When Military Runs Riot Against Bandit-Terrorists
By Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi
Barely a week after Chief of the Air Staff, CAS, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, made it crystal clear that the terrorists and other criminal elements disturbing the peace of the country would no longer have a hiding place, it is obvious that Nigerian military had started translating his words to action without delay.
This is evident, as last week, the public space had been flooded with scintillating news on how the Nigerian air troops neutralized a large score of bandit-terrorists in Ghana community of Mariga Local Government Area, Niger State.
It can be recalled that Niger state is one of the north-central states where the banditry and kidnapping activities were alarming. However, a lot of wins have been recorded in returning normalcy to the affected areas as a result of ongoing sustained military onslaughts across the nooks and crannies of the state by the gallant troops.
The military, in its effort to fulfill the enshrine mandate of protecting the country and the citizens, PRNigeria has authoritatively gathered that, no fewer than 200 bandits were eliminated as a to multiple airstrike by the fighter jets of Nigerian military in Niger state. Not just that, about 25 motorcycles belonging to the terrorists were equally retrieved during the intense clearance operation.
The aerial operation by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Component of Operation Thunder Strike and Operation Gama Aiki took place on Wednesday March, 02, 2022 between 4.45 pm and 6.34 pm in some bandit camps within Ghana village.
It was learnt that, the bandits, who belonged to several terror syndicates operating in the state, converged on a certain location after which they were wiped out by the air strikes, as the military acted out rightly upon credible intelligences.
Due to mutual collaboration among the troops, the wounded terrorists who tried to flee the location have equally met their waterloo as the ground troops were strategically positioned and did not waste time in sending them to meet their creator to answer for their perpetrated crimes.
The anti-banditry war by the Nigerian military has lately been yielding the much desired results as a lot of bandits’ kingpin were eliminated along with their gang members while the lucky survivors are now on the run. In addition, their enclaves were equally ransacked and destroyed.
While commending the troops for these successes, Amao, expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far, especially in eliminating key terrorists in the North-east and North-west as well as destroying their hideouts and also charged NAF personnel engaged in ongoing joint operations to go after those against Nigeria’s peace and progress while “ensuring that there is no hiding place for all terrorists and insurgents.”
Amao’s declaration came as the few days after Defence Headquarters (DHQ) announced that intense aerial and artillery bombardment of terrorists’ positions in the North-east compelled the surrender of 466 Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists and their families, comprising 120 adult males, 137 adult females and 209 children, who claimed to have lost interest in the Boko Haram ideology.
This is not the first time that the insurgents in the northeastern region are calling it a quit. As at now, more than 20, 000 terrorists have so far laid down their arms for seeking for amnesty.
Reviewing recent gains made against terrorists and insurgents in line with the operational objectives, Amao, also ordered increased and sustained fire power to completely decimate the capabilities of all armed groups in the country. He equally vowed to meet the operational requirements of all NAF units involved in joint operations so as to minimise threats posed by terrorists, insurgents and other criminals.
The CAS then charged heads of operational units to continually ensure the provision of close air support to Nigerian Army troops and other security agencies while sustaining the momentum until all terrorists were smoked out and neutralised.
“We mustn’t relent until peace is restored to all affected areas,” he said.
On the other hand, the Nigerian navy had also been very active in safeguarding the country’s waterways through mounting sustainable surveillance.
The Director of the Defence Media Operations (DDMO), Maj. Gen Bernard Onyeuko, while briefing newsmen about the military operations, said that naval troops deactivated 38 illegal refining sites in Niger Delta.
“Consequently, troops within the period under review, recovered a total of 1,118,175 litres of illegal AGO and 2,086.000 litres of stolen crude oil.
“Similarly, troops discovered 38 refining sites, 100 metal storage tanks, 25 dugout pits, 75 cooking ovens, 20 cotonou boats, 35 Yamaha pumping machines, 15 coolants as well as 10 tankers were recovered.
“Also, 35 galvanised pipes illegally connected were destroyed. Furthermore, 13 economic saboteurs associated with pipeline vandalism were arrested,” he said.
He said all recovered items and apprehended criminals were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.
However, at this juncture, it is pertinent to applaud the efforts the of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) for these victories, who has been collaborating with other country’s intelligence bodies, notably the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Department of State Service (DSS) for protecting the country against threats. In addition, it also ensures synergy among the three Armed Forces of Nigeria including the police in areas of intelligence gatherings and information sharing.
It is hopeful that, with these current offensives by the combined force of Nigerian military and other intelligence bodies, the country is on the right track of surmounting the security challenges and achieving an everlasting peace.
Mukhtar is a Staff Writer with Emergency Digest
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