- Good morning Gentlemen of the Press. You are welcome to today’s briefing on the Armed Forces of Nigeria’s operational activities. The brief will cover the period between 2 and 30 September 2021. Within the period in focus, troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria had sustained the upscale in the rate of operational efforts across various theatres in the Country. The heightened activities yielded significant results in the various theatres, some of which were discussed during a media engagement held yesterday. As some of you are aware the Second Edition of the “Open Ear Dialogue” was held yesterday 29 September 2021 with the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Service Chiefs and Senior Editors/Media Executives of various media establishments in the Country. During the session, a lot of topical issues were discussed and answers were provided to numerous questions asked, by the CDS and the Service Chiefs. Consequently, our brief today will be a summary of our operational efforts that yielded significant results within the period under review.
OPERATION HADIN KAI
- Within this period under review, troops of Operation HADIN KAI sustained the operational tempo in land and air offensives against terrorists and other criminal elements in the North East theatre. Troops had several encounters with terrorists at different locations. In the course of the operations, significant results were recorded in different locations in the North East. These locations include; Mazga – Kamuya, Damboa Wass – Bitta – Balo – Gwoza and Damboa – Bulabulin – Maiduguri roads as well as at Bazza, Jigaiambu and Michika towns, in Borno State. Other locations are; Mairari, Rumirgo and Fuye villages; Gashua market, Takaskala axis, Damaturu – Maiduguri main supply routes, Mafa town as well as along Gulumba Gana – Dikwa road, all in Borno State. In addition, dozens of ISWAP/BHT terrorists and their collaborators were neutralized in coordinated air strikes executed by the Air Component of Operation HADIN KAI on 26 September 2021. This feat was achieved at Daban Masara, north of Lake Chad in Kukawa LGA of Borno State, from where the criminal elements launch attacks on own troops’ locations and innocent civilians in the area.
- Cumulatively, a total of 85 BHT/ISWAP terrorists were neutralized and 43 terrorists including their collaborators and logistics suppliers were arrested in the course of the various operations. Also, a total of 121 assorted weapons including SMG, HK21 guns, AK-47 and locally-made rifles with magazines, 3,372 rounds of 7.62mm NATO/Special ammunition, locally made pistols and smooth body grenades, RPG-7 bombs as well as 12,250 bags of fertilizers and 178 rustled livestock among several other items were recovered. Furthermore, a total of 2,783 terrorists and their families surrendered within the period under review.
OPERATION HADARIN DAJI
- In operation HADARIN DAJI, troops within the period intensified their offensive operations on bandits’ enclaves in the North West Zone. The operations have drastically degraded their operational capabilities and denied them freedom of action as well as frustrated movement of arms, ammunition and other illegal items, at the same time built confidence among locals. During the period under review, own troops responded to distress calls on bandits’ activities at different locations in Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina States. These include; armed bandits’ attacks on Gidan Kwaru village in Tsafe LGA of Zamfara State, Kaiga general area and Tafoki village in Funtua LGA of Katsina State. Other incidents recorded were bandits’ invasions of Burkusuma town and Makuwana village in Sabon-Birni LGA of Sokoto State and Sabuwa Town as well as bandits’ road block along Gimi-Gora Road also in Katsina State. Troops’ swift responses with superior firepower during the incidents led to the repelling of armed bandits who were forced to flee in disarray, neutralization of scores of them and arrest of some others, including their informants and collaborators. Also, arms and ammunition among other items were recovered. Additionally, troops neutralized and arrested armed bandits and their arms supplier and informant at Kofar Fada village in Kankara LGA, Shabba village under Jibia LGA, Kaiga general area as well as Ummandau and Gammu villages, all in Katsina State. Furthermore, troops conducted clearance/raid operations on bandits’ enclaves at Falaliya, Yan Duwatsu, Kunkare, Jangeme, Mazarko and Kasala villages under Talata Mafara LGA in Zamfara State as well as Yarmariya village in Tudun Wada LGA of Kano State and cleared bandits’ camps. During the period under review, a total of 240 armed bandits were neutralized, 125 assorted arms including AK-47 and FN riffles and Dane guns as well as 1,166 rounds of 7.62mm special/NATO ammunition, 1,304 livestock and 54 motorcycles among other items were recovered within the period. Also, 47 armed bandits, informants and bandits’ collaborators were arrested within the period.
- In the same vein, the Air Component conducted air bombardments on criminal enclaves in different locations including Magami and Dansadau forests in Zamfara State. Also, it carried out coordinated offensive air strikes were also executed on bandits’ hideouts, from where they launched attacks own troops’ locations and innocent civilians between 22 and 26 September 2021. The air operations yielded attendant successes at Danmusa, Safana and Dutsinma LGAs as well as Gonar, Sani, Jikan and Malam villages at the Yantumaki forest, Lelet village forest and Yantumaki – Maidabino road in Katsina State. The operations resulted in the neutralization of no fewer than 53 armed bandits, while several others escaped with varying degree of gunshot wounds and destruction of several of their structures used as hideouts and logistics facilities. The Air Component also provided close air support for ground troops during their operations.
OPERATION SAFE HAVEN
- In Operation SAFE HAVEN, troops within the period conducted several operations to curb criminalities in their area of responsibility. Troops’ response to distress call on 4 September 2021 yielded significant result along Ganawuri – Manchok Road, where 2 drug peddlers were arrested with 320 parcels of cannabis sativa worth Nine Million, Six Hundred Thousand Naira, stocked in a vehicle. In another development, troops on same day swiftly mobilized to forestall farmers/herders’ clash over farm encroachment and destruction by herders’ cattle at Jebbu Miango village in Bassa LGA of Plateau State. Two of the armed herdsmen were arrested in the process. Similarly, on 6 September, troops on Cordon and Search operation arrested 11 armed bandits who were involved in an earlier attack on Angwan Thabo village in Zangon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State. Troops also rescued some civilians who were kidnapped at Jakko Gashish District in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State and arrested 2 kidnappers at Antor village in Sanga LGA of Kaduna State on 9 September 2021. In the same vein, a gun runner and impostor named, Saliu Ibriahim, was arrested at Mailafiya village in Jama’a LGA of Kaduna State. A total of 14 locally fabricated rifles, 27 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 14 cartridges and 44 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition among other items were recovered in the course of our operations within the period.
OPERATION WHIRL STROKE
- Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE maintained their aggressive postures, while the Air Component dominated the airspace by maintaining surveillance patrols. Troops have continued to flush out armed bandits and other criminal elements to create peaceful atmosphere in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States. It is worthy to state that the security situation in the North West Zone has been relatively calm within the period in focus, which is evident in locals being seen carrying out their daily activities peacefully in some quarters. However, pockets of incidents were recorded in some other quarters as troops swiftly responded to distress calls and thwarted bandits’ attacks as well as averted communal clashes in different locations in the Zone. These include; Akwuana village in Logo LGA and Tse-Chula and Tse-Aza villages in Guma LGA of Benue State. In another development, security operatives arrested a notorious militia leader named Keffas Aondofa aka Azonto at Jalingo Metropolis in Taraba State. Azonto who took over leadership of the late Gana’s militia gang has been terrorizing and imposing levies on locals in the State and has been on the wanted list of Operation WHIRL STROKE and other security forces. In the course of the operations within the period under review, a total of 15 armed bandits were neutralized, while 23 AK-47 rifles with magazines as well as 66 rounds of 7.62mm special and 39mm ammunition were recovered.
OPERATION THUNDER STRIKE/WHIRL PUNCH
- In Operation THUNDER STRKE/WHIRL PUNCH, own troops maintained their highway and fighting patrols to dominate and provide security in major and minor roads as well as deny armed elements freedom of action. On 5 September 2021, offensive air strikes were executed, using a force pack of Nigerian Air Force platforms, on a bandits’ camp at Kuza Hills, which led to the destruction of some of the criminals’ hideouts and logistics facilities. No fewer than 43 armed bandits were neutralized in the process. In same vein, over 40 armed bandits were neutralized at Fadaman Kanauta in Kidandan forest under Giwa LGA of Kaduna State. This feat was achieved when the Air Component carried a 3 day intensive air offensives on bandits’ enclaves at the location between 13 and 15 September 2021. During the operations, several structures that housed the bandits were also destroyed along with their logistics installations and supplies. In addition, troops neutralized 3 armed bandits around Kasamari Bridge along Kaduna – Abuja Highway and recovered 3 AK-47 rifles with magazines and 48 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.
OPERATION DELTA SAFE
- Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have continued to sustain the tempo in its anti-illegal oil operations to forestall economic saboteurs in the South-South Zone. Some of the operations recorded significant results at different locations in Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States within the period in focus. The locations in which significant successes were recorded in Rivers State include; Banga, Zion, Kumufari and Ataba communities in Andoni LGA; Buguma general area in Buguma LGA; Oduoha community in Emohua LGA, Ogbodo in Ekwere LGA and Olutoru community in Bonny LGA. Other locations in Rivers State were; Alakri and Ogoloma communities in Okrika LGA; Meinjudukiri axis and Bakana town as well as around Ogbunku and Banigo communities in Degema LGA. In Bayelsa State, troops recorded attendant successes at Okarki, Kalatirama, Bille, Orutoru and Otuesegha communities in Ogbia LGA. Also in Delta State, troops recorded successes at Saghara Creek in Warri South West LGA and Yokri-Ebge Seashore in Burutu LGA. In the course of these operations, troops discovered and deactivated a total of 69 illegal refining sites. The sites cumulatively had a total of 79 ovens, 77 cooking pots/boilers and 76 cooling systems, 48 large dugout pits and 246 storage tanks as well as drums and sacks. These were cumulatively laden with two million, one hundred and fifty-seven thousand litres of illegally refined AGO as well as 1,300 tons and four million, five hundred and thirty-eight thousand litres of stolen crude oil.
- Troops also discovered and disconnected some illegally connected pipelines and deactivated other illegal bunkering materials at Rumuekpe community as well as Ihuowo – Okoma Pipeline Right of Way in Abua/Odua LGA of Rivers State. Additionally, troops arrested 6 militants and recovered 4 locally-made pistols, 22 cartridges and 13 wraps of cannabis sativa among other items at Government Jetty in Creek town, Rivers State during the period. In another development troops on maritime patrol intercepted a vessel identified as ‘MT AKEMIJOE BUNKER ONE’ without a Maritime Mobile Service Identity or NIMASA document in the south of Bartholomeo River. The vessel which was laden with 150,000 litres of AGO was arrested and handled appropriately.
- Gentlemen of the Press, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies will not rest on their oars in the fight against criminalities in all parts of the Country. The Military High Command appreciates the continuous sacrifices of its troops in the various theatres of operation across the Country. It salutes the courage, resilience and commitment towards achieving sustainable peace in the Country. We as always, appreciate the general public and the press community for their continued support and further encourage all to avail the Armed Forces with credible and timely information that will facilitate our proactive engagements across the country.
- Thank you and God bless.
(Pictures of some incidents from the various operations are available for your necessary action).
Defence Media Operations
30 September 2021