Soldiers raid Abuja, Niger, Kaduna forests, arrest bandits, destroy their camps
Soldiers of the Guards Brigade, Nigerian army have continued to raid forests in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Niger, Kogi and Kaduna states in search of terrorists, bandits and kidnappers taking refuge there.
The operation followed the ambush of soldiers by terrorists in Bwari Area Council last Sunday.
The operations, it was gathered, has yielded positive results with the arrest of several terrorists, destruction of their camps and recovery of arms, weapons, ammunitions and other logistics.
A security source revealed that the soldiers have taken the fight to the terrorists and would not relent until they are decimated. The source, who does not want to be mentioned in print, said the terrorists, who are mostly foreigners, use power bikes to operate.
So far, the source said a good number of the terrorists have been arrested and have made useful statements to intelligence officers.
It was gathered that the suspects arrested revealed some of their members who are Okada riders, water vendors, wheelbarrow pushers, petty traders, mobile tailors, cobblers, among other informants, to obtain information on troops’ movement, security presence, among others, before carrying out attacks.
When contacted on the operations to flush out the criminals from the forests, Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, did not pick his call.
Only a few days ago, the Defence Headquarters said military troops had eliminated 30 of the terrorists who attacked troops of the elite Presidential Guards Brigade in Bwari area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Sunday.
Defence Spokesman, Major-General Bernard Onyeuko, made this known at the bi-weekly news conference on military operations last Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said the operation was conducted by troops of 7 Guards Battalion and 167 Special Force Battalion in conjunction with the air component of “Operation Whirl Punch” between Sunday and Tuesday.
He said the troops successfully cleared Kawu and Ido villages, neutralising the terrorists and destroyed their enclave and hide out.
According to him, the ground troops also recovered six motorcycles, two AK47 rifles, one fully loaded LMG magazine, amongst others during mop up.
“The hierarchy of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies wishes to re-assure Nigerians of its commitment and pact with all Nigerians.
“With the recent operations carried out from July 23, we wish to assure residents of FCT in particular that we are undaunted and unrelenting in our efforts to ensure the safety of lives and properties.
“People should go about their normal business as their safety is guaranteed.
“The support and cooperation of all Nigerians is hereby solicited as security is everybody’s business. Citizens are encouraged to report any unusual persons in your community to security agencies. If you see something, say something,’’ he said.
On his part, the Director Defence Information, Major-General Jimmy Akpor, urged the media to continue to support the military in ensuring that the enemies of the nation were defeated.
Similarly, the military debunked reports that its men were abducted by terrorists during the attack on the Presidential Guards Brigade in Abuja last Monday.
A spokesman of the Guards Brigade, Captain Godfrey Abakpa, in a response to inquiry into the matter, said no soldier was abducted as being reported.
According to him, at the time of the attack, some soldiers could not be accounted for, because they were taking cover from the attackers.
“No soldier was abducted as reported here. But as of the time the news of went out, they were still trying to account for the soldiers who might have taken cover due to the attack,” he stated.
Last Monday, troops of the 7 Guards Brigade which provide security for the Presidential Villa and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja were ambushed while on patrol along the Kubwa – Bwari Road.
Abakpa had earlier confirmed the incident in a text he sent to newsmen via WhatsApp.
He, however, said the attack was successfully repelled by the troops, adding that a few of the men who were wounded in action had been taken to the hospital and were receiving treatment.
According to him, the troops were still combing the general area to rid the area of criminals that had been threatening the environment.
Advising residents to go about their lawful businesses, he asked for more cooperation with the military by giving timely information to enable them to fight against the criminals.