Military assures Nigerians over U.S warning on ISIS, Al Qaeda
• Intensifies fight against crude oil theft
The armed forces yesterday assured Nigerians that they were taking seriously the warning by the United States of America African Command (US AFRICOM) of infiltration of parts of Nigeria by the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS) and Al Qaeda, saying that the military was ahead of the evolving security challenge.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche, who gave the assurance while briefing journalists in Abuja, maintained that relevant security agencies were leaving nothing to chance.
Enenche said: “Sequel to the warning by US AFRICOM that extremists have begun deploying several strategies to silently re-establish themselves across some regions in Africa, including the West Africa sub region, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and all the relevant security agencies are leaving nothing to chance.
“Consequently, actions in place in this regard are being reviewed to handle this all-important intelligence appropriately. I am directed to assure the general public that this is not a one- off but continuous effort, as it were, to ensure that the security agencies are ahead of this evolving security challenge.”
He noted that the armed forces have continued to sustain the tempo in the fight against terrorism in the North East zone, with attendant successes.
He dismissed the allegations that troops in Baga were dealing in livestock and engaging in farming, saying that “in line with military procedures, the allegations were investigated and found to be baseless.”
Gen. Enenche said that in a move to curb the recent attacks and “isolated killings” in Southern Kaduna, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN had deployed a special force in the area, while troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have continued “aggressive clearance operations” in the entire North West zone.
According to Enenche, there has been “downward trend in the activities of armed bandits and cattle rustlers in the general areas of Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto and the adjoining states.
“Most of these criminal elements have been decimated. Gradually, there is restoration of human activities in the zone. Farmers have returned to their farms while other economic activities have picked up.
“Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have intensified the fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering in the zone with significant successes. Within the period under review, Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team discovered an illegal refining site at Yellow Platform off Onne, Rivers State. The site had two metal reservoirs laden with an estimated 314.49 barrels of crude oil and 90,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. Accordingly, the site was deactivated
“Similarly, Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA patrol team located an illegal refining site along Lokpobiri in Burutu Council of Delta State. The site had 23 ovens, 15 surface metal storage tanks and nine dug out pits cumulatively laden with about 195,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO.
“Also, a speed boat laden with four sacks containing unspecified quantity of illegally refined AGO and three pumping machines, were found at the site. Accordingly, the site was deactivated while the speed boat with its content was recovered to the base.”
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