THE acting Director, Media Operation, Defence Headquarters, Benard Onyeuko, on Thursday said the Armed Forces in different operations across the country recorded successes, neutralising scores of those involved in crimes ranging from banditry, terrorism and kidnapping among others between June 3 and 16.
He also said there was a decrease in criminal activities in the country within the period.
He attributed this to the troops’ operational efforts, which he said, denied criminals freedom of operation, adding that more decisive actions to tame terrorists, bandits and other crimes would be put in place.
Onyeuko spoke during a press briefing at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.
He said, “The troops in different operations across the country recorded attendant successes as scores of criminal elements were decimated and neutralised with their hideouts destroyed and large caches of arms and ammunition as well as equipment recovered. In other cases, some kidnapped victims were rescued and rustled cattle recovered; and economic saboteurs arrested.
“Considering our operational activities in the various theatres of operation, comparatively, there is a decrease in the criminal activities within the period under review.
“This is as a result of troops’ operational efforts to deny criminals freedom of operation and we remain resolute to take decisive and adequate actions to further abate terrorists and bandits’ activities as well as other vices across the country.”
He also revealed that troops of Operation Hadin Kai also repelled terrorists’ attacks on Damboa Town in Borno State on June 3, where several fighters of the ISWAP sect, including one of their commanders named Umar Tela, were neutralised.
He added the troops arrested a leader of a notorious kidnapping syndicate in the North-East Zone, Mohammed Maki, who is a Chadian.
Onyeuko said, “Furthermore, in the course of these operations within the period under review, several of terrorists were neutralised, while some escaped with gunshot wounds. Large number of their gun trucks and other logistics facilities were as well destroyed in the process.
Similarly, he said troops of Operation Safe Haven on June 5 arrested a notorious kidnapper, Halilu Umaru, who had been on the wanted list of security agents.
He added that Umaru was arrested around Mangu Market in the Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State and was in possession of assorted arms and other dangerous weapons.
Onyeuko said troops of Operation Delta Safe conducted series of anti-illegal oil bunkering and raid operations that thwarted activities of economic saboteurs
He also said the troops arrested some criminals disguised as lunatics, who were in possession of several fake military barrack permit ID cards and military uniforms, at Tipper Garage and Navy Scrape Yard in Uvwie LGA of Delta State.
In South-West, Onyeuko said troops of Operation Awatse conducted operations to repel armed herdsmen attack and raided some criminal hideouts.
He stated that one of these operations was executed at Igangan community in the Ibarapa North LGA of Oyo State where some armed herdsmen attacked and invaded the community.
He added, “Troops were mobilised to the scene and engaged the herdsmen during which some of them were neutralised while others fled with gunshot wounds. Some of the criminals were arrested and handed over to appropriate prosecuting agency for further action.”