By Kingsley Omonobi

The Defence headquarters’ on Thursday disclosed that the troops of 7 guard’s battalion and 176 battalion backed by aircraft of the Nigerian Airforce killed 30 of the terrorists during the operation and counter operation.

Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko while speaking of the attack said troops successfully cleared Kawu and Ido villages in the area noting, “Consequently, about 30 terrorists were neutralized and their enclave and hide out destroyed”.

This is just as the Defence headquarters disowned a viral voice note trending in the social media claiming to be that of a soldier who survived the Terrorists attack on troops of the Presidential Guards Brigade in Bwari by terrorists which led to death of six soldiers including a Captain and Lieutenant during the operation by the terrorists in an ambush.

In a viral video, the soldier noted that following their deployment to Bwari area on account of intelligence that Boko Haram terrorists were planning to attack the Nigerian Law School, the troops were tracking the terrorists, who were shifting base until they got to a stream/river and troops artillery equipment/gun trucks could not cross over.

The soldier further disclosed that the terrorist’s succeeded in the ambush because the soldiers left their mobile artillery equipment and gun trucks, crossed the river in search of the terrorists, who had already positioned themselves in several parts of the bush.

However, the Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko while briefing the media on military operations and tension in Abuja deployments over terrorists and bandit’s attacks disclosed that the person in the viral voice note alleging so many things was an unknown soldier without a name nor identity and so should be ignored

He said the action of the military authorities in going after the terrorists in Bwari after intelligence of their plans showed that issues of tackling security challenges were being taking seriously.

“You now know that the military is not sleeping. The soldiers were in that bush for about 2 weeks. They were not going for a tea party. It is because they were trying to seek and find these terrorists that this incident happened.

Onyeuko said the troops of 7 Guards Battalion and 176 Battalion conducted the operation n junction with the air component of Operation Whirl Punch adding that the clearance patrol around Bwari general area lasted between 24 – 26 July 2022.

“Ground troops also recovered 6 motorcycles, 2 AK47 rifles, 1 fully loaded LMG magazine amongst others during mob up”.

He assured members of the public especially the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja and its environments not to panic over the recent security breaches witnessed in the country as the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies were tackling the security challenges with a view to ending insurgency activities in the affected areas.

Major General Onyeuko added that, “The hierarchy of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies wishes to reassure Nigerians of its commitment and pact with all Nigerians.

 “With the recent operation carried out between 23 and 28 this month, we wish to assure residents of Abuja in particular that we are undaunted and unrelenting in our efforts to ensure the safety of lives and property.

“People should go about their normal businesses as their safety is guaranteed. The support and cooperation of all Nigerians are hereby solicited as security is everybody’s business”.

Voice Note of Unknown Soldier

The voice note of the ‘Unknown Soldier’ had said, “No be small matter.  The issue be say them write one school of law wey dey this Bwari/Kubwa road.

There’s one particular school of law there, so they wrote the school that they are coming to attack the school. So the moment they receive that letter they inform our battalion which is the Guards Brigade. So, instantly, we went there and we started all round defence deployment.

“They were now contemplating that this people that said that they were coming to school of law, they may have plan B to attack another place, so we now look for a nearest prominent target that they might come for as well, and that happens to be one Veritas University very close to that place, like3.2km away from it. So, we went there as well to create all round defence, so we have been there for over 2 weeks now before this attack came up on Sunday.

“So we were there, so in the night we normally observe some torchlight in the bush at that Veritas University, they say ‘Ah Ah, who are this people in this bush’. We asked those security men in that school, ‘is this how you people normally observe torchlight’, they said ‘No’.

“So, when the day break, we have to advance into the bush. It was on Sunday; I went with them myself. Do you get it? I was there.

“So when we got there, we saw where they were smoking, we saw where they kill Goat, they eat, we saw their tramadol, that was when we confirm that this people are in this bush.

“We now re-enforce, we saw some re-enforced, some backup, they brought APC, they brought gun trucks, they brought Artillery Team. So we now advance into the bush, I’m talking about on Sunday, this previous Sunday. So we advance searching for them, so we now got to some place, there is water and some rock there, the gun truck cannot channel into that particular route, so we had to park them there, that was why we had causalities, to be sincere with you.

“We parked the AA, we parked the GPMG, we parked the gun trucks because they can’t follow us. We now went into the bush with our rifles alone and the Ak-47 we are all carrying, that’s all we carried. We didn’t even carry RPG, I am telling you the simple truth. Thinking that they might just be a pocket of enemy, that maybe they will not be more than 20, 30 or thereabout.

“So the moment we went into the bush, they’ve seen us from a very far distance, we have not seen them. So, they now laid down, they laid ambush for us waiting for us to come and penetrate. They flanked us from left and right, so the moment we get to their own AOR like this, my brother it’s a long story. They engaged us, as in they really engaged us.

 “We lost four soldiers in my own Unit. It was three units that went there, 177 and 102 from Keffi, including my own unit 7 guards’ battalion. They dislodged us because they are fully prepared. They used Mortar Shells, IED explosive devices, they shell us but we still managed and try and killed almost 12 of them, and they succeeded by killing 1 captain, 1 lieutenant and 2 soldiers in my unit, and the rest unit, I think they lost 1 soldiers of 177 battalion Keffi, while 102 lost 1 soldier as well.

“But at least, we engaged them to some extent, so that is the situation of the case but from now, we have been dislodging them since that day, re-enforcement. In short, I don’t think none of them is in that bush again, they’ve all went through this Kaduna route because we will follow them, no be small attack, we will bombard that place.

All those place wey gun truck no fit follow, we will go carry the gun truck go turn, go meet them for front, no be small wahala oh. But we just bless God for life. As I’m talking to you, I’m in General Hospital, I’m in National Hospital rather but we just bless God for everything. So that’s it.

“It is not that they have the mind to face soldier, they knew we were outside, that is the reason they can’t come outside. Had it been there were no soldier in that school of law, they would have scattered that school for a very long time but they have to wait because they knew soldiers are outside and we mount there like it is our barrack, since the road is leading to the school, we turn it to duty, 10 soldiers everyday with rifles and gun truck.

“That is how we’ve been doing it till this very moment before we now say let’s even advance since we’ve seen the torchlight, lets even advance and see them and clear their doubt, but because they knew we were coming as well, they were ready and they did their worst but they found themselves to blame.

“Any other thing aside from what I’m explaining to you, if you hear anything from news, it’s a lie. Everybody is just gathering information to say many things that is not real on social media. As I’m talking to you now, I’m in National Hospital and they are communicating with me because I’m with some soldiers here as well that are injured. You guys should just be helping us in prayer. May God help us all.

Troops Kill 20 Terrorists, Rescue 2 Chibok Girls

Speaking further, the DMO said troops in the North East killed 20 terrorists in confrontation with BHT/ISWAP terrorists during a confrontation along Kwang – Kilakasa road, Monguno, Gajiran adding that troops further exploited the area and recovered 6 AK47 rifles, 3 bicycles, 1 Toyota Landcruiser van, 3 tyres, 490 rounds of 108mm, 274 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, metal links, 5 magazines, 2 Improvised Explosive Device cylinders and 100 liters of Premium Motor Spirit among others items.

“Troops on 25 July 2022 rescued 4 women with children at Aulari in Borno State, while 2 were the list confirmed to be Chibok girls named Hanatu Musa and Kauna Sarah Luka who are on serial 7 and 38 of the missing Chibok girls.

“Accordingly, a total of 2, 016 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists and their families comprising of 360 adult males, 580 adult females and 1,076 children surrendered to own troops at various locations in the North East theatre of Operation.

“Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke on 16 July 2022 arrested 2 notorious arms dealers, Mr. Samuel Kwanu and Mr Ede Umar Yisa whom were said to have delivered weapons to one Mallam Saidu and some bandits in Gidan Bawa village.

“Items recovered from the suspects include; 2 magazines of 6 7.62mm special, 1 Uzzi rifle among others.

“On same day acting on intelligence on kidnapper’s activities along Panda road linking Ayewawa and Dere in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and Kampani Sabon Gari village in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State, troops of Operations Whirl Stroke and Safe Haven rescued 6 kidnapped victims and recovered 1 motorcycle. The suspects and recovered items were handed over to the relevant authorities.

Similarly, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke responded to information on bandit’s activities at Chito and Maraba Ukyonugu villages both in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State.

“Troops neutralized 6 bandits, destroyed criminal hideouts/camps and recovered 18 motorcycles. Troops also conducted operations along Road Nasme – Akpanaja – Ondori, Road Nasme – Antie – Ondori, Rukubi and Kekura villages in Doma and Awe Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State.

“During the operations, troops arrested 8 suspected cattle rustlers and cultists. Items recovered include; 2 motorcycles, 1 locally fabricated pistol, 3 mobile phones and the sum of One Hundred Fifty Naira (N148,650.00) amongst others. All recovered items were handed over to the Nigeria Police Daudu Division for further action.

“On 20 July 2022, troops of Operation Safe Haven arrested Mr Awal Jumba a suspected kidnap kingpin at Vokti Mungi in Gindiri District Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State. While enroute the barracks, Mr Jumba attempted to escape and he was neutralized. Item recovered include 2 motorcycles and 1 gionee L800 amongst other.

“Relatedly, troops in conjunction with vigilantes on 24 July 2022 arrested 3 suspected bandits Commanders; Mr. Julius Simon (alias Bagga 37yrs), Mr. Wolta Zambai (45yrs) and Mr. Iliya Peter (alias Boubok 27yrs) at Shimankar village, Shendam Local Government Area Plateau State. Suspects confessed to be involved in buying/selling ammunitions. Suspects are currently in custody and undergoing further investigation.

“Items recovered include; 3 mobile phones and N5,600 cash amongst others. On the same day, troops arrested 2 kidnappers; Mr. Musa Usman (27yrs) and Mr. Adam Mohammed (25yrs) at Barkin Ladi, Plateau State. Suspects confessed to have carried out several kidnapping activities including the kidnap of one Master Jeremiah Elijah, a 6yrs on 21 July 2022.

“In the North West, troops of Operations Hadarin Daji on 27 July 2022 responded to a distress call from Bayi village in Tsefe Local Government Area of Zamfara on banditry activities. Troops trailed bandits to one Alhaji Bello Dan Iya’s residence and neutralized one bandit. Items recovered include; 1 AK47 rifle, 1 magazine, 4 rounds of 7.62mm special, 1 MPs and 1 sachet of marijuana amongst others.

“Earlier, on 25 July 2022, troops engaged one suspected bandit on motorcycle while commuting bush path along Gidan Garba, Magami Local Government Area of Zamfara State. Troops recovered 1 AK47 rifle and 2 pairs of woodland camouflage. All recovered items are in own custody.

 In the South-South, troops of the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe in the conduct of operation Octopus Grip conducted operational activities in the creeks, communities notably Madangho, Kokoye and jones creek in Delta State, Obi Sagbama village and Debu creek in Bayelsa State were patrolled. Also, troops conducted patrol in Awoba, Cawthorne Channel, Boning Channel, Asaramatu in River State.

“Consequently, troops discovered and destroyed 80 illegal refining site, 60 wooden boats, 316 storage tanks, 262 ovens and 87 dugout pits. Troops also recovered 9 speed boats, 15 outboard engines, 19 pumping machines and 17 vehicles.

“Furthermore, 27 pipeline vandals were arrested while a total of Five Million One Hundred and Fifty-Nine Thousand Five Hundred (5,159,500) liters of substance suspected to be crude oil and One Million Four Hundred and Thirty-Two Thousand (1,432,000) liters of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil were recovered. All arrested economic saboteurs and recovered items were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.

“The Statistic above shows a significant loss to the economy of the Country. It has a street value of about Two Billion, Five Hundred and Thirty-Four Million Seven Hundred Seventy-One Thousand Five Hundred Forty-Three Naira Eight Kobo (N2,534,771,543.08).

“However, the number of arrested individuals have also increased and could reduce the illegal activities of these of oil thieves. Operation Delta Safe has therefore sustained it efforts to ensure relative safe and peaceful operations environment in the Niger Delta.”

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.