Despite assurances by the federal government that the Boko Haram sect had been degraded in the North East, Service chiefs in the country yesterday expressed concern over the security situation in the zone, saying security report from that part of the country is worrisome.
Irked by the situation report on the North East given to him, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Service Chiefs to beef up security in the country.
Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan – Ali disclosed after a meeting between President Buhari and security chiefs at the presidential villa.
The minister, however, noted that security has improved in all part of the country, especially in Zamfara and Benue States and in the Niger Delta.
He said, “This is a normal routine security briefing with Mr President. He just came back and so we briefed him on all the activities we had while he was away. It is an update of the August 2nd meeting.
“The decision that has been taken is that we have seen that there is a lot of improvement in the security situation in the country, more especially in Zamfara and Benue States and in the Niger Delta.
“In the North East, we are having worrisome report. We have looked into it critically and we have taken absolute decision”.
On his part, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, stated that at the meeting with the president, they reviewed security situations across the country, with a mandate from the president to scale up operations to make Nigeria safe and secure.
He said, “We just had two and a half hour meeting with the president and commander in chief. We reviewed the security situation across the country in all the geopolitical zones and of course we made all our comments, especially the new operations in Benue, Zamfara, Taraba Operation Whirl Stroke, and Operation Saradaji.
“We gave the extent of successes in these operations and we are to continue in this line of action in these operations. All the operations were reviewed and all the issues concerning the operations were dealt with.
“And he (Buhari) directed that we should continue to step up our game to ensure that the nation is safe and people go about their daily activities in a very safe manner.”
Those in attendance were National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief Of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief Of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief Of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique; director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Abubakar; Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the acting director general of Department for State Services (DSS), Matthew Seiyefa.
NAF Jets Destroy Boko Haram Hideouts In Sambisa Forest
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force said yesterday that its Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole has conducted massive day and night attacks against remnants of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) and their facilities.
The attacks between 10 and 18 August 2018, which were preceded by days of intensive Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, were planned and executed based on credible intelligence indicating that the BHTs were making moves to regroup around the fringes of Sambisa forest.
A statement by the director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, noted that the first air strike was a daytime mission executed on August 10, 2018 at a location 4.5 Km Northwest of Arra around the fringes of Sambisa where ISR had confirmed that Boko Haram fighters were regrouping to launch attacks against troops in the general area.
Daramola said, “Accordingly, the ATF detailed an Alpha Jet to attack the location. Overhead the area of interest, the Alpha Jet acquired and engaged targets, destroying parts of the settlement and neutralising several Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs).
“Intelligence reports later revealed that some of the surviving BHTs had converged at another location 4.8Km West of Arra. Consequently, the ATF deployed Mi-35M helicopter gunships for a night attack on the new location on 18 August 2018, resulting in the death of dozens of BHTs.”
Police Arrest Fake Soldiers In Abuja
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police has arrested two suspects over the death of one Michael Iorkohol.
The suspects, Alfred Leonard, 29 years and Samson Agbo, 37, allegedly conspired and killed the 47-year-old Iorkohol and took away his personal belongings.
The Commissioner of Police, FCT, Bala Ciroma, while parading the suspects, said following the circumstances surrounding Iorkohol’s mysterious disappearance, the Police arrested Leonard who was last sighted with the deceased at Kaduna.
Ciroma said upon interrogation, Leonard Led police to the arrest of Agbo and they confessed to killing the deceased and led the Police to the recovery of his carcass at a bush in Piyako community.
The CP also revealed that while on stop and search duty at Galadimawa roundabout yesterday at about 1:42am, Police operatives arrested two fake soldiers suspected to be members of a notorious armed robbery syndicate that have been terrorising motorists and residents along that axis.
The suspects arrested are Idongesit James, 25 and Monday Ezekiel, 20.
Ciroma explained that they were arrested in military uniforms and had in their possession two daggers, one axe, five wraps of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp, different ATM cards and charms.
He also noted that other suspects arrested with them are Hamza Maman, Hanafi Abubakar and Amos Christopher who is their accomplice.
Meanwhile, over 40 other suspects were paraded for different crimes committed within the Federal Capital Territory.
The Police boss said the suspects will be arraigned on court after investigations are concluded.
Notorious Boko Haram Suspect Nabbed In IDPs Camp
Meanwhile, the police in Borno State yesterday said they have arrested a notorious Boko Haram suspect, Bana Modu, aged 45, who is said to be operating at the Arabic Teachers Village in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Maiduguri.
The Police also confirmed that suspected Boko Haram insurgents at the weekend attacked Mailari village in Guzamala local government area of Borno State, leaving a number of casualties that is yet to be ascertained.
Borno State commissioner of Police, Mr Damian Chukwu, made the disclosure while updating journalists on the operational activities of his command at the Borno State Police Headquarters, in Maiduguri.
Chukwu said the arrested suspected Boko Haram terrorist who was apprehended by members of Civilian Joint Taskforce (CJTF) while operating at the Arabic Teachers Village IDPs camp had, on interrogation, confessed to participate in various attacks in Nganzai local government area of Borno State.
He said, “We arrested a notorious Boko Haram suspect by name Bana Modu, 45 years of age. He was suspected by members of the Civilian Joint Taskforce of operating at the Arabic Teachers Village IDPs camp. And on interrogation, he confessed to have participated in various attacks at Nganzai local government area of Borno State. He is helping us in our investigation to see if we can get other members of his gang”.
On the attack in Mailari village in Guzamala local government area, the Borno Police boss said his men, in collaboration with the Nigerian military and members of CJTF were able to repel the invasion.
He stated: “Two nights ago, precisely around 8pm, Boko Haram elements attacked Mailari village in Guzamala local government area. Luckily, the attack was promptly repelled by our personnel and other security agencies.
“On enquiry, we were told that it was a reprisal attack, because about two weeks ago, we were told that vigilante in that area arrested a Boko Haram member with AK-47 and gave him beating of his life before handing him over to the Nigerian Army. Few casualties were recorded and if not for the prompt action by our police mopols, the entire village would have been brought down”.
On the attack on Alau Dam, Chukwu said two nights ago, Boko Haram terrorists found their way through the Alau Dam and blew up the water dyke, thereby allowing the Dam to overflow into surrounding environs making the villagers to flee.
Troops Kill 21 Bandits In Benue Operation
Meanwhile, the commander ‘Operation Whirl Stroke’ (OPWS), Major General Adeyemi Yekini, yesterday said troops engaged herdsmen militia in a shoot out battle in Benue and Nasarawa States and killed 21 of them, wounded many, while scores fled the areas with various degree of injuries.
General Yekini disclosed this while briefing journalists at the Tactical Air Command Headquarters, Makurdi, on the activities and achievements of the OPWS.
According to him, one soldier lost his lives and two sustained various degrees of injuries, in the process, adding that the injured soldiers are responding to treatment at the military hospital.
He further stated that troops of sector 2 with their headquarters at Tormatar supported by the Force Reserve, conducted clearing operations along Gbajimba-Akor axis in Guma local government, made contact with armed militia men moving with large herds of cattle close to the boundary between Benue and Nasarawa States and engaged them in gun duel.
According to him, the troops and the armed herdsmen militia exchanged fire for about two hours, while reinforcements were sent to support the troops and in the process, they neutralised the bandits, with weapons and ammunitions recovered from the herdsmen.
General Yekini noted that based on intelligence gathering, the troops have commenced riverine patrol on riverine areas along Benue River bank to ensure safety at the riverbanks.
He disclosed that a total of 135,000 IDPs have so far returned home and now engaging in farming activities across Benue and Nasarawa States.
He stated that plans are in progress to conduct further clearing operations of the border areas between the two states.
The force commander however stated that in response to the recent killings around Katsina Ala suspected to being masterminded by Gana, OPWS troops had raided the Akwaza camp belonging to Gana in Katsina Ala.
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