Defence & Security

174 Terrorists Surrender as Troops Neutralize Boko Haram, Bandits, Others

…Recovers 2,852,900 litres of crude oil, 3,862,000 litres of AGO in Niger Delta

By Paul Michael, Defence Editor, Abuja

The Defence headquarters on Thursday said the Armed Forces have recorded major success in the fight against terrorism and sabotage across the country. Noting that a total of 174 terrorists have surrendered to the military as the bombardment of Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), bandits and other criminal elements increases.

Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj Gen Benard Onyeuko made this known during a bi-weekly press briefing at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja. He added that Operation Hadin Kai in Borno state sustained aggressive posture by conducting clearance operations in the fight against the terrorists, thereby neutralizing 10 terrorists, recovering 4 AA-guns, 2,000rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, 10 bicycles, 1 unexploded Improvised Explosive Device, 1 MOWAG APC, 1 truck mounted with 122 artillery gun, 1 machine gun, 4 AK 47 rifles, 1 60mm motar tube with 5 bombs.

Gen Onyeuko further stated that in an encounter with ISWAP terrorists along Debiro-Shaffa Village in Hawul Local Government, troops neutralized two terrorist groups and recovered 1 AK 47 rifle, 3 magazines, 143 rounds of 7.62mm special, 1dane gun, 1 pump action rifle and 6 cartridges.

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According to the Military Chief, ”Troops of OPERATION HADARIN DAJIon clearance patrol on 1 March in Bakin Dutse, Gadawa Daji Camp and Brunkoza Village in Kankara Local Government Area in Katsina State encountered terrorists, following artillery bombardment from ground troops and Close Air Support from the air component neutralized 6 terrorists and forced the rest to flee in disarray.

“Troops exploited the area and recovered 574 rustled cattle, 22 motorcycles, 3 AK 47 rifles and 21 rounds ammunitions. Similarly, troops also conducted operational activities in Gargwaje Village in Gusau Local Government Area, Danmarke Village and Goronyo Mailele axis in Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State. Other locations are Kurami Village, Batasani, Yargamji in Batsari Local Government Area, Dantambara, Kolumbo, Tsambe Daji, Kyabbo Village in Jibia Local Government of Katsina State and Dankolo in Sakaba Local Government Area of Kebbi State.

“Consequently, the operations resulted in the neutralization of 90 Bandits, 8 civilians were rescued, and 2 locally fabricated rifles, 2 pump action guns, 1 locally made pistol, 5 rounds of 7.62mm special and 4 phones were recovered. Cumulatively, the operations neutralized 96 terrorists, rescued 8 kidnapped victims, and recovered large cache of ammunition. All rescued civilians have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further actions.”

In another development, Gen Onyeuko said troops of Operation Delta Safe conducted operations against oil thieves and other criminal elements within the last 2 weeks in the Niger Delta area and recovered 2,852,900 litres of crude oil and 3,862,000 litres of AGO.

He stated further that during the operations, troops destroyed 30 illegal refining sites, cooking 29 ovens, 9 receivers, 12 coolants, 73 storage metal tanks,248 polythene bags, 16 boilers, 8 pumping machines, 14 wooden boats, 29 dugout pits, 2 speed boats, 4 trucks, 1 bus, 44 drums of AGO, 3 outboard engines, 1 Barretta pistol, 3 locally made pistol, 8 explosive devices and evacuated 57 galvanized pipes while arresting 25 economic saboteurs.

“Own troops in this theater of Operations conducted operations against oil thieves and other criminal elements within the last 2 weeks in Rumuekpe, Ogbunku Creek Ndele area in Emohua Local Government Area, Idoha, Ozochi communities in Ahoada West Local Government Area, Elele Owerri in Ikwere Local Government Area and Chokocho in Etche Local Government of Rivers State.

“Also, own troops conducted anti-illegal oil bunkering and refining in Ndoro, Beneside, Ojobo communities in Ekeremor Local Government Area and Akassa in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Other locations are Elume, Ekoko creeks in Obolo, Yokri area, Yeye and Safama creeks in Warri South Local Government Area, Ajomo, Deli, Ogheye and Tibo creeks, Abiteye, Olero Opuama, in Warri North and Ogodo communities in Warri South West Local Government Area, Egwe Creek, Obodo Creek in Warri South Local Government Area, Ajomo Creek in Warri North Local Government Area, Afremo in Warri South West, Abo in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State.

“Other areas include Okohia community in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State.

“Cumulatively, Own troops in the last 2 weeks discovered and destroyed 30 illegal refining sites, cooking 29 ovens, 9receivers, 12 coolants, 73 storage metal tanks,248 polythene bags, 16 boilers,8pumping machines, 14 wooden boats, 29 dugout pits, 2 speed boats, 4 trucks, 1 bus, 44 drums of AGO, 3 outboard engines, 1Barretta pistol, 3 locally made pistol, 8 explosive devices evacuated 57 galvanized pipes and arrested 25 economic saboteurs.

“Consequently, a total of Two Million Eight Hundred and Fifty-Two Thousand Nine Hundred (2,852,900) litres of crude oil and Three Million Eight Hundred and Sixty-Two Thousand (3,862,000) litres of AGO were recovered. All arrest and recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further actions,’ the General said.

Additionally, he said the renewed intensity by own troops of Operation Whirl Stroke in the fight against banditry and other criminal elements resulted in the destruction of many bandits camps in Benue State.

“Notably on 24 February 2022, while on fighting patrol, own troops responded to a distress call from Tse Mela in Yooyo Council Ward of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area about the criminal activities of Iortyom Wuave aka JANTA a notorious armed militia gang leader on OPERATION WHIRL STROKE wanted list. Own troops mobilized and moved to the location and in a subsequent gun battle, they were neutralized.

“Relatedly on 25 February, 2022 troops raided the hideout of the notorious armed bandits at Tse Jundo in Mbamena Council Ward in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State. During the shootout with troops, 2 of the notorious armed bandits, Terdoo Kiorga aka APAAPA and Orkulam Mom aka ORBUTEE were neutralized. The duo has been on the wanted list of OPERATION WHIRL STROKE and are known to have unleashed mayhem on Zaki Biam and its environs in the past.

“Furthermore, 5 AK 47 rifles, 1 pimp action rifle, 1 pistol, 1 local made gun, 3 AK 47 magazines, 127 pieces of 5.56mm rounds, 6 pieces of 9mm rounds, 4 rounds of 7.62mm, 12 cartridges, 5 cell phones and assorted charms were recovered and handed over to the appropriate authorities for necessary actions.

“In another development, troops on patrol and clearance operations encountered bandits in Kutunku, Baban Lamba Villages in Wishishi and Kontagora Local Government Area of Niger State. In the encounter, 7 bandits were neutralized, 3 AK 47 rifles, 5 magazines, 71 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 37 motorcycles and 10 mobile phones were recovered. Within the period review, OPERATION WHIRL STROKE has cumulatively neutralized 9 bandits, recovered 8 AK 47 rifles, 8 magazines, 208 special ammunitions, 15 cell phones.

“Similarly, conducted non-kinetic operations in order to alleviate the poor living of people in the IDP Camps. As part of these non-kinetic operations, Force Commander of OPERATION WHIRL STROKE distributed some food, sanitary and sundry items to the internally displaced persons in Ortese, and Daudu Camps both in Benue and Keana in Nasarawa State.
Also, troops conducted series of peace meetings with heads of local communities and youth leaders to work out modalities for maintaining peace in their domain. One of such meetings was conducted at the palace of His Royal Majesty Aku Uka of Wukari, Dr Ishaku Ada Ali with heads of local communities and youths in attendance.”

While commending the troops in the frontlines of the various theatre of operations for their zeal and commitment in containing the various securities challenges across the Country, Gen Onyeuko also appreciated the general public and solicited their continuous cooperation in the fight against criminalities across the Country by providing intelligence and reliable information.

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