As Nigeria celebrates Armed Forces Remembrance Day on Jan. 15, the Presidency has mentioned the military’s accomplishments in the ongoing war against insurgency and violent crimes.
Nigeria’s News Agency (NAN) records that Jan. 15 is commemorated as Armed Forces Remembrance Day every year to mark the end of the 30-month civil war in the country that ended on Jan. 15, 1970.
“In a special letter entitled: “Security Checklist: as Nigeria observes Armed Forces Remembrance Day “, which was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, described the achievements in a special letter tagged:
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As the milestone is being marked this year, according to Adesina, it also provides an opportunity to chronicle the military’s current landmark achievements in resolving security challenges across the world.
The achievements were mentioned by Adesina as:
‘From the state-wide statistics on affairs in the 27 Local Government Areas since 2011, the fact remains that, despite recent changes, the security situation in the state of Borno and indeed that of the entire North East sub-region is, and is based on records, still much better under Buhari.’
For eg, unlike the years before Buhari, when there were no-go-areas in a number of local governments, we now have indigenous people safely returning to Gwoza, Askira-Uba, Dikwa, Ngala, Monguno, Kukawa, Damboa, Konduga, Mafa, and led by our traditional leaders, who no one could have visited without talking about living there.
“All of our Emirs were in exile. Bama is returning to life today, and so are Askira-Uba, Damboa, Gwoza and others. Existence also goes back to Baga. Before Buhari, this was unlikely.
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It was not, in fact, possible to travel a few miles out of Maiduguri. Insurgents were brazen enough to assault and take over military installations, such as the Monguno Army Barracks, Bama, Giwa Barracks, and Baga Multinational Joint Task Force Headquarters, to name only a few.
In many parts of Maiduguri, the most populated part of the state, there have been frequent bomb explosions, but all these have stopped under President Buhari. These are the documents and they can not be contested by anyone.”
COORDINATED Activities HIGHLIGHTS OF Defense HEADQUARTERS- 18 MARCH TO 30 DECEMBER, 2020:
The Nigerian Armed Forces neutralised 2,403 criminal elements (terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers, etc.) across the country from March 18 to Dec. 30, 2020.
This is in addition to dozens of other terrorists killed during air strikes and armed robbers.
A total of 864 abducted people around the country were also rescued by soldiers.
Furthermore, 9,684,797 litres of stolen diesel and 33,516,000 litres of kerosene were recovered in total.
Similarly, during the time, 1,910 criminal elements were detained and significant caches of weapons, ammunition and equipment were recovered.
In addition, the Armed Forces of Nigeria seized a total of 46,581.8 barrels of stolen crude oil and 22,881,257 litres of stolen petrol.
Sectorial breakdown of military successes from March to December 2020:
The gallant troops in the region captured five thousand, two hundred and eighty-one cattle, 6,951 rounds of ammunition and 120 assorted weapons from the bandits. They rescued 455 kidnapped victims and killed 473 armed bandits. In the area, 461 arrests were made, including high-profile bandits, gun runners and collaborators of bandits, while bandits and their informants recovered a total cash of N6,365,550.
Operation LAFIYA DOLE troops rescued two hundred kidnapped victims. BHT/ISWAP fighters recovered a total of 1,385 rounds of ammunition, 45 grenades and 95 assorted rifles.
Moreover, some gun trucks were captured, while during air strikes some others were lost. The troops killed 1,805 insurgents/terrorists, including commanders, apart from hundreds killed by air raids/attacks. Furthermore, 79 arrests, including high value goals, were made during the era.
Operations troops SAFE HAVEN, WHIRL STROKE and THUNDER STRIKE rescued 130 kidnapped victims and recovered 105 assorted rifles, 513 ammunition rounds and 1,055 rustled cattle from armed bandits and other criminal elements in the District.
1,250 criminals were arrested during the time, including family members of the Darul Salam sect. In addition, troops neutralised 125 bandits, including gang leaders of the militia.
South-South: South-South ( Armed Forces Remembrance Day )
In total, Operation DELTA SAFE troops impounded 8,890,300 litres of stolen fuel and 33,516,000 litres of kerosene.
Within that time, troops immobilised 185 illegal refining sites, 85 dugout pits and 163 metal storage tanks.
In addition, 31,236.8 barrels of stolen crude oil as well as 12,272,652 litres of stolen petrol from oil thieves in the region were impounded by troops.
47 abducted victims have also been rescued, while 72 vandals and suspects have been arrested. A total of 4,250 bags of 50 kg of foreign smuggled parboiled rice have been impounded and 45 ships engaged in illegal activities have been impounded.
In addition, troops captured 53 pirates, impounded 25 vehicles, and seized 23 rifles, 65,330 ammunition rounds, and demolished 23 pirate camps.
Between 18 March and 30 December 2020, Operation Troops AWATSE in the South-West Region impounded 10,458,600 litres of petrol, 15,345 barrels of stolen crude oil and 345,000 litres of stolen diesel.
Additionally, 3,594 ammunition rounds and 14 assorted rifles were recovered by soldiers. 23 illegal refining sites were also immobilised during the era, while 15 ships and 23 trucks engaged in illegal activities were impounded. In the same vein, 35 kidnapping victims were rescued during the time, while 48 arrests were made.
SECURITY Successes NORTH-EAST, 2015-2020 ( Armed Forces Remembrance Day )
Specifically, the Armed Forces in the Northeast have reported significant achievements in the fight against terrorism since 2015. The Buhari Administration’s first actions in that regard were:
Revitalization of Nigeria and its neighbours’ Multi-National Joint Task Force; relocation of the Military Command and Control Centre to Maiduguri in June 2015 and start of Operation Lafiya Dole in July 2015.
Since then, Boko Haram has been reclaimed from numerous towns and cities, thousands of hostages have been released from militant enclaves, and tens of thousands of displaced people have been resettled.
Several Boko Haram leaders were killed or arrested, and the arrest of the Ansaru splinter cell by Khalid al-Barnawi put an end to the tight grip of the terrorists on North Central Nigeria.
The Federal Government is investing heavily in military hardware, including 23 new aircraft that have already been delivered and placed into service, while in 2021/2022, another 18 manned aircraft and eight Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) are planned. This is in addition to assault ships, patrol boats, armoured tanks, etc.
In the Northeast, the Army set up ‘Special Mobile Strike Teams’ while the Air Force has built or is setting up new bases in different parts of the Northwest and North Central (Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Zamfara, Kaduna, and Katsina).
Here is a list of important developments that reflect improvement in the state of Borno and the Northeast:
In April 2016, two years after relocating to Katsina State due to the insurgency, El-Kanemi Warriors Football Club returned to their home base in Maiduguri.
On Monday Sept. 26, 2016, after two years of closure, public secondary schools reopened in Borno.
Capture in December 2016 of the organisational and spiritual headquarters of Boko Haram, “Camp Zero ” in Sambisa Forest.”
Subsequently, from 26 March to 31 March 2017, the Nigerian Army held its Small Arms Championship in the forest, a move aimed at allowing the Armed Forces to control the region and preventing terrorist regroupings.
The 2017 Easter Celebrations have been declared by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Borno State Chapter, as the best and safest since 2009.
In May 2017, three years after suspending operations in the region, Arik Air resumed flights to Maiduguri.
Maiduguri-Bama-Banki Road was reopened by the Nigerian military in March 2018, four years after Boko Haram seized it.
Since 2015, hundreds of thousands of displaced individuals have returned to their homes and communities in the Northeast.
Tens of thousands of captives, including 106 of the Chibok Girls abducted in April 2014, and 105 of the Dapchi Girls abducted in February 2018, have been released from Boko Haram captivity.
AUGUST 2019 TO DECEMBER 2020 HIGHLIGHTS OF OPERATION SWIFT RESPONSE (PARTIAL BORDER CLOSURE):
Operation SWIFT RESPONSE, launched in August 2019 and organised by the National Security Adviser’s Office, has now been transformed as part of a Tripartite Operation, comprising Benin, Niger and Nigeria, into Nigeria’s Joint Border Patrol Unit.
1,401 Detained Illegal Migrants
159,506.7 (50kg) parboiled bags of international rice;
10,447 NPK fertiliser bags used to produce explosives;
18,690.3 Among other confiscated products, Jerry cans of Vegetable Oil.
Twelve billion, five hundred and thirty eight million, three hundred and thirty three thousand, five hundred and forty five Naira, fifty Kobo (about 12,538,333,545.50) is the total monetary value of the confiscated objects.
COMING NEW NAF BASES TO KATSINA AND GOMBE
In Gwauruwa Village, Funtua, in Katsina State, the Nigerian Air Force has acquired land to be used as an operational base. The new base would result in improved security coverage and decreased reaction times for efficient air operations in the region against bandits.
In Gombe, the Nigerian Air Force has begun building a base for its newly formed unit, the 203 Battle Renaissance Group (203 CRG). The Base will host some of the newly acquired NAF armed drones (UCAVs).
Start OF OPERATION TURA TAKAIBANGO IN JANUARY 2021 IN YOBE STATE:
On January 7, 2021, Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO was initiated by the army as a subsidiary of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO troops detected and surrounded a Boko Haram ambush site in Yobe’s Gujba LGA on January 9, 2021, killing 28 Boko Haram terrorists, destroying one Boko Haram Gun Truck with its occupants, while seizing another Gun Truck.
2 Anti-Aircraft guns, 13 AK 47 rifles, 4 extra magazines and a Vulcanizing Machine were also captured.
Start OF “TAIMAKO YAZO” EXERCISE:
A Joint Battle Search and Rescue (CSAR), Special Forces and Air Police K-9 Training Exercise at Rijana Village along Kaduna-Abuja Highway was conducted by the Nigerian Air Force on Jan. 2, 2021.
The object of the exercise, codenamed ‘TAIMAKO YAZO,’ was to simulate tactics, doctrine and synergy among first responders for successful CSAR operations of downed aircraft or other NAF personnel who, in emergency situations, had to eject or abandon their aircraft.
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The ability to rescue crews from hostile environments is especially valuable as it can be adapted for anti-kidnapping operations, as was recently done by the NAF in collaboration with other security agencies in the rescue of all 344 kidnapped boys from the state of Kankara and Katsina State of Government Science Secondary School.
A total of six of these exercises will be performed by the Air Force between January and June 2021, mostly in the Northwest, especially in the states of Zamfara and Katsina.