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Presidency lists military’s feats as Nigeria marks Armed Forces Day

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•Troops kill 2,403 hoodlums, rescue 864 captives

The Presidency has listed the achievements of the military in the ongoing fight against insurgency and violent crimes, as Nigeria marks this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day today.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, listed the feats yesterday in a write-up titled, “Security Checklist: As Nigeria marks Armed Forces Remembrance Day.’’

According to him, the occasion provides opportunity to chronicle current landmark achievements by the military in tackling security challenges across the federation.

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In the statement, Adesina quoted Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, as saying that statistics on affairs in the state’s 27 councils since 2011 and the entire North East region had been better under the President Muhammed Buhari administration.

He said: “Unlike the years before Buhari when a number of local governments were no-go-areas, we now have indigenes safely back to Gwoza, Askira-Uba, Dikwa, Ngala, Monguno, Kukawa, Damboa, Konduga, Mafa and led by our traditional leaders, which no one could have visited not to talk of living there.
 
“Our Emirs were all in exile. Today, Bama Local Government is coming back to life and so are Askira-Uba, Damboa, Gwoza and others. Life is returning to Baga, which was impossible before.

Zulum added: “In fact, it was not possible to move few kilometres out of Maiduguri.  Insurgents were so bold to attack and take over military facilities, like the Army Barracks at Monguno, Bama, Giwa Barrack and Multinational Joint Task Force Headquarters at Baga, to mention just a few. There were daily bomb blast attacks in many parts of Maiduguri, the most populated part of the state but all these have stopped. These are the records and no one can dispute them.”

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MEANWHILE, highlights of Defence Headquarters-coordinated operations in from March 18 to December 30, 2020 revealed that 2,403 terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers were killed nationwide.

The statement read: “From March to December 2020 in North East, 5, 281 livestock, 6, 951 rounds of ammunition and 120 assorted rifles were recovered from armed bandits by troops in the zone. Four hundred and fifty-five kidnapped victims were rescued and 473 armed bandits killed.
 
“Arrest made in the zone were 461, including high-profile armed bandits, gun runners and bandits’ collaborators, while a sum of N6, 365,550 were recovered from armed bandits and their informants in the same zone.

“In Northeast and North-Central, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, Operation Safe Haven, Whirl Stroke and Thunder Strike rescued a total of 330 kidnapped victims. A total of 1,898 rounds of ammunition, 1,055 rustled cattle were recovered, 45 grenades as well as 305 assorted rifles were also recovered from BHT/ISWAP fighters and other criminal elements in the zone.

“In addition, several gun trucks were captured, while some others were destroyed during air strikes. 1,805 insurgents/terrorists, including commanders, were killed by the troops aside scores killed by air raids/attacks.”

The document noted: “Additionally, within the period, a total of 79 arrests were made, including high value targets while 1,250 criminals, including family members of the Darul Salam sect were arrested within the period. Troops also neutralised a total of 125-armed bandits and militia gang leaders.

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“In South-South and South-West, troops recovered a total of 9.6 million litres of stolen AGO and 33.5 million litres of DPK.“This indicated that in South-South region, a total of 8,890,300 litres of stolen AGO and 33,516,00 litres of DPK were impounded by troops of Operation Delta Safe. They were also able to immobilise a total of 185 illegal refining sites, 85 dugout pits and 163 metal storage tanks within the period. Similarly, the troops impounded a cumulative total of 31,236.8 barrels of stolen crude oil and 12,272,652 litres of stolen PMS from oil thieves in the zone. 

“Also, a total of 47 kidnapped victims were rescued, while 72 vandals and criminals were arrested. A total of 4,250 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled smuggled rice were impounded and 45 boats engaged in illegal activities were arrested. Troops also arrested a total of 53 pirates and 25 trucks, as well as recovered 23 rifles, 65,330 rounds of ammunition and destroyed 23 sea pirate camps.”

The statement continued: “In South-West, troops of Operation Awatse within the same period impounded a total of 10,458,600 litres of PMS, 15,345 barrels of stolen crude oil and 345,000 litres of stolen AGO. Additionally, troops recovered a total of 3,594 rounds of ammunition and 14 assorted rifles. Also, within the period, a total of 23 illegal refining sites were immobilised, while 15 boats and 23 trucks engaged in illegal activities were arrested. In the same vein, within the period 35 kidnapped victims were rescued, while 48 arrests were made.”

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