammunition as well as 48 rustled livestock among several other items were recovered. So far, a total of 13,243 terrorists and their families comprising 3,243 adult males, 3,868 adult females and 6,234children, have surrendered to own troops at different locations in the NorthEast.
“Further, the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI has sustained its offensive air operations against banditry and other criminal elements in the North West Zone. Within the period in focus, using aforce package of NAF platforms, multiple air strikes were executed on bandits’enclaves in successive passes in different locations. One of which was at the Kwaga forest within Birni Gwari general area in Kaduna State. In the course of the operation, no fewer than 40 armed bandits were neutralized and several structures which served as their logistics bases were destroyed.
“In the same vein, several of armedbandits were neutralized and their hideouts destroyed during air interdiction missions executed at some other locations. These include; Meshema, Yanfako, Gebe and Gatawa forests in Isaa and Sabon Birni LGAs of Sokoto State as well as Ranch 10 in the Rugu forest area at the border of Kankara. The success of theair interdictions was confirmed by battle damage assessment carried out on these locations.” He added.
In the Niger-Delta region, General Onyeuko said troops discovered and deactivatedillegal oil refining/bunkering sites; impounded vessels as well as other equipment and items used for illegal bunkering activities and in some occasions arrested criminal elements. He noted that Significant results were recorded at different villages in Nembe and Ekeremor LGAs of Bayelsa State as well as Oron River and Calabar Metropolis in Cross River State.
“Also some incidents were recorded around some beaches in Akwa-Ibom State; some villages in Ohaji/Ogbema LGA of Imo State and Ukwa West LGA of Abia State. Similarly, attendant successes were recorded in some communities and areas in Degema LGA, PortHarcourt City and environs; Akuku-Toru LGA and Bonny LGA of Rivers State. Further more in Delta State, substantial results were recorded in Warri South, Warri SouthWest and Ethiop North LGAs.
“In the course of the operations, troops discovered and deactivated a total of 51 illegal refining sites. The sites cumulatively had a total of 76 ovens, 52 cooking pots/boilers, 22 cooling systems, 102 reservoirs, 16 large dugout pitsand 513 storage tanks as well as drums and sacks laden with illegally refined oil products.
Additionally,23 criminal elements were arrested and 73 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 5 cartridges, 2 AK-47 rifles, one double-barrel gun, one pump action gun and 3locally-made pistols among other items were recovered in the course of the operations in the Zone. Consequently, a total of 317,450 litres of illegally refined AGO, 8,000 litres of DPK and 159,000 litres of stolen crude were recovered in the course of the operations.” He added.
General Onyeuko assured that the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies will continue to sustain the operational tempo in their land, maritime and air operations across the various theatres of operation in the Country.