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Insecurity: Military airstrikes kill 38 ISWAP members, dislodge terrorists in Sambisa forest – DHQ

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.As Akeredolu vows to arm Amotekun operatives against FG’s directive

.S/West APC spokespersons hail him on appointment as Tinubu/Shetima coordinator

 

CHIDIMMA UCHEGBU-Abuja and Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji

 

Major onslaught against terrorists by Nigerian troops in the frontline have led to the death of no fewer than 38 ISWAP terrorists in the dreaded Sambisa forest in the past two weeks in Borno State.

Defence headquarters told newsmen that troops in the various theatre of operations conducted several kinetic and non-kinetic operations with significant results recorded.

Briefing defence correspondents on the successes recorded by troops, Director, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General Musa Danmadami noted that troops of Operation HADIN KAI theatre of operation have sustained aggressive operations to deny terrorists further freedom of action.

“In furtherance to this, troops conducted fighting patrols, ambushes and clearance operations at communities, villages and towns in Kukawa, Monguno, Kaga, Dikwa, Biu, Damboa, Gwoza, Mafa, Konguda, Bama and Guzamala Local Government Areas all in Borno State.

“Of significant was the neutralization of 2 key Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province commander on the 12th and 15th September 2022 identified as Abu Asiya and Abu Ubaida (A Qaid) at Parisu and Sheruri general area in Sambisa forest respectively.

“Consequently, within the period in review, troops neutralized 36 terrorists, rescued 130 civilians and arrested 46 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists as well as 12 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province logistic suppliers. Furthermore, 21 AK47 rifles, 163 rounds of 7.62mm special, 2 RPG bombs, 25 dane guns, 4 unexplosive ordinance store, 2 bandoliers, 10 solar panels, 23 bicycles, 10 motorcycles, 1 tricycle, 19 cell phones, 28 torch lights, bags of assorted grains, 122 rustled sheep, and the sum of N203,125.00 were recovered among other items.

“Equally, a total of 368 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province criminals and their families comprises of 53 adult males, 116 adult females and 214 children surrendered to own troops at different locations in the theatre. All recovered items, rescued civilians and apprehended suspected terrorists were handed over to the relevant authority for further action while surrendered Boko Haram Terrorists and their families are being profiled for further action.

“In a related development, the air component of Operation HADIN KAI on 9 September 2022 while acting on credible intelligence conducted air interdiction operation at Somalia in Sambisa Forest and bombarded a terrorist critical facility. The air strike inflicted deadly casualty on the terrorists as feedback revealed that several of the terrorists were neutralized while several structures were destroyed after the strike. Similar operation was carried out on terrorist enclaves at Abdallari, Mafa, Zanari and Tumbun Baba between 10 and 14 September 2022, the airstrikes led to the neutralization of several terrorists with several of their structures destroyed in the strikes.”

In North Central zone, as part of non-kinetic approach in resolving lingering security challenges in the Plateau, the Commander of the Special Task Force Operation SAFE HAVEN on September 10, 2022 at its Headquarters in Jos declared open a 26 man joint peace committee summit led by Justice Daniel Longji (Rtd) to sensitize communities in the Plateau State on the need for peaceful coexistence.

According to General Danmadami, “Also, on September 16, 2022, following report on activities of the outlawed cultist group known as Sara Suka boys, troops in conjunction with vigilantes carried out raid operation in their hideout at Rikkos and Nassarawa in Jos Local Government Area of Plateau State and arrested 6 suspects. Items recovered, include 3 locally fabricated rifles, 5 mobile phones, 4 hammers, 5 cutlasses, 6 knives, 1 fragmental jacket among others. All arrested suspects and recovered items were handed over to the relevant authority for further action.

“Furthermore, the air component of Operation WHIRL PUNCH continued the onslaught against terrorists, as an air interdiction operation was carried out on September 8, 2022 at an identified terrorists hideout at Gaude in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State. Intelligence report confirmed that the location was usually used by the terrorists for planning their nefarious activities.

“It was further revealed that all the attacks around Shiroro were orchestrated from this location and consequently, the hideout was bombarded. Feedback, revealed that several terrorists were neutralized with others fleeing with various degrees of injuries. Also, 2 suspected gun runners enroute Onitsha to Abuja were arrested by personnel of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency along Okene-Lokoja road in Kogi State.

“Items recovered from the suspects were 12 pump action guns and 374 cartridges. The arrested suspects and recovered items were handed over to the Nigerian Police for further action.”

In the North West zone, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI was said to have continued to intensify offensive actions against terrorists and other criminal elements in their operational environment.

According to Danmadami, “On September 15, 2022, troops arrested two suspected terrorists collaborators at Access Bank, PZ Branch in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State while trying to withdraw the sum of Fourteen Million Naira (14,000,000.00) deposited into the account of one Alhaji Abubakar a suspected terrorist financier. Troops also conducted operational activities in villages, communities and towns in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna State in the North West zone of the Country.

“During the operations troops neutralized 16 suspected terrorists and arrested 10 notorious terrorists at different locations in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. While, 5 AK47 rifles, 10 rounds of 7.62mm special, 17 mobile phones, 2 motorcycles, 3 locally made rifles, 3 pairs of woodland camouflage, 118 rustled sheep, 4 boafeng radio and N29,250.00 cash among other items were recovered, while 21 civilians were rescued. All recovered items, arrested terrorists and rescued civilians were handed over to relevant authority for further action.

“Furthermore, the air component of Operation HADARIN DAJI on September 13, 2022 conducted air interdiction operation at identified terrorist hideout in Dutse Babare in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State. The air strike led to the neutralization of a terrorist leader identified as Ibrahim Dangawo and other members of his gang. Similar, operation was carried out at Gidan Guga in Faskari Local Government Area also in Katsina State, at an identified terrorist enclave.

“The airstrike led to the neutralization of a terrorist kingpin known as Babaru who has been on the wanted list of security agents. Equally, another major feat was recorded with the neutralization of large number of terrorists at Kawari axis in Dan Musa Local Government Area of Katsina State.

“It was revealed that the terrorist’s group has been responsible for the kidnapping and robbing of people in that general area. Reports, revealed that scores of terrorists were neutralized in the air attack.”

In South south zone, troops of Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE theatre of operation have continued to sustain offensive actions against oil thieves and economic saboteurs through its kinetic operations towards denying the criminal elements freedom of action to create a conducive environment for economic activities in the Joint Operation Area to thrive.

“Accordingly, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE conducted patrol, raids, clearance and swamp buggy operations in the creeks, villages, communities and towns in Dleta, Bayelsa and Rivers State.

“Consequently, within the weeks in focus, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP discovered and destroyed several illegal refining sites, 17 wooden boats, 103 storage tanks, 94 ovens and 58 dugout pits.

“Troops also recovered 10 trucks, 1 generator, 1 tanker, 2 vehicles, 8 pumping machines, arrested 17 pipelines vandals while a total of Seven Thousand Eight Hundred and Five (7,805) Barrels of crude oil and Two Thousand Six Hundred and Thirteen (2,613) Barrels of Automotive Gas Oil were recovered.” General Danmadami said.

 

In another development, the governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has vowed to purchase arms for operatives of the Western Nigeria Security Network, WNSN, otherwise referred to as Amotekun, in his state.

 

Akeredolu made the vow against the backdrop of the approval said to have been given Katsina security outfit similar to Amotekun of the South West to carry sophisticated arms in the battle against bandits.

 

He said if the Katsina security outfit should be given the approval, nothing should stop Amotekun from doing so.

 

Said he: “We want to reiterate, that what is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. Ondo State government under the doctrine of necessity have decided to fulfil its legal, constitutional and moral duty to the citizens of the State, by acquiring arms to protect them.”

 

 

The statement titled “We believe in one Nigeria, but we cannot have one country, two systems” reads:

 

“The video making the rounds showing the equivalent of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) in Katsina, obtaining the approval of the Federal Government to bear arms is fraught with great dangers. Denying Amotekun the urgently needed rights, to legitimately bear arms is a repudiation of the basis of true federalism which we have been clamoring for.

 

“That Katsina was able to arm its state security force, with the display of AK47 means we are pursuing one country, two systems ” solution to the national question. If the katsina situation conferring advantages on some, in the face of commonly faced existential threats, it means that our unitary policing system, which has failed, is a deliberate method of subjugation which must be challenged.

 

“The Independence agreement was based on a democratic arrangement to have a federal state and devolved internal security mechanics. We must go back to that agreement. Denying Amotekun the right to bear arms exposes the Southwest to life-threatening marauders and organized crime. It is also a deliberate destruction of our agricultural sector. It is an existential threat.

 

“We want to reiterate, that what is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. Ondo State government under the doctrine of necessity have decided to fulfil its legal, constitutional and moral duty to the citizens of the State, by acquiring arms to protect them. This is more so, given that the bandits have an unchecked access to sophisticated weapons. The State government cannot look on while its citizens are being terrorized and murdered with impunity. We will defend our people.”

 

In another development ,The State Publicity Secretaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South West geopolitical zone have congratulated Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN on his appointment as the South West Coordinator for the Tinubu/Shetima Presidential Campaign Council.

 

At a meeting in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, on Wednesday, the APC image makers resolved to “explore the advantages inherent in unity and cohesion, to maximize potentials in the interest of the party and it’s candidates.”

 

In a statement issued and signed by the Secretary of the Conference of APC Publicity Secretaries in South West Zone, Alex Kalejaye, the body commended the appointment of the Ondo State Governor as the Zonal Director-General for the Asiwaju-Shettima Presidential Campaign, and promised to cooperate with the Zonal Director General, and  “other stakeholders to ensure overwhelming victory of the party in the South West in the forthcoming elections”

 

“We acknowledge the vocal and consistent push for the party to zone the presidency to the Southern Nigeria by Arakunrin Akeredolu and all other governors and party leaders from the zone. The appointment of Akeredolu, therefore, does not come to us as a surprise. We see it as strikingly appropriateness, and of strategic values,” the statement added.

 

The spokespersons called for “issue-based campaigns, devoid of fake news and hate speech, to enhance peace and harmonious relationship among ethnic leaders and stakeholders across board in the overall interest of Nigeria.”

 

To steer its affairs, the meeting unanimously endorsed the spokesman for APC in Ogun State, Comrade Tunde Oladunjoye as the Zonal Coordinator, while Hon. Alex Kalejaye of Ondo State will serve as the Secretary.

 

The meeting also acknowledged the parental role of the Conference of APC State Publicity Secretaries (CAPS) and promised to work in one accord with the State Publicity Secretaries of our party in all other zones of the federation.

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