Military vows to intensify clearance operation to end banditry in North-West


*** deploys Special Forces to Southern Kaduna

The military says it has intensified efforts in the aggressive clearance operations in the North West zone of the country with the aim of riding the area of armed bandits and cattle rustlers who have unleashed mayhem on the people of the area.

It also announced the deployment of special operations forces to quell the uprising and wanton destruction of lives and property in Southern Kaduna.

Briefing newsmen in Abuja, the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche noted that the situation in the North West was gradually been controlled as the bandits have been decimated.

“For the past one month we have witnessed downward trend in the activities of armed bandits and cattle rustlers in the general areas of Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto and adjoining states.

“Most of these criminal elements have been decimated. Gradually there is restoration of human activities in the zone. Farmers have returned to their farms while other economic activities have picked up across the zone.

“The troops have continued to dominate the general area with clearance patrols, aggressive fighting patrols and confidence-building patrols. The High Military Command congratulates the troops for the feat recorded and encourages the good people of the zone to continue to provide credible information to the troops.”

On Southern Kaduna, he said in a bid to curb the recent attacks and isolated killings in Southern Kaduna, troops of Operation Safe Haven have continued to intensify efforts aimed at securing the lives and property in the general area.

“Particularly, Special Operations Forces have been deployed to the Joint Operations Area covering the various flash points. This move is expected to achieve the desired result with the provision of credible and actionable intelligence specifically from primary sources.”

He added that, “in this regard, the locals are requested to cooperate with the security agencies by availing them with the required information that will be useful to our collective objective of taking out the criminals from the area.”

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According to him, “for the week under review, the overall outlook shows enhanced effort by the security forces with a commensurate degraded action on the part of the enemies of the Nation. This positive signal is connected to the directive by the Commander in Chief to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies tackling the various security challenges in the Country to do more.”

He also pointed out that in the South-South, “Troops of Operation Delta Safe have intensified the fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering in the zone with significant successes. Within the period under review, Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team discovered an Illegal Refining Site at Yellow Platform off Onne, Rivers State.

“The site had 2 metal reservoirs laden with an estimated 314.49 barrels of crude oil and 90,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. Accordingly, the site was deactivated.

“Similarly, Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA patrol team located an Illegal Refining Site along Lokpobiri in Burutu LGA of Delta State. The site had 23 ovens, 15 surface metal storage tanks and 9 dug out pits cumulatively laden with about 195,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO. Also, a speed boat laden with 4 sacks containing unspecified quantity of illegally refined AGO and 3 pumping machines, were found at the site. Accordingly, the site was deactivated while the speed boat with its content was recovered to the Base.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria will sustain the onslaught against economic sabotage. The general public is hereby enjoined to continue to provide timely and credible information to the troops”.

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He also gave details of military operations in the South West.

“In the South West zone, Troops of Operation AWATSE impounded a wooden boat with a sack containing 45 jerry cans of 25 litres, one 2.2 inches capacity hose of about 300 metres in length at Ibeshe area. The items were evacuated to ATLAS COVE camp. Troops also arrested a suspect in possession of some jerry cans of product suspected to be PMS and at Abule glass. The suspect was handed over to Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT patrol team.

“He is currently in custody at the Base while arrangements are ongoing to hand him over to appropriate prosecuting agency.

“Troops have continued to dominate the general area with clearance and aggressive patrols while maintaining surveillance to rid the area of pipeline vandals and other economic saboteurs”, he said.

“In the North East zone, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have continued to sustain the tempo in the fight against terrorism in the zone with attendant successes. Within the period under review, gentlemen of the press you could attest to the fact that there has been reduction in the number of incidences recorded so far from the zone.

“That is an evidence of own troops overwhelming superiority over the criminal elements which have drastically degraded the operational capabilities of the BHT/ISWAP elements. Troops have also sustained the clearance operations, aggressive patrols and Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions, sustained air offensive operations as well as artillery and aerial bombardments in the theatre of operation.

“However, in the theatre the attention of the Defence Headquarters was drawn to the alleged activities of troops in Baga, regarding dealings in livestock and farming. In line with military procedures, it was investigated and found to be baseless. The full details will be made available at the next briefing”.

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On the reported United States’ warning on the movement of extremists, Enenche stated that, “sequel to the warning by US AFRICOM that extremists have begun deploying several strategies to silently re-establish themselves across some regions in Africa including the West Africa sub region, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and all the relevant security agencies is leaving nothing to chance.

“Consequently, actions in place in this regard are being reviewed to handle this all important intelligence appropriately. I am directed to assure the general public that this is not a one off but continuous effort as it were to ensure that the security agencies are ahead of this evolving security challenge.

“The Military High Command congratulates all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies for the feat recorded in various operations across the country. Troops are further encouraged to remain determined and sustain the tempo in curtailing the activities of terrorists, armed bandits and other criminals.

“The High Command of the Armed Forces also reassures the general public of its unwavering commitment to securing the country for all human activities to strive. Members of the general public are, as always, enjoined to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the nearest military and other security agencies location for prompt and effective action.”


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