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…Rescued 563 Kidnapped Victims

…Discovered, Destroyed 65 Illegal Refinery Sites, 148 Storage Tanks

In May 2024, Nigerian military troops engaged in a campaign to purge the nation of terrorists and other criminal elements.

They successfully eliminated 624 terrorists and kidnappers and detained 1,051 others, including informants and supply providers.

After multiple gunshot exchanges and raids on bandits’ hideouts, troops freed 563 kidnapped prisoners.

Following the encounters, troops recovered 707 assorted weapons, 16,487 assorted ammunition and denied the oil theft of an estimated sum of over N700 million (N705,836,036.00) only.

The arms and ammunition recovered include 411 AK47 rifles, 234 locally fabricated guns, 43 pump action guns, 231 Dane guns, 10,782 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 4,310 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 1,623 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm ammo, 1,023 rounds of 511 rounds of 9mm and 2,100 live cartridges.

Others are 4,871,470 litres of stolen crude oil, 931,416 litres of illegally refined AGO and 4,480 litres of PMS, among other items.

Director of Defence Medi Operations, Major Gen. Edward Buba, who made the disclosure, said the joint operational environment coupled with synergy with other security and intelligence agencies greatly assisted in the optimal performance of troops in the conduct of the operations.

Giving details, he said, “In the North East, troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralized 69 terrorists, arrested 87 suspects and rescued 28 kidnappers hostages.

“Troops recovered 45 AK47 rifles, 4 fabricated rifles, 10 Dane guns, one UXO (1 x 120mm mortar bomb), one rocket launcher, 15 magazines, one AA round, 1,375 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 584 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 85 rounds of 7.62 by 54mm ammo, 171 rounds of 5.56mm ammo, 2 Baofeng radios, 13 motorcycles, 9 mobile phones and the sum of N517,000.00, amongst others.

“On 22 and 24 May 2024, the air component of Operation in multiple passes conducted air interdiction following Human Intelligence and confirmatory ISR on the movement and activities of suspected BH/ISWAP/JAS terrorists in Tumbun Fulani and Kirta Wulgo areas of Lake Chad Basin.

“The locations targets were acquired and engaged with rockets and bombs. Battle Damage Assessment revealed that several terrorists were neutralized along with their logistics.

“In the North Central, troops of Operation Safe Haven neutralized 13 insurgents, arrested 63 violent extremists and rescued 20 kidnapped hostages.

“Troops recovered 6 AK47 rifles, one locally fabricated pistol, one locally fabricated shotgun, 15 magazines, 502 rounds of 7.62mm special, 6 cartridges, one motorcycle, 3 cutlasses, 7 knives and the sum of N26,500.00 amongst others.

“Between 23 and 27 May 2024, troops in separate counter/anti kidnapping operations arrested 6 suspected violent extremists/terrorists in Bokkos, Barkin Ladi and Riyom LGAs of Plateau State.

“Between 24 and 27 May 2024, troops in separate fighting patrols intercepted and arrested 24 suspected violent extremists in Riyom and Bassa LGAs of Plateau State. During the operations, troops recovered 6 AK47 rifles, 15 magazines, 500 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo and the sum of N26,500 only.

“Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke neutralized 3 terrorists, arrested 29 violent extremists and rescued 11 kidnapped hostages.

“On 20 May 2024, troops responded to information on suspected violent extremists/armed herders attack on commuters in Gwer West LGA of Benue State. Troops exploited the general area and rescued an injured victim.

“On 21 May 2024, troops with hybrid forces while conducting patrol arrested 3 violent extremists/terrorists in Karim Lamido LGA of Taraba State. During the operations, troops recovered 3 motorcycles.

“Between 22 and 25 May 2024, troops in separate operations arrested 17 suspected violent extremists/terrorists in Karim Lamido and Lau LGAs of Taraba State as well as Ukum LGA of Benue State.

“In the North West, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralized 63 terrorists, arrested 157 terrorists and rescued 25 kidnapped hostages,

“Troops recovered 2 G3 rifles, 18 AK47 rifles, 2 PKT guns, 7 fabricated rifles, 4 dane guns, 3 pump action guns, 238 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 132 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 230 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm ammo, 34 cartridges, 3 magazines, 2 baofeng radios and 30 motorcycles amongst others.

“Following INTREP and confirmatory ISR on relocation and hibernating of suspected terrorists including enclaves of terrorist’s kingpins Kachalla Ruga, Haiyu and Sani Muhindinge in Safana and Anka LGAs of Katsina and Zamfara States respectively.

“The air component in multiple passes conducted air interdiction on 20 and 22 May 2024. The locations were observed to be active with terrorist’s activities, subsequently, it was acquired and attacked with bombs and rockets.

“Battle Damage Assessment revealed that several terrorists were eliminated and their structures destroyed.

“In the Niger Delta, troops of Operation Delta Safe neutralized 4 violent extremists and apprehended 16 suspects for oil thefts and other violent extremists. Troops recovered 15 weapons and 5,989 assorted ammunitions.

“Troops recovered 746,350 litres of stolen crude oil and 137,650 litres of illegally refined AGO.

“Additionally, troops discovered and destroyed 65 illegal refinery sites, 21 dugout pits, 28 boats, 70 drums, 11 receivers, 10 reservoirs and 146 storage tanks.

“Other items recovered include 181 cooking ovens, 2 barges, 17 vehicles, 6 motorcycles, 2 mobile phones, 15 wheelbarrows and 65 illegal refining sites.

“In the South East, troops of Operation Udoka neutralized 7 terrorists, arrested 24 violent extremists and rescued 11 kidnapped hostages.

“Troops recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 3 Dane guns, 4 pump action guns, 87 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 33 live cartridges, 2 HH radios, 5 vehicles and 4 mobile phones amongst other.

“On 21 May 2024, troops responded to a distress call on a kidnapping incident in Nsukka LGA of Enugu State. During the operation, troops 3 kidnapped hostages and recovered 2 vehicles.

“On 22 May 2024, troops raided a suspected illegal mining site and arrested 12 illegal miners in Abakaliki LGA of Ebonyi State. Arrested suspects comprise 2 NP personnel, 7 civilians and 3 Chinese Nationals.

Troops also recovered 2 sacks containing 241 water gel explosives from the suspected illegal miners.

“On 21 and 23 May 2024, troops in separate counter/anti Kidnapping operations responded to information on activities of suspected violent extremists/kidnappers in Nsukka and Urban Effium Ohaukwu LGAs of Enugu and Ebonyi States respectively.

“During the operations, troops rescued 3 kidnapped hostages and recovered empty case of 7.62mm special as well as 2 vehicles

“Between 22 and 28 May 2024, troops in separate arrested 6 suspected violent extremists/IPOB/ESN members in Ivo And Udenu LGAs of Ebonyi and Enugu States, as well as Idemili North and Onitsha LGAs of Anambra State.

“During the operations, 2 AK47 rifles, 3 Dane guns, 11 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 33 cartridges, one vehicle and 3 mobile phones, amongst others.

“In the South West, troops of Operation Awatse arrested 54 violent extremists and recovered one locally made pistol, 2 locally fabricated guns, 76 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 33 cartridges and 6 mobile phones, amongst other.

All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authority for further action.

“On 24 and 27 May 2024, troops in separate operations conducted offensive operations  in Irepo LGA of Oyo State as well as Ifelodun and Edu LGA of Kwara State.

“During the operations, troops arrested 20 suspects and recovered 2 locally made guns, 33 live cartridges, 2 motorcycles and 3 mobile phones.

“On 22 and 25 May 2024, troops in separate operations arrested 34 suspected violent extremists and kidnappers in in Edu and Ifelodun LGAs of Kwara State as well as Olorunsogo and Owo LGAs of Oyo and Ondo States.

“During the operations, troops recovered one locally made pistol, 3 mobile phones and the sum of N400,000.00 only amongst others.

Continuing, Gen. Buba said, “The unprovoked killings of 17 personnel in Okuama in Delta State, coupled with the recent assault of unarmed personnel in Banex Plaza in Abuja is worrisome and leaves much to be desired.

“These occurrences are unhealthy for our national security, counter productive and amount to self sabotage.

“Surely, it is no way to treat any human, certainly not a military personnel that places self in harms way to protect citizens or to safeguard the nation.

“The military has demonstrated high sense of discipline and professionalism in the face of the untoward attacks. Our professionalism must not be mistaken for weakness.

“Indeed, we know that to win this war, we needs the support of people. We also hope that the people would equally realize that, they need the military to win the war to guarantee their safety.

“Accordingly, It goes is without saying that this must not repeat itself as it jeopardizes our common interest. If troops err, report them and the military justice system will address the matter.

“We are at war, and  citizens must realize that they also have a responsibility by their actions and utterances  to support troops to keep the morale and fighting spirit of troops at optimal at all times.

“During otherwise is unpatriotic and amounts to self sabotage. Overall, we would continue to fight until the terrorists is defeated on the battlefield and help our nation flourish again.”

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