PRESS CONFERENCE BY THEATRE COMMANDER OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE
MARCH 1, 2017 IN MAIDUGURI
The gallant troops have continued to consolidate the peace. This brief, therefore, will touch on some of the operations and other related issues. Details are as follows:
a. Clearance Operations. Our troops have conducted some clearance operations during the period under review as follows:
On 1 Feb 17 at about 0950hrs own troops cleared BHT camp at DUSALA where 6 BHT members were killed. Items captured include one Light Machine Gun, 2 RPG tubes and one extra AA gun barrel. Thereafter, our troops came in contact with BHT at BUK where a fire fight ensued. Sadly, 3 soldiers were killed in action while 5 others were wounded. Furthermore, some BHT equipment were recovered which include 9 AK47 rifles, 3 FN rifles, 2 RPG bombs, one mortar tube, one Shilka gun, one gun truck mounted with AA gun and 2 Hilux vehicles.
On 7 Feb 17, own troops successfully cleared NGAWUMARI, BULABURE, CHONGOLO GANA, SIRAJA and ZAYE NGUSA villages. Troops encountered BHT elements at CHONGOLO GANA villages and successfully cleared them where 13 BHT were killed. Some BHT equipment captured include arms, ammunition, 2 vehicles, 5 motor cycles and 9 bicycles. Also, 5 women and 15 children suspected to be BHT families from MODUN AZAREM villages were intercepted enroute SIRAJA village.
On 21 Feb 17, own troops cleared MANDAKA and LEMU during advance to GATHA village. The advancing troops encountered and killed 2 BHT at GATHA while a member of vigilante was wounded in action. Items recovered from the insurgents include a list containing names of suspected BHT members, an IED vest, 2 solar panels, a BHT flag, 4 copies of Quran, a national identity card and a voters card. A total of 59 women and children suspected to be held captive by the insurgents were also rescued and are being profiled.
Own troops in conjunction with vigilantes commenced advance on 19 Feb 17 at about 0700hrs and successfully cleared BULTAURI KURA, BULABILI, AMBIYA TASHA and TORO villages. Others include GOL, ZINDIYA, BURBUR, MANGUSUM, TALALA, AJIGIN and DOKSA. The troops cleared the villages. However, a soldier was killed in action while 3 others were wounded in action. Items recovered include assorted ammunition, 13 BHT flags, 3 Holy Quran, a Motorola radio, 2 grinding machines, 5 dane guns, an FN magazine and a packet of Maggi. Others include 2 camouflage jungle hat, 6 Arabic books, a pair of camouflage uniform and a bandolier.
On 22 Feb 17 at about 0830hrs, troops carried out a sweep along DAMASAK – GASHIGAR – GIRI 1 – GIRI 2 – JABULAM – ABADAM – MALLAM FATORI axis. The troops made contact with BHT at GIRI 1 and JABULAM villages where 13 BHT were killed. All BHT camps along the axis of advance were cleared and destroyed. One soldier was wounded in action.
b. Ambush Operations. Own troops conducted some ambush operations against the fleeing BHT as follows:
On 14 Feb 17 at about 0445hrs, own troops laid an ambush at a BHT crossing point between KUKARETA and NGAMDU where 3 BHT members were killed. Items recovered include one AK47 rifle, 3 magazines, 2 RPG bombs, 50 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, a den gun, some local charms and 2 knives.
On 21 Feb 17 at about 1200hrs, own troops sprung an ambush at BHT crossing point within FIRGI along road PULKA – BANKI Junction. The troops made contact with BHT and killed 3 of them. During the operation, one of our trucks was slightly damaged. The items captured and destroyed in situ include one AK47 Rifle and magazine, 7 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, 3 bicycles and some food condiments.
c. BHT Ambush.On 9 Feb 17 at about 1930hrs, own convoy of troops including 6 BOSG buses conveying some young soldiers encountered BHT ambush along AJIRI – DIKWA road. The troops engaged the BHT but 8 soldiers were killed in action. Also, 18 other soldiers were wounded in action while 3 others were missing in action. A Canter vehicle, a gun truck, 7 AK47 rifles, 2 radios and some equipment were lost in the ambush. Efforts have been ongoing to find all the missing soldiers and to recover the lost equipment.
d. BHT Attack. On 24 Feb 17 at about 2359hrs, some BHT elements in gun trucks and on motorcycles attacked our troops location at GAJIRAM. Sadly, one officer and 10 soldiers were killed in action and one other soldier was wounded in action. Some of our equipment lost include a gun truck earlier captured from BHT, 11 AK47 rifles and an RPG tube. Two BHT were killed in action as well as 5 motor cycles and one AK47 rifle were recovered. Furthermore, the troops pursued the BHT and recovered a Toyota Land cruiser vehicle that was used by BHT during the attack. other items recovered include 9 rounds of 12.7mm, a metal link for 12.7mm, assorted hard drugs, a note with BHT names in Arabic inscription and a micro chip containing audio messages in Kanuri, Hausa and Arabic preaching.
e. Discovery of Indian Hemp. On 2 Feb 17 at about 0810hrs, own troops at Song checkpoint stopped a Honda vehicle with registration number BDG 266 EE Lagos with 2 persons onboard for a search. On questioning, the driver identified himself as a policeman but when the soldiers at the checkpoint insisted that the vehicle must be searched, the driver refused and took off. The troops took action and in the process, the driver was pursued and while fleeing, he crashed into a fence which led to his death. A passenger was wounded and evacuated to medical centre in GOMBI for treatment. Items discovered in the vehicle include a fake Nigeria Police Inspector’s ID card and a military belt. The vehicle was searched and discovered to be fully loaded with parcels of substance suspected to be Indian hemp. The suspect and the exhibits were handed over to Nigeria Police and NDLEA at GOMBI respectively for further action.
f. Arrests. Our troops have arrested several BHT suspects within the period. Some of the cases include:
(1) On 16 Feb 17 at about 1425hrs, own troops deployed at MAFA intercepted one Hassan Adamu aged 27 years. Some locals fetching fire wood informed the troops that the suspect was trying to infiltrate into MAFA town. The suspect has confessed of being a BHT member who is tired of their ideology and wanted to surrender. He is in custody undergoing interrogation.
On 21 Feb 17 at about 1630hrs, own troops intercepted a BHT suspect named Ari Arimaye from BULA – UMARI village who disguised as an IDP to gain access into IDP camp at BANKI. The suspect was searched and the sum of N1,264,000.00 and CFA160,000.00 were found in his possession concealed in a black sack.
On 26 Feb 17 at about 1740hrs, own troops in collaboration with personnel of DSS Tracking Team arrested 3 BHT suspects at Arawa and Mallam Inna area in Gombe metropolis. The suspects are Bilal Muhammed Umar, Bashir Muhammed and Muhammed Maigari Abubakar. They confessed to have fled from Chad Republic and belong to Albarnawi group. The suspects were arrested with some IED materials. They are in custody for further investigation.
g. Destruction of Suspected BHT Motor Cycles.On 10 Feb 17 at about 0620hrs, own troops deployed at BARA while on fighting patrol to NJIBULWA village discovered a total of 301 motor cycles suspected to be mustered by/for BHT. The motor cycles were all destroyed in situ.
h. Interception of Female Suicide Bombers. On 7 Feb 17 at about 0710hrs, own troops in conjunction with CJTF intercepted 2 female suicide bombers behind NNPC Mega Filling Station along MAIDUGURI-DAMBOA road. The suicide bombers were sighted while advancing towards the line of vehicles queuing to buy fuel from the station. Own troops deployed in the area immediately mobilised to the place and the suicide bombers started running away. They were pursued by the troops and one of them removed her suicide vest and surrendered to troops while the other one continued running. The troops shot down the second suicide bomber when she got to a safe distance far behind the Mega Station. The police EOD team removed the suicide vest from the body of the second suicide bomber and later detonated both vests in situ. The arrested female suicide bomber has been undergoing interrogation.
i. PBIED Incidences.On 17 Feb 17 at about 0250hrs, 2 female suicide bombers came to MUNA DALTI and when challenged by CJTF they quickly detonated their suicide vests. The 2 female suicide bombers killed themselves while 7 members of CJTF were injured. The injured have been evacuated to General Hospital. The explosion caused a conflagration which destroyed a total of 13 cars that were parked. Also, on 24 Feb 17 at about 1940hrs, 2 suicide bombers attempted to infiltrate BANKI IDP camp.
On sighting own troops on sentry, one of the suicide bombers detonated the IED vest strapped to her body killing herself and the second suicide bomber. A member of CJTF sustained minor injuries in the process and was treated.
j. IED Attack. Some IED incidences were recorded during the period under review:
On 2 Feb 17 at about 1715hrs, own troops while on clearance operation to TALALA/AJIGIN encountered 2 IEDs about 8km to AJIGIN. Sadly, 2 soldiers were killed in action and 4 others were wounded in action. The wounded soldiers have been receiving treatment in our hospital.
Also on 6 Feb 17 at about 0825hrs, own troops while on patrol along NGOSHE – BOKKO HIDE – PULKA road were involved in an IED incident. Sadly, we lost a soldier while 4 others were wounded. A Nissan Hilux gun truck and 3 AK47 rifles were damaged. The wounded soldiers have been evacuated to our hospital and are responding to treatment.
On 19 Feb 17 at about 1000hrs, our troops encountered IED around BULA JIMBAM general area while advancing after clearing WAIYARAM village. Two soldiers were killed in action while 13 others were wounded in action. Our Nissan gun truck mounted with machine gun and a canter truck were damaged. All soldiers killed and wounded in action were evacuated to MAIDUGURI for further treatment.
k. Surrendered BHT. On 16 Feb 17 at about 1600hrs, a BHT member named Ibrahim Adamu from CHIKIN GUDU surrendered to own troops in MONGUNO.
Air Component Video Clip.
Summary of Rescued/Arrested/Surrendered BHT Suspects and Other Persons. A total of 7,898 civilians were rescued/arrested as suspected BHT members while 2 others surrendered to our troops during our operations conducted between 2 Feb – 1 Mar 17. Also, a total of 8 foreigners were arrested comprising 4 Chadians, 3 Nigeriens and 1 Cameroonian.
I am constrained to touch on the recently released Amnesty International Report for the year 2016. The reason being that the Report made some unfortunate and unfounded claims regarding the operations in the North East. Whereas the contents of the report have been condemned, I wish to join to say that troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE are professional in conduct and disposition. They operate within the strict guidance of the Rules of Engagement and the Code of Conduct for troops. What needs to be made clear is that we have observed a consistent attack on the institutions charged with the mandate to protect the Nation against every form of insecurity.
During the trying days of this operation, Amnesty International and other agents working against our nationhood, tried fruitlessly to incite the populace against the military through various malicious publications. Inspite of their distractions, we forged ahead and decimated Boko Haram. We worked assiduously to improve on our Civil-Military Relations, the result of which is very manifest in the unparalleled support, accolades and encouragement we have received from the populace.
This position seem to have disappointed the Amnesty International and their unholy allies. Regrettably, some Nigerians are being used as puppets and agents of destruction of our national security institutions. It is sad that when our National Security institutions are gaining traction, these agents after fabricating their reports, sit back and push Nigerians to make the Reports known to the public to give it a National Colour of some sort. What a case of ‘go and destroy your own house’! We must rise up and stand against this subtle and increasing level of neocolonialism. We all have a role to play in this direction. Our national institutions must be strengthened. It is our responsibility so to do. No one can love Nigeria better than Nigerians. I only ask you, the Press to ‘Shine Your Eyes’.
6. On that note, I urge the general public to continue to report any suspicious persons or objects to the military and other security agencies. Peace-we need, Peace-we have, Peace-we must work to sustain. Whilst appreciating the support and encouragement of the C-in-C, CDS, COAS and other Service Chiefs, we remain absolutely loyal and committed to the cause for which we are assigned to Operation LAFIYA DOLE. Thank you and God bless.
Operation LAFIYA DOLE
NIGERIAN ARMY AND DEPARTMENT OF STATE SERVICES ARRESTS FOREIGN TERRORISTS
Today afternoon, Nigerian Army troops in conjunction with elements of Department of State Services (DSS) after painstaking effort of tracking arrested 3 suspected Chadian Boko Haram terrorists that belonged to Albaranawi faction, in Gombe, Gombe State.
The 3 Chadian terrorists suspects, Bilal Muhammed Umar, Bashir Muhammed and Muhammed Maigari Abubakar were arrested at Arawa and Mallam Inna Areas of Gombe metropolis. They were reported to be members of Albarnawi faction of the Boko Haram that operates in Chad and mostly northern part of Borno State but came to Gombe State for another heinous assignment.
During the operation, one of them, Bilal Muhammed Umar attempted to escape and was shot on the leg. He was however apprehended and is receiving medical treatment.
The terrorists were also arrested with Improvised Explosive Device (IED), materials that they could have coupled and attack parts of the State.
The suspects are in custody undergoing preliminary investigation.
NIGERIAN AIR FORCE STRIKES BOKO HARAM TERRORIST (BHT) LOCATION AT TAGOSHE
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) struck a Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) location at Tagoshe/Mandara Mountain general area about 10km Southwest of Gwoza in Northern Borno.
Intelligence report by Sister surface forces had it that remnants of fleeing BHTs were gathered at the location.
This report was confirmed by NAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft before combat platforms were called in to strike the location.
Follow-up battle damage assessment confirmed that the air attack was successful as shown by the enclosed declassified footage of the operation.
FEDERAL LEGISLATORS LAUDS NIGERIAN ARMY FOR HALTING BOKO HARAM
Member representing Monguno, Marte and Ngazai Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon Mohammed Tahir Monguno has lauded the Nigerian Army for halting Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East geo-political zone of the country.
The lawmaker disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the General Officer Commanding 8 Task Force Division, Maj Gen Ali Nani in Monguno.
“We are here in your office primarily to thank you and salute the courage, determination and the sacrifice which the Nigerian Army has made towards bringing peace to our communities”.
Continuing, he noted “We are eternally grateful for the sacrifice that you people have made in liberating our communities from Boko Haram terrorists. It is because of your sacrifice, dedication and zeal that we feel safe to come here today”.
He stressed that military personnel continually deprive themselves of sleep and other necessities to ensure that other Nigerians sleep with both eyes closed.
“Words cannot express our gratitude enough because so many military personnel have paid the supreme price in the cause of defending their father land. I pray that the Almighty God grant their souls peace.”
He assured the GOC that the National Assembly will do everything within it’s legislative responsibility to ensure that the NA gets a conducive environment to discharge it’s constitutional duties.
In his response, Major General Ali Nani thanked the Honourable member for visiting the division. He assured him of the preparedness of the division to completely rid it’s Area of Responsibility of Boko Haram’s influence.
“I want to say that we are willing and ready to keep doing our best to ensure that peace, stability and economic activities resume fully North-East in general”.
The GOC acknowledged the support of the state government and communities within Northern Borno in checking the menace of Boko Haram.
“In the time past, the locals hardly offer information, but now because of their support and understanding, we get information concerning terrorists and activities.”
He called on other security agencies in the state to come in and discharge their constitutional roles by dominating liberated communities to engender economic development. He noted that Nigerian Army has within its limited resources ensured that the liberated communities are provided with basic amenities.
He recalled that recently, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General TY Buratai provided 2 industrial boreholes in Monguno and Marte, respectively.
The GOC observed that the intervention was part of efforts to cement existing cordial relationship with the public in Monguno and environs in order to enhance healthy civil -military relations.
Please disseminate this information to the general public.
Col Timothy Antigha
Deputy Director Public Relations
Expert Urges Military to Counter Terrorism through Social Media
With the advancement in technology and the influence of internet-based resources for effective communication, the Nigerian military has been urged to tackle insurgency through social media.
Speaking as a Guest Lecturer at the Air War College (AWC) in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Mr. Yushau Shuaib, the brain behind the 2016 Global Award winner in Crisis Communication and expert in social media, pointed out that the battle ground has shifted from physical combat to Cyberspace where social media is the tool of engagement.
He said “The military needs to train and equip social media warriors whose responsibility is to engage the audience with truthful, factual and convincing arguments of operations towards the well-being and better informed public.”
Shuaib, who is also the publisher of PRNigeria, Nigeria’s foremost News Releases platform, delivered a paper to senior military officers on “Managing the influence of Social Media on Military Operations.”
Shuaib said: “The enemies are hidden in their cocoon using the social media in recruiting volunteers, mobilizing resources and attacking public consciousness, mostly through threats of violence and terrorism”.
“The military as an institution that can effectively counter terrorism should realise that conventional weapons have their limitations in psychological warfare. They should therefore explore the benefit of Social Media which is cost effective for engaging large audience; providing adequate Information; responding timely to enquiries; sharing educative media data and coordinating activities with different groups”, he said.
Speaking on the future of Social Media, Shuaib said the future is already manifesting in the current generation, stressing that “The future is already here and now. Officers responsible for information management and communication should realise that an office is no more confined to a physical wall: we are in an age of mobile office, working 24/7, streaming live video in real time to the satisfaction of our audiences.
“In the next few years wearable gadgets will become the major tools while stiffer competition between the Media Houses and in-house PR team will become prevalent as each party competes for large followership on the social media.”
While observing that some security agencies and officials have refused to embrace the social media for primordial reasons, he urged them to change their mindset.
Shuaib said: “It is baffling that some top officials take delight in discrediting the social media and refuse to embrace the technology.
Their reluctance and absence on social media only compels fraudsters to clone their identities on the platforms for nefarious activities
“I must commend the current Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar for embracing the social Media by engaging his audience regularly with latest reports on the activities of the NAF and its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. Similarly, former military spokesperson General Chris Olukolade, has demonstrated how Twitter could be effectively deployed for regular news updates; while the current Army spokesperson, Brigadier General Sani Usman Kukasheka directly engages his Facebook audience with images and stories from theatre of military operation.”
In his remarks after the presentation, the Commandant of the Nigeria Airforce (NAF) Air War College, Air Vice Marshall J.K Baba said the establishment of the college was in tandem with the vision of Air Chief to reposition NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for efficient, effective and timely employment of air power in response to Nigeria’s security imperatives.
The Director of Academic Affairs of the college, Air Commodore Idi Lubo speaking on behalf of the students of the AWC, commended the lecturer for his well-researched paper and the interactive nature of the presentation which took two hours.
GWOZA: BOKO HARAM TERRORISTS ATTACK NAF HELICOPTER CONVEYING MEDICS ON OUTREACH PROGRAMME
A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter conveying personnel on medical outreach programme at Gwoza yesterday came under attack by members of the Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) group.
The Mi-17 helicopter was shot at severally by the insurgents however there was no casualty except for an airman that sustained bullet wound.
The helicopter had departed from Maiduguri enroute the venue of the 2-day medical outreach programme in Gwoza when it came under attack by the insurgents.
Nevertheless, the pilot was able to fly the helicopter safely to and from its destination to enable the outreach programme continue uninterrupted.
Following the attack, the NAF immediately scrambled a fighter aircraft and helicopter gunship to the location between Bama and Gwoza to neutralise the threat.
Intelligent report by ground troops confirmed scores of BHTs were killed, signifying that the air attack on the threat location was successful.
Recall that the NAF has been conducting medical outreach in the North East as part of its humanitarian support to Internally Displaced Persons. The latest of this effort was in Gwoza. This follows a similar effort undertaken recently for IDPs in Lagos area.
OPERATION DELTA SAFE GETS NEW SPOKESMAN
Following the routine postings and redeployment in the Nigerian military, Major Abubakar Abdullahi was posted as coordinator Joint Media Campaign Centre (JMCC) and spokesperson of Operation DELTA SAFE.
Prior to his appointment, Major Abdullahi served in different capacity across the country as military Public RElations Officer and information manager. He is a member of Nigerian Institutes of Public Relations (NIPR).
The new coordinator took over from Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Marcellinus Daudu who was redeployed to serve as Deputy Director Army Public Relations at 81 Division Nigerian Army, Lagos.
During the handing and taking over held at Headquarters Operations DELTA SAFE, Igbogene Yenagoa, the outgone coordinator expresed his gratitude to the press community in Niger Delta region as well as everyone that supported his successful tenure of duty.
Lieutenant Colonel Daudu appealed for continued cooperation and support to the new spokesman to enable him perform effectively in line with the mandate of Operation DELTA SAFE ” To Protect Oil and Gas Infrastructure and Deter/Prevent Militancy, Sea Robbery, Crude Oil Theft and Other forms of Criminality Within the Joint Operations Area – that Could Impact Negatively on Economic Activities in Niger Delta”.
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