– Neutralise insurgents in Northeast
By Lawrence Audu
The Nigerian Army has assured that its troops will continue in their relentless efforts at combatting the threats of criminal insurgency and terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping, herdsmen-farmers clashes, cultism and communal crises, amongst others as the year draws to a close.
In a statement, Media Coordinator of the Nigerian Army Operations Centre Col Aminu Iliyasu, said the Army has stepped up its operations throughout the country to get rid of criminal and insurgent elements who pose a security threat to citizens.
The full text of the statement reads below
2019 EMBER MONTHS: NIGERIAN ARMY TROOPS INTENSIFY OPERATIONS AGAINST CRIMINAL ELEMENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
In continuation of its step-up operations nationwide, Nigerian Army troops in various operational theatres across the Country continue to decimate and frustrate activities of criminal elements. This is in line with the resolve of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai to ensure the prevalence of a peaceful and conducive atmosphere for all citizens and residents in the Country as this year’s Ember months.
Notable achievements recorded by the troops between 29th September to 1st October 2019 were as follows:
Operation LAFIYA DOLE
In operation LAFIYA DOLE Theatre, criminal insurgents met their waterloo when troops of Sector 3 supported by the Air Task Force (ATF) successfully repelled an attack on Gubio in Gubio LGA of Borno State. The gallant troops neutralized 2 of the criminal insurgents and recovered one Gun Truck, 2 AK 47 Rifles, one Anti Air Craft Gun. Additionally, 51 civilians hitherto held hostage by the criminals were rescued during the encounter. The troops continue to dominate the area with fighting/clearing patrols, ambush, raids as well as cordon and search operations.
Similarly, troops of the Sector, acting on timely information also arrested 4 male suspects with large consignments of dried fish intended for delivery to the criminal insurgents. All 4 suspects are currently undergoing interrogation where they are giving useful information.
In another development, troops of 7 Division Garrison in conjunction with their counterparts from 212 Battalion and Nigerian Army Super Camp 4 (NASC) during a clearance operation at Mada Village in Konduga LGA of Borno State arrested a pickup truck conveying 3 adult females, 15 adult males and 3 rustled cows. The claim by the suspects that they were of the Shuwa extraction was refuted by the locals in the area as none of the suspects could speak any of the local languages. Preliminary investigation has revealed that one of the suspects and an NGO operating within the Theatre had been communicating at various times. Investigation further revealed that the suspect is on a WhatsApp chat platform with the same NGO.
Similarly, troops of 27 Task Force Brigade Garrison while on aggressive patrol to deny criminal insurgents freedom of action within their Area of Responsibility (AOR) discovered 2 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted along the route in Buni Gari, Gujba LGA of Yobe State. The IEDs were safely detonated by the Explosive Ordinance Device (EOD) team.
Nigerian Army troops continued to cover other parts of the Country within the ambit of Operation MESA to ensure the safety and security of the citizens. Troops of 245 Battalion while responding to a distress call, promptly intervened and averted a bloody clash at Mkpani community in Yakuur LGA of Cross River State between the youths of Ajare and Edume clans during a New Yam Festival held in the Community. Items recovered from the scene include 2 Dane guns, one locally made pistol, 2 axes and one cutlass.
In a related development, troops of 9 Brigade Garrison while on a joint patrol with personnel of the Nigeria Police Ejigbo Division in Suru-Lere LGA of Lagos State discovered an abandoned AK 47 Rifle with Registration Number 562558860 inside a drainage in the general area of Ejigbo. The recovered weapon has since been handed over to Nigeria Police Ejigbo Division for further action.
In the light of the daunting security challenges facing the country, the COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai wishes to reassure the good citizens of our country of the unwavering resolve of the NA to safeguard the territorial integrity of our country in aid of civil authority. The Nigeria Army hereby requests our good and law-abiding citizens to go about their normal economic activities without fear of molestation. The populace is equally requested to please assist the Nigerian Army with any useful information that will assist in our operational efforts aimed at ridding the society of criminal elements and other miscreants.”
Meanwhile Troops of 192 Battalion, Sector 1 Operation LAFIYA DOLE during an ambush operation at Lokodissa general area of Gwoza Local Government of Borno State successfully neutralized one criminal insurgent and recovered one bicycle and some food items.
Additionally, same troops switched to a position where smoke was sighted. The troops moved swiftly and established contact with the criminal insurgents at Balalgaje general area, neutralised one of them and destroyed their criminal hideout and other belongings in the process.
Furthermore, troops continued to dominate the general area of Tansagua Junction, Kekeno, Mairari, Lingir, Cross Kauwa and Baga among others with patrols and ambushes to maintain the achieved serenity within the entire theatre.