The Nigerian Armed Forces on Thursday assured Nigerians that it is taking the warning of the United States of America African Command (US AFRICOM) on the infiltration of the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS) and Al Qaeda in parts of the country, saying that the nation’s “security agencies are ahead of this evolving security challenge.”
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche, told journalists in Abuja while military operation in the last one week that the relevant secrutiy agencies are leaving nothing to chance.
According to the Armed Forces Spokesperson, “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 is 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.”
Enenche noted that “in the Northeast zone, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have continued to sustain the tempo in the fight against terrorism in the zone with attendant successes. Within the period under review, you could attest to the fact that there has been reduction in the number of incidences recorded so far from the zone. That is an evidence of own troops overwhelming superiority over the criminal elements which have drastically degraded the operational capabilities of the BHT/ISWAP elements. Troops have also sustained the clearance operations, aggressive patrols and Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions, sustained air offensive operations as well as artillery and aerial bombardments in the theatre of operation.”
He dismissed alleged reports that troops in Baga were dealing in livestock and farming, saying that “in line with military procedures, it was investigated and found to be baseless.”
Enenche said that in a bid to curb the recent attacks and “isolated killings” in Southern Kaduna, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN have deployed Special Operations Forces towards securing the lives and property in the general area.
Saying that troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have continued “aggressive clearance operations in the entire Northwest zone of the country,” General Enenche said there has been “downward trend in the activities of armed bandits and cattle rustlers in the general areas of Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto and 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 across the zone.”
“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 2 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 LGA of Delta State. The site had 23 ovens, 15 surface metal storage tanks and 9 dug out pits cumulatively laden with about 195,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO. Also, a speed boat laden with 4 sacks containing unspecified quantity of illegally refined AGO and 3 pumping machines, were found at the site. Accordingly, the site was deactivated while the speed boat with its content was recovered to the Base.”
The Armed Forces Spokesperson stated that the “Military High Command congratulates all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies for the feat recorded in various operations across the country. Troops are further encouraged to remain determined and sustain the tempo in curtailing the activities of terrorists, armed bandits and other criminals.
“The High Command of the Armed Forces also reassures the general public of its unwavering commitment to securing the country for all human activities to strive. Members of the general public are, as always, enjoined to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the nearest military and other security agencies location for prompt and effective action.”