Armed Forces: Securing Nigeria’s Territorial Integrity

Armed Forces: Securing Nigeria’s Territorial Integrity
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Mariam Sanni

Nigeria is known as the giant of Africa and for a long time has remained the watchdog of the continent. Nigeria has participated in peacekeeping in some African countries. It has always tried to play a leading role in peace keeping especially in the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.

Coming to her internal affairs, Nigeria has in the recent past been bedeviled with several security issues. In the present day, several security challenges exist and this cut across the length and breadth of the country, ranges from kidnapping, Boko Haram and ISWAP activities in the North East and the Fulani herdsmen/ farmers clashes in the Middle Belt, banditry and cattle rustling in the North-west, oil bunkering and militancy in the South-south and South-west, as well as secessionist groups in the South-east and South-south. Therefore, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued with the major operations across the country with significant successes.

In the North East zone, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued to sustain the tempo and display resilience in the efforts to forestall the activities of Boko Haram/ISWAP criminal elements. According to the Coordinator of Media Defence Operation, Major General John Enenche, troops have maintained clearance operations to dominate the Joint Operational Area and constant Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions as well as intensive air strikes.

“Within the week under review, the gallant troops working together with other security agencies conducted several clearance operations and repelled BHT/ISWAP attacks on their own troops and civilian locations in Yobe State. The operations led to the neutralization of 3 BHT/ISWAP fighters and recovery of caches of arms and ammunition.

“Gentlemen of the press, as you are all aware; the Borno State Government has remained resolute in its efforts to resettle the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the state back to their home communities. In spite of the Boko Haram/ISWAP criminal elements’ attempts to thwart its efforts, the State Government is determined to resettle more of the IDPs to their home communities.

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“The Armed Forces of Nigeria, as always, will support the State Government in its effort to resettle its citizens back to their various communities and ensure they go about their businesses unperturbed. This is considerably, an evidence of gradual restoration of normalcy in some parts of the North East zone of Nigeria,” he said on Thursday September 3.

According to him, in the North-central zone, troops have continued to sustain intensive clearance operations which have yielded remarkable successes. Within the period under review, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN AND WHIRL STROKE conducted raids, ambushes and clearance patrols at various locations which resulted in appreciable successes.

 “Notably, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE, within the period under review following aggressive intensive kinetic operations at identified bandits’ enclaves at Uttu in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The successful operation resulted in the neutralization of several bandits, not less than 410 members of the Darul Salam Terrorists group, surrendered to the gallant troops and other security agencies deployed. This was followed by a robust clearance patrol around the same area which resulted in a raid on a Darul Salam terrorists’ bomb-making factory.

“Similarly, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN conducted a robust night patrol within the Angwan Duruwa area in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau state. During the patrol, five suspected drug peddlers were arrested with a large quantity of substances suspected to be Cannabis Sativa and other illicit drugs. The suspects were duly profiled and have been handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, for further action.

“Furthermore, on August 28 2020, troops in conjunction with personnel of the Department of State Services, DSS, Plateau State Command, conducted a raid at Unguwan Chiroma in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State and arrested 2 kidnappers/gunrunners with various blacksmith tools used in locally fabricating weapons. Both suspects and items recovered have been handed over to the DSS for further action.

“As part Of Civil Military Cooperation activities within the period, Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN held stakeholder meetings with community leaders in various parts of Plateau state. Areas covered include: Bassa, Jos, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State, and Jama’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State,” he explained.

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Also, Enenche stressed that in the South West zone, troops of Operation AWATSE have continued to intensify the fight against pipeline vandals, economic saboteurs and other criminal elements. He added   that Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT conducted patrols of creeks and discovered 350 litres of Premium Motor Spirit contained in seven jerrycans of 50 litres hidden in the bush at Akimbo and Orita on the Atlas Cove Island. Similarly, the Base discovered 600 litres of PMS contained in 12 jerrycans of 50 litres hidden in a bush at Akaraba.

The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued to build on recent successes against armed bandits operating in the North West zone, Defence Headquarters said.

According to him, within the period under review, troops of Operations HADARIN DAJI and SAHEL SANITY carried out aggressive clearance operations against armed bandits.

His words: “Most importantly was on August 28, 2020, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY deployed at Mara laid ambush on suspected bandits who attempted to invade Gobirawa village but were repelled by combined effort of troops and local vigilante. During the ambush, troops made contact with the armed bandits and engaged them with superior fire power neutralizing two in the process while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

“During preliminary investigation, the suspects confessed to their involvement in recent cattle rustling and other criminal activities at Kwaya, Sabon Birni and Baure villages. All arrested suspects are undergoing interrogation while effort is ongoing to apprehend other criminals in the general area.

“Furthermore, AFN troops carried out several Civil Military Cooperation, CIMIC, activities at various communities within the North-West zone. These efforts include: Renovation of schools, drilling and completion of boreholes at Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State. Plans are also underway to renovate more schools in the zone,” he noted.

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However, he assured the general public of troops’ commitment to safety of lives and property within the zone. They are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information that will assist them in the operation.

In the South-South zone, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have continued to degrade the activities of economic saboteurs in the zone. He explained that in continuation of the subsidiary Operation SILENT HEAT, on 31 August 2020, Forward Operating Base IBAKA patrol team, while on routine patrol around Parrot Island and Ikang creek respectively intercepted and arrested 3 medium sizes wooden boats laden with 796 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice smuggled in from the Republic of Cameroon.

Relatedly, between 27 and 30 August 2020, the patrol team also intercepted and arrested 5 medium size wooden boats laden with 120 drums of product suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, with 9 suspects around Effiat Waterways and James Town respectively.

The suspects and items recovered are currently in custody and will soon be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency. Similarly, within the week under review, Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team located and dismantled an illegal refining site at Busonomei Kiriyo. The site had a metal reservoir laden with an estimated 578 barrels of crude oil which was impounded. In another development, troops of 16 Brigade Garrison on 27 August 2020, discovered and destroyed an illegal refinery at Abbissa in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Furthermore, the military high command enjoined the general public to be proactive in the provision of timely information. This is very necessary for enhancement of operational activities. The Armed Forces of Nigeria assured that these offensives against the common enemies of this Nation will not cease until normalcy is restored to all the troubled zones of the country.


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