By Lawrence Audu
The Armed Forces of Nigeria says it has decimated over 496 Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal elements through its various operations within the country between March 18th to May 5th, 2020.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations Major General John Enenche gave the figures while briefing newsmen on the update of military operations within the period under review.
General Enenche said, within the period, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE put in a highly professional effort with glaring success which the killing of Abu Usamah a prominent Boko Haram figure and a number of their fighters who were also eliminated while troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI in Northwest conducted various clearance operations as well as OPERATION WHIRL PUNCH which also clamped down on Armed Militia and other bandits in Benue and Taraba States.
A full statement of the briefing reads below.
UPDATE ON OPERATIONS OF ARMED FORCES OF NIGERIA FROM 18 MAR TO 5 MAY 2020
1. As you are aware the Armed Forces of Nigeria is conducting major operations across the country. Consequently, regular update of our efforts and progress need to be disseminated to the general public. For the benefit of the doubt, it is a joint effort of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force and other security agencies of our Country. I am to state that these operations have considerably degraded the common enemies of Nigeria and reduced economic sabotage in our Exclusive Economic Zone. The update will cover our operational activities from 18 Mar to 5 May 2020.
OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE
2. Within the period under review, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE put in a high professional effort with glaring success. Some villages that were attacked during the period were rescued by our gallant troops and normalcy returned to the affected areas. A number of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions were conducted, which revealed criminal hideouts and their activities. Consequently, air interdictions were conducted, which led to the destruction of several BHT logistics facilities and compounds, housing some of their leaders including Abu Usamah and a number of their fighters who were eliminated.
3. Similarly, a total of 343 BHT/ISWAP fighters were killed and several others suffered various degrees of gunshot wounds with narrow chances of survival. This is in addition to several others, including their key leaders, killed by Air bombardments. Furthermore, most of the Boko Haram’s logistics installations and networks have been destroyed, while 16 of their informants and logistics suppliers were arrested. At the call of this duty, some of our troops paid the supreme prize and others were wounded in action.
OPERATION HADARIN DAJI
4. Following closely, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI conducted various clearance operations during the period under review. The combined effort of the Land and Air Components as well as other security operatives of the Operation provided security for lives and property. Several bandits locations and hideouts were cleared with Close Air Support provided for ground troops. In all, a total of 17 kidnapped victims were rescued and united with their families and 146 bandits were neutralized in Katsina and Zamfara States. Within the same period, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI recovered several arms and ammunition among other equipment. Our agile troops also rescued 922 Rustled Cattles and 446 sheep. However, 4 soldiers paid the supreme prize.
OPERATION WHIRL PUNCH
5. Equally, troops of Operation WHIRL PUNCH during the period under review, clamped down on Armed Militia and other bandits in Benue and Taraba States. Within the period, troops rescued 7 kidnapped victims and recovered large caches of ammunition and other items. A total of 7 bandits were killed by troops from contacts made at Toto Nasarawa State and Anku Mbagen in Atera-Jange Torov Council Ward of Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State. Non of our Troops was wounded or killed in action.
6. Along the Southern Regions, troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria operating within the Maritime environment covering Operations AWATSE and DELTA SAFE recorded tremendous successes in their operations. Cumulatively, a total of Sixty One (61) illegal refining sites were discovered during Anti-Crude Oil/Anti-Illegal Bunkering Operations in the Niger Delta Region. In all, a total of Four thousand Four Hundred and Sixty-Five barrels (4,464.8) and One Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty-One (1,781,000) Litres of Crude Oil were recovered. Also recovered were One Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty-Six Thousand, Nine Hundred (1,756,900) Litres of AGO; One Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Five Hundred (116,000) Litres of DPK; and Eleven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Fifty (11,750) Litres of PMS. During the Swamp Boogie operations, several refining ovens, receivers, surface metal storage tanks/drums, coolers and dugout pits were deactivated and immobilized. Fishing Trawlers were also arrested and handed over to NIMASA. In all, 15 hostages were rescued, a barge and some weapons were recovered and 3 pipeline vandals arrested.
7. Also, within the period, the Nigerian Navy rescued 3 Beninoise whose fishing trawler caught fire at Lagos anchorage. In addition, the Nigerian Navy responded to a distress call by Beninoise Navy for assistance, when 11 crewmen onboard a Portuguese flagged container ship, MV TOMMI RITSCHER in Benin territorial waters came under attack by pirates. Among those rescued were Ukrainians, Bulgarians and Filipinos. The Nigerian Navy received a commendation from the Benin Chief of the Naval Staff, Captain Albert Ezien Badou. Additionally, Eight Hundred and Ninety-Four (894) bags 50kg of parboiled smuggled foreign rice were impounded by the Nigerian Navy at Agbami platform in Akwa-Ibom State.
8. In summary, the Armed Forces of Nigeria from 18 March to 5 May 2020 neutralized 343 BHT/TSWAP criminals in the North East, deleted 153 bandits in the North West and North Central parts of the Country amongst other successes recorded. Furthermore, human and technical intelligence confirmed that between January and March 2020, 18 BHT/ISWAP leaders were killed due to our ground and air offensives against their settlements and hideouts. Adding to the most recent one killed between 18 March – 5 May 2020, 19 BHT/ISWAP leaders are confirmed killed by our gallant troops.
9. From our operations within the period reviewed, it is obvious that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is winning the war against the enemies of our great country. Consequently, the Armed Forces of Nigeria will remain resolute and highly committed to ending the insurgency in the country. It will sustain the offensive and will not relent until peace is restored to every troubled region of our beloved Country. The general public is also assured of the commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to protect the economic assets of Nigeria. The High Command of the Nigerian Military wishes to thank the general public for their support and further solicit their cooperation towards providing credible and timely information that will facilitate proactive engagements in our operations.