By Okodili Ndidi, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has appealed to Nigerians, especially those living in the Northeast, the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency, not to be discouraged by the recent killing of farmers in Borno State.
It said very soon, the Boko Haram sect and its bloodletting will be over, adding that the resort to attacking soft targets by the terrorists is a ploy to instill fear in the populace to remain relevant.
The DHQ also dismissed the claim by the terror group that it killed the farmers because they handed over one of their members to the military, noting that there was no time a group of farmers handed over any Boko Haram member to troops.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, who made the appeal during the weekly media briefing with Defence reporters, said that despite the recent killing of the farmers, the military and other security agencies “have continued their major operations across the country with dynamism”.
According to him, in the Northwest, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI and other subsidiary operations have sustained the tempo progressively.
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He said: “The gallant troops within the period carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and aerial patrols. Notably, on 26 November 2020, troops of Operation ACCORD intercepted and arrested two suspected bandits named Ibrahim Umar and Ibrahim Sani. Preliminary investigation revealed that suspects have affiliation with bandit’s leader called Turji. The suspects are in custody for further investigations.
“Similarly, on 27 November 2020, troops while on routine patrol, arrested two suspected bandits named Iro Ibrahim and Umaru Abdullahi from Daba village. During preliminary investigation, picture of Iro Ibrahim where he was holding two rifles was found on his phone. The suspects are in custody for further actions.
“Equally, the air component of Operation HADARIN DAJI has sustained air operations against armed bandits with the obliteration of another camp and neutralisation of scores of their fighters at Birnin Kogo Forest in Katsina State. Air strikes executed by the air component also resulted in the destruction of some structures at a camp in Dunya Forest in Katsina State”.
In the Northeast, Gen. Enenche, disclosed that several land and air operations were conducted by the military and other security agencies.
He said: “The gallant troops adopted sustained vigilance and offensive postures through comprehensive ground and air operations. Within the period in focus, troops of Army Super Camp II Gamboru-Ngala conducted clearance operations at some suspected BHT/ISWAP criminals hideout at Garal village and Bulankesa village.”
“The gallant troops made contact with the terrorists and effectively engaged and dominated them with rapid fire power. During the encounter, 2 BHT/ISWAP criminals were neutralized. Relatedly, on 27 November, 2020, troops of Strong Response Area Pulka conducted a robust clearance patrol at Ashigashiya area. During the operation, troops made contact with the criminals at their logistics base.
“In the ensuing gun battle two terrorists were neutralized while others escaped with gunshot wounds. Several bags of assorted grains and other food items were recovered. Thereafter the logistics warehouse was destroyed”.
In the Northcentral, he stated: “In continuation of intensive kinetic operations against armed bandits and other criminals in the Northcentral zone, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN, WHIRL STROKE and other subsidiary operations conducted raids at identified criminals’ hideouts.
“Notably, within this period, troops of Operation NUTCRACKER II in conjunction with local vigilante members while on clearance operations engaged armed bandits at Dutse Magaji in Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State. During the Operation, three bandits were neutralized while one AK47 rifle and 38 rustled cattle were recovered”.
Meanwhile in the Southsouth, Enenche, noted that “troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have sustained the fight against economic sabotage to secure critical oil infrastructure in the zone.
“Notably, on 26 November, 2020, gunboats of Forward Operating Base IBAKA while on routine patrol around Mbo River, intercepted and arrested one large wooden boat laden with 229 drums of 300 litres of product suspected to be PMS with two suspects, outboard engines and pumping machines. Items and suspects are currently in custody to be handed over to the relevant security agency.
“Additionally, within the period under review, troops of 146 Battalion discovered and immobilised two reactivated illegal refining sites containing 4 boilers, 6 storage tanks and one wooden boat laden with illegally refined oil products around Oputumbi in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State. Furthermore, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE immobilized two reactivated illegal refining sites containing three boilers and five storage tanks laden with crude oil around Orutoru in the same local government area”.