The 23 Armoured Brigade of the Nigerian Army has confirmed that one soldier died while another was wounded as troops of 232 Battalion of the brigade engaged Boko Haram insurgents who attacked Garkida community in Adamawa State, last Friday.
An Army press statement, yesterday morning, on the encounter from the brigade as well as pictures of the destruction in Garkida following the Friday evening attack, confirmed the incident.
It would be recalled that Boko Haram fighters had invaded the northern Adamawa town of Garkida in Gombi Local Government Area at about 7pm, last Friday, and caused destruction to houses, churches, shops, and vehicles.
In its statement, however, the 23 Armoured Brigade, which has its headquarters in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, indicated that the destruction would have been more extensive but for the quick intervention of its troops who interrupted the insurgents, killed some of them, but lost a soldier in the process.
In the statement signed by the Assistant Director of Army Public Relations, Major Haruna Mohammed Sani, the 23 Armoured Brigade said, “Gallant troops of 232 Battalion of 23 Armoured Brigade under Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in Garkida, Gombi LGA of Adamawa State, had thwarted a planned criminal attack on the peaceful town on February 21, 2020, by some criminal Boko Haram terrorists.
“The terrorists besieged the town in about seven gun trucks and a number of motorcycles, setting some buildings ablaze and causing unrest within the community.
“Instinctively, the gallant troops mobilized and intercepted the criminals’ advance, and engaged the marauding criminals, unleashing high volume of fire, leading to the elimination of several of the criminals while others withdrew in disarray, many of them with gunshot wounds as evident in the trails of blood along their withdrawal route.
“Regrettably, one gallant soldier paid the supreme price while another soldier was wounded in action. The wounded in action soldier has since been evacuated to a military medical facility and is positively responding to treatment.”
The statement added that the Commander of the 23 Armoured Brigade, Brig-Gen Sani Gambo Mohammed, who visited the troops in Garkida on Saturday, congratulated the troops for their fighting spirit but warned them to be vigilant as the criminal elements might plan a reprisal attack due to the casualties they suffered.
Revelations since Saturday have, however, indicated that while the Boko Haram invasion lasted in Garkida, the insurgents succeeded in burning down two churches: an EYN Church branch and a branch of Living Faith Church a.k.a. Winners’ Chapel International.
They also burnt shops, hospitals and houses of two prominent residents, among others.
The state government is yet to make any statement regarding the attack on Garkida, but Governor Ahmadu Fintiri was said to be on his way to the town as this report was being concluded, yesterday afternoon.
Similarly, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji (OPHD) have killed 13 bandits; intercept large ammunitions cache of 4,630 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition in 11 communities in Shinkafi, Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas of Zamfara, and three communities in Batsari LGA in Katsina and another three communities in Kebbi states.
Several other bandits were fatally wounded while eight suspected bandits that include a female were arrested.
The Acting Force Information Officer, Captain Abayomi Oni-Orisan, disclosed this in a press released in Gusau, yesterday.
Oni-Orisan explained that the feat was recorded between the 10th and 20th of this month during an operation as the troops conducted clearance operations, ambushes and fighting patrols in several locations across the theatre carried out in 11 communities in Anka, Shinkafi and Bukkuyum Local Governments Areas of Zamfara State.
Other locations where the operation also took place were three communities in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State and three communities in Kebbi State.
The operation, according to him, also led to the recovery of seven AK-47 rifles, eight loaded magazines, 22 motorcycles, two Dane guns, four GSM phones and 30 jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
The troops also intercepted suspected drug counterfeiters and drug dealers with 350 cartons of fake “PECOL” drugs and a sizeable consignment of suspected Indian hemp in Zurmi and Shinkafi local government areas of Zamfara State, respectively.
The fake “PECOL” drugs, according to the press release, were smuggled from Niger Republic through Jibia, carefully kept behind bags of fresh pepper in a J5 Bus with registration number RMY 156 XA Katsina to avoid any suspicion.
The troops deployed in Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara Stare also intercepted another vehicle conveying a suspected drug dealer with a large quantity of Indian hemp carefully concealed inside a carton.
The suspects and exhibits, according to the press release, have duly been handed over to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), respectively for further prosecution and destruction of the drugs.
It would be noted that the ongoing operation against banditry and all forms of criminality would continue until peace is restored in Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto states, the statement added.
The Force Commander of OPHD and Acting General Officer Commanding 8 Division, Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen Aminu Bande, urged the general public to support the operation by providing timely and credible information to the troops through the dedicated emergency telephone numbers, earlier provided to the general public, to ensure prompt and efficient action.
Bande also warned all recalcitrant bandits and their cohorts to immediately lay down their arms and embrace the on-going peace process or face full military action.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government, through the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouq, has explained why 104 ‘repentant’ Boko Haram members were freed.
She said President Muhammadu Buhari granted amnesty to the repentant terrorists “so that they could be assisted in different areas of human development.”
According to a statement by the Assistant Director, Information, Rhoda Ishaku Iliya, the minister said this when she received the representatives of the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Abayomi Gabriel Olonishaki, led by the Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, Maj-Gen Bamidele Shaffa, in Abuja, last Saturday.
Umar-Farouq said in ensuring that the current administration achieves its vision in addressing the insecurity and insurgency challenges facing the nation, the government had given a welcoming hand or an opportunity to repentant Boko Haram members to have a re-think.
“It is a very important programme for the ministry, one of the mandates of the ministry is to focus on the early recovery aspect of the North-East region, and one of such components of early recovery is re-integration, rehabilitation of these affected communities and the repentant Boko Haram insurgents,” she added.
The minister thanked the Operation Safe Corridor for their efforts and initiatives, adding that it would address the challenges of insecurity, and “is a very large approach in the de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration of these insurgents”, adding that the strategy was very important, especially in the North-East today.
COVID-19: Hand Washing Cheapest Way Of Fighting Diseases – Health Commissioner
COVID-19: Ignore Facemask, Risk Arrest, Prosecution, RSG Tells Residents
The Rivers State Government has expressed worries over the high level of non-compliance of health protocols with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic, warning that henceforth any resident caught without wearing facemask will be arrested and prosecuted.
The State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim handed down the warning while speaking on a live Radio programme in Port Harcourt on Saturday and monitored by the Tide.
Nsirim who is Chairman of the State Inter-ministerial Committee on Enlightenment for Covid-19 recalled the unhappiness of Governor Nyesom Wike during last Wednesday’s State broadcast with the attitude of many residents who flaunt extant directives on the wearing of facemask and other health protocols.
“The Governor in that broadcast also expressed concern that a lot of people in the State are not obeying the protocols. Social distancing, wearing of facemask and he spoke specifically in what is happening in some churches. Government will introduce policies, the onus is on the populace to obey those policies.
“Not just obeying it, the Covid-19 pandemic that we are talking about has defied medical solution for now. So to flatten the curve, everyone living and doing business in Rivers State has to take responsibility.
“If I take responsibility and everyone around me takes responsibility to observe the relevant protocol, we are sure to flatten the curve. But if people live righteously and just do as if nothing is happening because there are places where people are just living in denial.
“Some people still believe that there is nothing like Coronavirus. Two weeks ago, my committee rounded off street to street campaign in all the 23 local government areas of the State. They still met people who are in this denial. That is the challenge.
“The Governor is desirous that Rivers State remains safe. That is why he is initiating policies to ensure that strategically the state is somehow isolated from the national spread,” the Commissioner said.
Nsirim further said, “If you go around the State, since the executive order on facemask was introduced. You will notice that less than
30 per cent of the populace are really obeying that executive order. What we are seeing in the State is that people just put the mask around their chin.
“You go to some churches we see people open their mouth and things will be spewing out in the enclosed environment on the chin. The Governor is saying that to give this wearing of facemask the kind of weight that it deserves to save our people, a special taskforce be put in place.
“That is the only sure way because a lot of people are still living in denial. He said the governor’s broadcast is very clear, arrest and prosecute. Henceforth we will arrest and prosecute people not wearing facemask in public places,” he stated.
The Rivers State Government spokesman said arrangements have been concluded to monitor churches that fail to observe the guidelines of not more than 70 persons per church service, wearing of facemask, provision of water for hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers, while weddings and burial ceremonies should not exceed 50 persons.
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