- Good morning senior officers, officers and gentlemen of the press, on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff, I welcome you all once again to the Defence Headquarters conference room for the bi-weekly briefing on troops operational activities being conducted in the various operational theaters of the 6 geo-political zones of the Country. In the past 2 weeks troops in the various theatre of operations conducted several kinetic and non-kinetic operations with significant results recorded. The brief will cover operational activities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies conducted in tackling the various security challenges across the Country between the period 6 – 20 October 2022.
NORTH EAST ZONE
- Troops of Operation HADIN KAI theatre of operation in the North East Zone of the Country have continued to sustain and dominate their Areas of Responsibilities as various operational activities were conducted in villages and towns in Bama, Gwoza, Gubio, Kaga, Kukawa, Ngala, Molai Local Government Areas all in Borno State. Operational activities were also conducted at villages and towns in Bade and Gujuba Local Government Areas of Yobe State. Notably, on 11 October 2022 Boko Haram /Islamic State of West African Province terrorists ambushed troops with Improvised Explosive Device (IED) covered by fire at Gala Kura village in Bama Local Government Area following the fire fight, troops neutralized 1 Boko Haram Terrorist and recovered 2 AK47 rifles. On the same day, troops on picketing duty along Gamboru – Dikwa road in Ngala Local Government Area were ambushed by Boko Haram/Islamic State of West African Province terrorists. The terrorists detonated 20 IEDs covered with fire. Troops countered the ambush and forced the terrorists to flee in disarray. Following the fire fight, troops neutralized 17 terrorist and recovered 1 GPMG, 5 AK47 rifles, 1 M21 rifle and 11 motorcycles.
- Equally, on 7 October 2022 following credible information, troops intercepted a vehicle at Bulagoni village, in Bade Local Government Area of Yobe State with 96 blocks of substance suspected to be cannabis sativa. Furthermore, between 6 and 19 October 2022, 60 suspected logistics suppliers of the Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province were arrested by troops at different locations within the North East theatre of operation. Items recovered from the suspects ranges from bags of beans, maize, rice, gallons of Premium Motor Spirit, rustled livestock, medical supplies, clothing, sewing machines among others items. Cumulatively, within the weeks in focus troops recovered 14 AK47 rifles, 2 GPMG, 1 M21 rifle, one 125mm artillery bomb, 40 rounds of 7.62mm special, 6 dane guns, 1 locally made gun, 1 vehicle, 4 mobile phones, 5 bicycles, 11 motorcycles, 64 bags of beans, 5 bags of maize, large quantities of substance suspected to be cannabis sativa, medical supplies, assorted clothing materials, 46 livestock, the sum of N250,000.00 Naira and other sundry items.
- Similarly, on 13 October 2022, troops in conjunction with the Nigeria Police and NIS operatives intercepted 2 suspected fake National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) officials. It was revealed that the suspects had visited Gagamari IDP camp in Niger Republic to register non-Nigerian in the IDP camp. Items recovered from the suspects include National Identification Number (NIN) registration machine, printing machine, laminating machine, a computer tracking machine and a generator set among other items. Consequently, during the weeks in focus, 31 suspected Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province members were neutralized, while 10 were arrested and 2 civilians rescued. Furthermore, a total of 366 Boko Haram Terrorists and their families comprised of 23 adult males, 112 adult females and 231 children surrendered to troops at different locations within the theatre. All recovered items, arrested terrorists, logistics suppliers and rescued civilians have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action while the surrendered Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists and their families are being profiled for further action.
NORTH CENTRAL ZONE
- Troops in the North Central Zone of the Country have continued to sustained operational activities through the conduct of fighting patrols, clearance and raid operations. On 11 October 2022, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN conducted raid operation in an area suspected to be a criminal black spot where criminals converge to plan their nefarious act at Ganan Daji village in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State. During the operation troops arrested 8 suspects with 5 locally fabricated pistols. Also, on 15 October 22, troops arrested 3 notorious kidnapper and armed robber who confessed to belong to a notorious gang that terrorized part of Plateau, Bauchi and Kaduna States. Items recovered from the suspect include 2 locally fabricated rifles and 33 rounds of 7.62mm special. Equally, on 15 October 22 troops intercepted a truck loaded with 78 iron materials suspected to be stolen from a government property at Rayfield, Jos East Local Government Area, Plateau State.
- Troops also conducted operational activities at various villages and towns in Jos South, Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, Pankshin, Mangu and Bassa Local Government Areas all in Plateau State. Consequently, within the weeks in review, troops neutralized 7 criminals, arrested 40 suspected criminals, and rescued 28 civilians. Troops also recovered 6 locally fabricated rifles and pistols, 2,000 rustled cows and sheep, 2 mobile phones, large quantity of substances suspected to be cannabis sativa, 1 vehicle and 78 iron among others. Relatedly, between 7 to 19 October 2022, troops of operation WHIRL STROKE conducted fighting patrols, raids and clearance operations at Logo and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue State. During the operations troops arrested 3 suspected bandits who are foot soldiers of a notorious bandit kingpin by name Osukpe, on the wanted lists of troops at Sankara general area in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State. Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE, during the weeks in focus arrested 5 terrorists, neutralized 1 terrorist, rescued 2 civilians and recovered one AK 47 rifle.
- Similarly, on 7 October 2022, troops of Operation RESTORE SANITY at Kwaita village in Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory based on intelligence arrested 2 suspected informants and bandits collaborators who are major suppliers of Premium Motor Spirit and other sundry items to bandits in the general area. Items recovered from the suspects are 2 cows and sum of One Hundred and Forty Nine Thousand Naira (N149,000.00) only. Troops also raided a suspected drug peddlers hideout behind Kugbo livestock market hills in Abuja Municipal Area Council on 8 October 2022 and arrested 1 suspected criminal with packs of substance suspected to be hard drugs. All recovered items, arrested criminals and rescued civilians have been handed over to the relevant authority form further actions.
NORTH WEST ZONE
- The land and air components of Operation HADARIN DAJI have sustained efforts to rid the joint operation area of terrorism. Notable on 15 October 22, 2 notorious bandits responsible for series of kidnapping and robbery incidents as well as terrorist activities in Zamfara and part of Katsina State in the past, named Kabiru Mania and Abubakar and some foot soldiers surrendered to own troops at Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State. Items received from the repentant bandits include 4 AK47 rifles, 2 hand grenades, 19 rounds of 7.62mm NATO belted, 61 rounds of 7.62mm special, 13 links of 7.62mm NATO, 10 rounds of 5.86mm ammunition, 4 bandolier, 3 canisters, 8 magazines, 4 pairs of camouflage uniforms, 1 pair Nigeria Police riot uniform, 3 desert boots and 1 jack knife. Other items include 1 pair Nigeria Police uniform, 1 ammunition box, head warmer among other items. Also on 18 October 2022, troops raided a notorious bandits leader camp at Gando forest in Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State. During the encounter, troops engaged the bandits with fire forcing the bandits to flee due to superior firepower of own troops. Consequently, troops exploited the area and recovered livestock that were rustled by the bandits. Troops also engaged bandits at Shimfida in Katsina State while on patrol and neutralized 1 bandit while other fled with gun shot wound. Troops also recovered 1 AK47 rifle, 1 motorcycle and 1 boafeng radio.
- Similarly, troops conducted operational activities in Danmusa Local Government Area in Katsina State, Zurmi Local Government Areas of Zamfara State and Rabah Local Government Area of Sokoto State. Consequently, during the operations, troops neutralized a total of 10 terrorists, arrested 7 suspected terrorists collaborators, recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 10 rounds of 7.62mm special, 6 motorcycles and 1 boafend radio, while 32 civilians were rescued. Relatedly, the air component of Operation HADARIN DAJI sustained its onslaught against terrorists in the North West Region. Accordingly, an air interdiction operation was carried out on a terrorists enclave, Maudi Maudi, at Tsora hill in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State on 11 October 2022, feedback revealed that over 14 terrorists were neutralized in the air bombardment while other survived the strike with injuries. Equally, on 14 October 22, following intelligence of bandits plan to converge at the residence of a notorious bandits leader Lawali Gudau AKA Dogo Damina for a ceremony at Koli village, in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, the air component of Operation HADARIN DAJI equally conducted air bombardment at the terrorists leader enclave and neutralized over 30 terrorists as well as destroying their amoury in the strike.
- Similarly, between 13 and 17 October 2022, troops of Operation WHIRL PUNCH conducted operational activities in Giwa and Kajuru Local Government Areas of Kaduna State. On 13 October 2022, troops came in contact with terrorists at Ngede Alha, Kaso and neutralized 2 terrorists while 2 AK47 rifles were recovered with 10 rounds of 7.62mm special. Consequently, within the weeks in focus troops arrested 3 terrorists, neutralized 5 terrorists and recovered 2 motorcycles, 2 pairs of camouflage and rescued 15 civilians. All recovered items, arrested and rescued civilians have been handed over to the relevant authority for further action.
- Equally, the air component of Operation WHIRL PUNCH on 8 October 2022 carried out air interdiction operation at Yadi in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The air strikes lead to the neutralization of a notorious terrorist kingpin known as Ali Dogo (AKA Yellow) alongside 30 of his fighters while they were having a meeting at a building. Similar, another air interdiction was carried out same day, following intelligence about the gathering of some terrorists leaders and their foot soldiers converging under tree covers for a meeting at a location, 33NM North West of Mando in Kaduna State. The air bombardment led to the neutralization of some of the terrorists’ leaders and scores of their foot soldiers.
SOUTH SOUTH ZONE
- Troops of the Joint Task Force, Operation DELTA SAFE in the South South Region have continued to sustain aggressive patrols to curb the menace of Crude Oil Theft (COT) and illegal bunkering within Nigeria Maritime Environment with a view at ensuring the economic prosperity of the Nation. Accordingly, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP on 6 October 2022 in conjunction with the operatives of State Security Services conducted raid operations within Sapele area and arrested 3 suspected illegal oil thieves who were tracked and monitored to Adige, Urhiakpa and Mission road in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State.
- Relatedly, troops of operation DELTA SAFE in their continue strife to curb oil theft on 7 October 2022, arrested a vessel MT DEIMA with 8 crew, for illegal bunkering activities at Sara area of Escravos Channel. The vessel has a length of 82 meters and a breath of 10 meters with a capacity of 1500MT. The vessel had 6 tank compartments loaded with unspecified quantity of crude oil. Accordingly, following directive the vessel was appropriately handled. Troops also conducted patrols and buggy operations in the zone. During the operations several illegal refineries, storage tanks, wooden boats, cooking ovens, dug out pits were discovered and destroyed.
- Troops also conducted operational activities in the creeks, waterway, communities, towns and cities of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. During the operations, several illegal refining sites, metal storage tanks, wooden boats, dugouts pits and cooking ovens were discovered. Cumulatively, within the weeks in review, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP discovered and destroyed 23 illegal refining sites, 87 wooden boats, 7 speed boat, 284 storage tanks, 160 cooking ovens, 3 fibre boats and 18 dugout pits. Troops also, recovered Two Million Five Hundred Nine Thousand (2,509,000) litres of crude oil, One Hundred Thirty Three Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty Four (133,824) litres of Automotive Gas Oil and Seven Thousand (7,000) litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine, 16 tankers, 1 vessel, 8 pumping machines, 2 motorcycle and 42 suspected criminals were also arrested while the sum of Six Hundred Fifty Four Million Eight Hundred Fifty Thousand Seven Hundred Fifty Five Naira Four Kobo (N654,850,755.04) only were also denied tooil thieves. All recovered items and apprehended criminals were handed over to the appropriates authority for further action.
SOUTH EAST ZONE
- Troops and other security agencies have not relented in their efforts in the fight against criminal elements in the South East Zone. Notably, on 13 October 2022, troops in conjunction with personnel of the Nigerian Police responded to a distress call on criminal activities in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area and Isi Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State. During the operations 9 suspected criminals were arrested. In another operation troops raided a suspected Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals hideout at Ogbowa Amata village in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu and Aguata in Anambra States. During the operation 2 suspected members of Indigenous People of Biafra were arrested, while 5 AK47 rifles, 3 pump action guns, 2 locally made pistols, 11 cartridges, 10 mobile phones, 1 pair of police uniform, 1 pair of boot, 2 canisters of tear gas, 1 fragmental jacket, 3 locally fabricated tubes (ogbunigwe) and 1 jack knife among other items were recovered during the operations. All arrested criminal and recovered items were handed over to the Nigeria Police for further action.
SOUTH WEST ZONE
- Troops of Operation AWATSE have intensified the fight against smugglers of contraband good and other criminal activities in the zone. Accordingly, on 7 October 2022, troops of Operation AWATSE in the conduct of Operation SWIFT RESPONSE in conjunction with operatives of the NDLEA and NSCDC destroyed 15 hectares of marijuana farm at Mabu village in Ijebu Local Government Area of Ogun State. Troops also conducted operation activities at Yewa North, Abeokuta South and Ipokia Local Government Areas of Ogun State. Other locations include Baruba in Ilasa Local Government Area of Osun State and Ifon in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State as well as Olorunda and Kosefe Local Government Areas of Lagos State respectively. Consequently, within the weeks in review, troops recovered 258 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 220 jerrycans of 30 litres Premium Motor Spirit, 4 vehicle, arrested 2 criminals and rescued 2 civilians. All recovered items, apprehended criminals and rescued civilians were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.
- On a final note, I wish to convey the military high command commendations on troops efforts in the various theatres of operation across the nation. The media community is also acknowledged for their partnership and continued cooperation with the military and other security agencies, in our quest to restore peace and security to our dear Country. Also, the entire populace is hereby appreciated, for the support given to the Armed Forces and other security agencies in the conduct of our operations, while also urging them to continue to provide prompt and creditable information on the activities of terrorists and other criminal elements, in their respective locality.
Thank you all for your attention and GOD bless.
Defence Media Operations
20 October 2022