Pained by the killing of some troops in Plateau State by bandits, the Nigerian Army has vowed to lock down Barkin Ladi completely.
The army said that no human being is going to cause further havoc in that local government.
“I lost some men on Friday because certain persons have decided to take laws into their hands,’’ Commander of Operation Safe Haven, Maj.-Gen. Augustine Agundu, said.
Agundu who was reacting to the killing of the soldiers working with the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven, said: “The peace on the Plateau has been disrupted to a situation that is no longer acceptable.’’
“I have declared enough is enough. What happened in Barkin Ladi will never repeat itself again.
“Whatever is going on in Barkin Ladi Local Government, Riyom Local Government, Bassa Local Government, Bokkos Local Government that is enough. My troops are resolved to bring the situation decisively under control.”
The Army promised to clampdown on armed bandits terrorising residents of Plateau State and stop the incessant killings in state.
He described the recent killings in the state as precarious and an act of lawlessness.
He vowed that the troops were set to deal with the situation decisively.
Agundu disclosed further that the three soldiers were killed in action by some attackers and the proliferation of arms in the state.
He urged leaders of Plateau communities to get their youths to decorum so that residents of the communities can go about their business peacefully and without fear.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army, yesterday, said it had restored normalcy in Gudumbali community and environs in Borno State with the concerted effort of troops of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed to the area.
It would be recalled that scores of jihadists in gun trucks and bearing various calibre of arms, had stormed the town and engaged troops in fierce battle that lasted for many hours.
But Director Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Texas Chukwu, said the enemy forces were repelled by the combined troops of 82 Division Task Force Brigade and 158 Task Force Battalion.
“The encounter took place when the insurgents attacked the community, set some buildings ablaze and quickly withdrew from the community”, he said.
No casualty was recorded in the encounter.
“The troops have regrouped and normalcy has been restored. The troops have also been reinforced with additional troops to dominate the general area.
“It will be recalled that Gudumbali is one of the communities in Borno State that were recently reoccupied by Internally Displaced Persons who had voluntarily returned to their ancestral homes.
“The people of Gudumbali community and Guzamala Local Government in general are urged to remain calm and resilient as Operation Lafiya Dole troops tirelessly combat the terrorists.
“They are also implored to maintain high level of vigilance and monitor strange faces to prevent fleeing Boko Haram terrorists from infiltrating and hibernating in their communities.
“The good people of the North-East are assured of the unalloyed resolve of troops of Operation Lafiya Dole to continue to combat the Boko Haram terrorists in the region,” Chukwu said.
Meanwhile, the Commander, Sector 3 Operation Lafiya Dole, Brig-Gen Uwem Bassey, has lauded troops deployed at Gudumbali, Guzamala for gallantly repelling Boko Haram attack on the military base on Saturday.
It was learnt that the fighters were said to be with the Boko Haram faction under the leadership of Abu-Mosad Al-Barnawi.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Texas Chukwu, said Bassey commended the troops during an assessment visit to Gudumbali.
“The Commander urged the troops to continue to remain courageous while confronting the insurgents,” he said.
Chukwu provided more details of the incident.
He said that the insurgents came to extort, terrorise law abiding citizens as well as to attack the military base in the town.
However, they met a serious resistance by the gallant troops.
He did not disclose the figure of casualty or injuries sustained from both parties during the attack.
“The troops inflicted overwhelming casualty on the terrorists due to superior fire power while some of the terrorists fled to the fringes of Lake Chad,” he said.
According to him, efforts are on by the troops to get other fleeing members of the terrorists group.
He advised locals in the area to be vigilant and carry out their legitimate businesses in their communities as well as report any suspicious movements or activities to the nearest military base.
The residents of Magumeri were yet to recover from the panic caused by Saturday’s attack, as many of them have relocated to Gubio and Monguno.
About 2,000 IDPs comprising of 200 households had returned to Guzamala to resettle and resume their traditional occupation of farming and fishing, as well as other socio-economic activities following relative peace.
But the peace was broken Saturday when scores of insurgents in gun trucks and bearing various calibre of arms stormed the town and engaged the troops in fierce battle that lasted for many hours.
Malam Bukar Mele, who escaped from the fighting, told newsmen that the attackers invaded the town unexpectedly and asked the villagers to run away for their lives.
Mele said he immediately took his family and began running just as they (Boko Haram) instructed the residents, leaving behind his belongings.
“They told us in Kanuri to vacate the place so that what they came to do will not affect us. So, we all took to our heels in different directions for safety,’’ he said.
Another local in the area, Mr Abdul Bari, said the insurgents assured that they did not come with intention to kill civilians.
“Their target was the military and not civilians. This is what they told us as they ask us to get out of their sight within a blink of an eye. The insurgents were fully kitted with khaki and covered their faces.
“After one minute, they began shooting from the gun truck facing the military location. There were sounds of sporadic gunshots from many directions. I don’t know what happened but the army was engaging with the terrorists,” he said.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Mamman Durkwa, who confirmed the development, said security forces were on top of the situation.
“It is unfortunate to confirm to you that there was an attack by Boko Haram extremists on a military base and other communities of Gudumbali.
“Thousands of the people who were displaced and spent some years in resettlement camps in Maiduguri have returned back recently after the liberation of those surrounding communities by our gallant security forces.
“I regret to inform you that there was another attack by insurgents in Gudumbali, but I am yet to get the number of casualties.
“I just spoke with the Police Commissioner, Mr Damian Chukwu, and the Brigade Commander in Monguno. Both confirmed to me that the attack actually took place, and our security forces were on top of the situation,” Durkwa said.
GoG: Nigerian, Ghanaian Navies Meet On Joint Operations
Against the backdrop of renewed piracy and hostage-taking incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and his Ghanaian counterpart, Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, have commenced a security engagement aimed at joint security initiatives to tackle the situation.
Speaking during the meeting held at Naval headquarters, Abuja, Vice Admiral Gambo said, “The Gulf of Guinea is currently bedevilled by the activities of criminal elements who take advantage of limited capability of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.
“The threat posed by the activities of these criminal elements constitute a major challenge not only to the littoral states but equally undermines regional development and global trade.
“Notably, the trans-boundary and trans-national nature of maritime crime makes the security of the maritime domain a task beyond the capacity of any country acting alone.
“It is against this backdrop that this bilateral engagement was convened at the instance of the Heads of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Ghana towards addressing the maritime security challenges within the region”.
Vice Admiral Gambo expressed belief that “the engagement would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing that is hinged on cooperative maritime security framework as envisioned in the 2013 Yaoundé Protocol to arrive at strategies that would help address the maritime insecurity for enhanced economic prosperity in the region”.
Declaring the technical session open, the CNS said, “In deliberations, please consider amongst others: maritime area of interest covering Zone E and integration of the capabilities of the countries in Zone E, emplacing a robust intelligence sharing mechanism and collaboration with international partners”.
On relations between both countries, Gambo said, “This good relation is equally manifest in the several interactions between the Nigerian Navy and Ghana Navy. I must not fail to mention the remarkable contributions of the Ghana Navy-CNS to manpower development during his tour of duty at the prestigious AFCSC, Jaji as a member of the Directing Staff. I have no doubt that this engagement would further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana navies.
In his address, Chief of Naval Staff of Ghana, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, noted that he and his delegation were in Nigeria at the behest of President Nana Akufo Ado to engage the Nigerian Navy and come out with collective strategies to tackle insecurity which is in the ascendancy in recent times in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We hope our navies will buy into this engagement to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea. We know our big brother Nigeria has bigger capacity to chart the way forward”.
He disclosed that, “Since year 2020, the situation has bot been good in the Gulf of Guinea”, noting that “Last May, two Ghanian vessels were attacked and 10 persons were abducted with investigations still ongoing”.
Consequently, the Ghanian Navy Chief said, “We are proposing an ECOWAS naval task force and joint maritime security architecture to checkmate these threats, adding that this was done in the past successfully during ECOMOG operations without problems with inter-operability and doctrinal issues.
Furthermore, he proposed the setting up of a ‘transit corridors’ where ships from fellow West African countries can go to anchor for assistance and joint naval assets will conduct regular patrols especially for protection of commercial fishing vessels.
Wike Orders Destruction Of Criminal Hideouts In Rivers
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne to prevent attempt to undermine security of the state.
The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State was too hot for them to invade at will and detonate their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
Wike, who made this assertion in a state broadcast, last Friday, disclosed that the state government has identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and return to after operations.
“This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East–West Road to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.
“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West Road having discovered these places also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme – Onne axis of the East-West Road to vacate the area within two weeks from June 11, 2021, as the state government will go ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice.”
Wike said the government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.
He, however, stressed that government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers State will not last one day beyond necessary, and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state and collective wellbeing of all.
“We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralized. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state wide night time curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”
Wike said he has received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on Illegal Trading and Parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.
He assured that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.
The governor, who appealed to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving, noted that the situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block his official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.
He has meanwhile, directed the management of the Rivers State Waste Management Authority to clear the state of filthiness within one week or be disbanded without any further notice.
Army Begins Shooting Exercises In Rivers
The Nigerian Army, 6 Division, has announced that it would commence its annual range classification exercise from yesterday to Sunday, June 27.
The division’s spokesman, Lt.-Col. Charles Ekeocha, said in a statement in Port Harcourt, that the exercise aimed at ascertaining the professional competence of troops on the use of firearms.
He said troops from the division and its affiliated formations and units would conduct the exercise at the Army Shooting Range in Igwuruta and Elele Barracks, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
“The shooting exercise is a routine activity in the Nigerian Army which involves the firing of various calibre live ammunitions.
“Members of the public, especially residents of Igwuruta and Elele, as well as its environs, are advised to keep away from the general shooting area,” he stated.
The Army spokesman also advised the public not to panic over the movement of troops, military hardware and sound of gunshots.
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