Troops of the Nigerian military, in joint air raids and land mop up operations, have neutralised a high profile ISWAP Commander known as Uzaifa, who was the ‘MINZIR’, the fourth in line of the terrorist leadership structure, who is also believed to be the ISWAP leader of Sambisa forest that took over the leadership after the demise of AbubakarShekau.
He was killed together with 37 other terrorist’s in the North-East Theatre.
Also neutralised in joint operations are scores of terrorists in Niger, Plateau and Kaduna states while 58 terrorists suspects were arrested and 20 kidnapped victims rescued from terrorist’s hideouts.
In the FCT, troops of the Presidential Guard’s Brigade raided suspected terrorists’ hideouts in Dei-Dei and Gwagwalada communities, arrested eight terrorists and recovered five AK-47 rifles andthree pump action guns.
In Kogi State, troops arrested a wanted gunrunner and arms supplier to kidnappers, Naziru Mohammed; and recovered 1,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and other dangerous weapons from his hideout.
Furthermore, troops battling against economic sabotage successfully denied oil thieves and illegal oil bunkerer’s, the stealing and siphoning of crude oil/products worth more than N3.7billion while also destroying scores of illegal refineries and storage facilities in the Niger Delta.
The Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Dan Madami, made these known, yesterday, in Abuja, at a briefing on activities of the military and security agencies against criminal elements in the country.
Madami said, “Troops in the North-East theatre of operation conducted several operations in Gwashiri, Pulka-Kirawa axis, Amanwa village, Tungushe, Bama town, Mulgwai village, Kwatara, Gubio, Kekeno, DogonChuku, Miringa Market and Monguno town all in Borno State as well as, BuniYadi – JauroBashin in Yobe State.
“During the operations, troops neutralized 12 terrorists, recovered 18 AK-47 rifles, one RGP, two FN rifles, 83 rounds of 7.62mm special, 13 bicycles, oneGolf car, large quantity of substance suspected to be cannabis sativa, bags of maize, three grenades, four mobile phones, 47 rustled cattle, six donkeys, 20 cartons of super cereal, 51 Jerricans of groundnut oil, two cartons of cigarettes, medical suppliers, food stuffs and 40 pairs of male and female clothing.
“Troops also arrested eight suspected terrorists, four logistic suppliers, rescued four civilians and the sum of N1, 005, 360.00 cash. Also as troops of Operation Hadin Kai continue to consolidates on their success against the terrorists more of them surrendered to own troops within the period under review, a total of 1, 652 BHT members and their families have surrendered to own troops at different location. The number comprises of 320 adult males, 442 women and 890 children.
“In a related development, the air component of Operation Hadin Kai on August 20, 2022 carried out air strikes on terrorist’s enclaves in Sambisa forest and the Tumbuns in Borno State with various degree of success recorded.
“Acting on credible intelligence about the gathering of terrorists at a location revealed to be the enclave of a notorious terrorist being hosted by a top ranking commander, believed to be the Islamic State of West Africa Province leader of Sambisa forest who took over the leadership after the demise of AbubakarShekau.
“Consequently, the air strikes were carried out on the enclave. Feedback revealed that 25 of the terrorists were neutralized in the strikes with 18 serious wounded. Among those neutralize was a high profile commander known as Uzaifa, who was the ‘MINZIR’, which connotes the fourth in line of the terrorist leadership structure.
“Similar air strikes were also conducted in the Tumbuns near Lake Chad at a location revealed to be the training camp of the terrorists. Report gathered revealed that scores of the terrorists were neutralized in the strikes. All recovered items and rescued civilians were handed over to the relevant authorities while the surrendered Boko Haram terrorist members and their families were profiled for further action.
“Troops of Operation Whirl Punch sustained the momentum to deny terrorists freedom of action in their Joint Operation Area. Consequently, the air component of Operation Whirl Punch conducted air interdiction operations at a terrorist’s enclave in Kurebe in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, thereby neutralising several terrorists who had assembled for a meeting hosted by a notorious terrorist leader,AminuDuniya.
“In a related development, troops of Guards Brigade raided some suspected terrorist hideout at Deidei Abattoir in Abuja Municipal Area Council and Dupka village in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory. During the raid operation 8 suspected terrorist were arrested, five AK-47 rifles and three pump action gun were recovered, while large quantities of items suspected to be cannabis sativa, three machetes, knives among other items were also recovered.
“Similarly, troops of Operation Safe Haven in conjunction with vigilantes and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps conducted operational activities at Mum village, Garga District, in Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State, as well as Mariri Town, Kauru Local Government Area and ZangoKataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“During the operations, 21 suspected terrorist, seven suspected kidnappers and three suspected vandals were arrested at different locations, while seven terrorists were neutralised with 12 civilians rescued from the kidnapper’s den. Items recovered from the suspects include three motorcycles, eight mobile phones, some quantity of illicit drugs and the sum of N60,000.00.
“Furthermore, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke in conjunction with the Department of State Service conducted raid operation at bandit’s camps at Ankya Village, ZakiBiam town in Ukum Local Government Area, Mahaga Community in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State, as well as Jamata in KotonKarfe Local Government Area of Kogi State.
“During the operation a notorious bandit identified as Timothy Nwagaga (aka Ambiju) was arrested at ZakiBiam town in Benue State. It was revealed that the suspect is a gang member of a notorious bandit known as Anhie (aka short man) who has been on troops wanted list.
“In the same vein, a wanted gun runner known as Naziru Mohammed was arrested at Murtala Mohammed Bridge, in KotonKarfe Local Government Area of Kogi State. items recovered during the operation include 1,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, large sum of money, two mobile phones, one tricycle and one motorcycle. All recovered items have been handed over to the relevant authorities for further action
“In the North-West, troops of Operation HadarinDaji, engaged terrorists in their enclaves in a coordinated joint operation by the land and air component around Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State were engaged.
“Intelligence had revealed that the terrorists planned to attack villages within the vicinity where there were operating. Consequently, own troops leveraged on the report and conducted clearance operation against the terrorists that resulted in the neutralization of several of the terrorists while others fled with severe gunshot wound.
“Items recovered include two GPMGs, three AK-47 rifles and seven motorcycles. Furthermore, troops raided terrorist hideout at Bida village market in Chikun Local Government Area, Zaria-Ikara road around Kwari village in Ikara Local Government Area, Kaya-Giwa in Giwa Local Government Area, Kabode forest in Kachia Local Government Area all in Kaduna State.
“During the operations, troops arrested 37 suspected terrorists, recovered 11 motorcycles, eight cutlasses, three mobile phones and rescued eight civilians.
“In a related development, the air component of Operation HadarinDaji conducted air interdiction operations at Rugu Forest in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State and within Zamfara State as well as Dukura, Ungushi and Umbutu villages in Kebbi Local Government Area of Sokoto State on terrorist hideouts and enclaves.
“The air interdiction operation was in response to intelligence report on the gathering of terrorists in the forest. Consequently, the hideouts and enclaves were bombarded and several of the terrorists were neutralized. While troops on patrol engaged terrorist along Magani road within Zamfara State and neutralized a notorious terrorist’s commander identified as SojanMadagwal who was responsible for various attacks and road blocks along Gusau road and also on the wanted list of security agencies with members of his gang.
“During the operation troops recovered large quantity of different calibers of ammunitions and two motorcycles.
“Similarly, the air component conducted another air interdiction operation on terrorist hideouts around Damba at Kaso Hills, Kajuru, and various locations within its environs in Kaduna State. During the operation troops sighted terrorists with large herds of cattle trying to escape on sighting own troop. Subsequently, they were struck with scores of the terrorists neutralized.
“Also, the air component responded to a distress call on the activities of several terrorists on motorcycles convoy moving from Udawa to Kurebe in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The terrorists were engaged in an airstrike while those who fled to nearby bushes were mopped up by the land component. All recovered items were handed over to the relevant authorities for further action.
“In the South-South, troops of Delta Safe, Dakatar Da Barawo, and Octopus Grip during several operations, discovered and destroyed several illegal refining sites, which includes, 493 dugout pits, 512 storage tanks, 413 cooking ovens and 59 wooden boats.
“Also, troops recovered four tankers, two speed boats, one generator, one outboard engine, 14 pumping machines, 3 AK47 rifles, 25,977.15 Barrels of crude oil, over 3.2million litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 26,575 litres of Premium Motor Spirit and 2,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene. Troops also arrested 21 pipelines vandals. All recovered items and apprehended oil thieves were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.
“Cumulatively, a total value of products denied oil thieves were N3.7billion worth made up of N1,313,020,242.00 only of crude oil and N2,374,607,471.00 only of AGO.
“Others are N4,650,625.00 only of PMS and N15,981,000.00 only of DPK. Consequently, a grand total of N3,708,259,338.00.
“In the South-East, troops fighting to curb the illegal activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra in the South-East zone and restore normalcy to the region carried out raid and clearance operations in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Anambra State and Abia State and suspected Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network militia camps.
“During the operations troops arrested one member of the group and recovered one AK-42 assault rifle, six pump action guns, one locally made berretta gun, five locally fabricated doubled barrel guns, 98 live cartridges, two machetes, two axe, 20 motorcycles, a pair of police camouflage uniform, one military camouflage uniform and a ballistics vest.”
Nigeria @62: More Knocks; Few Kudos
As Nigeria clocks 62 today, The Tide takes a look at how the country has fared since attaining independence in 1960, using people’s opinions as basis. Expectedly, people differed in their assessment. While many Nigerians said the country has failed to realise the dreams of its founding fathers, others described the present situation in the country as a process of nation building, expressing the hope that the country will soon overcome its present challenges.
Below are some of the views got by our correspondents.
Speaking with The Tide at his palace at Woji, the Paramount Ruler of Woji community, Eze Emeka Ihunwo, said the country was at a zero level at the moment.
Ihunwo said it was regrettable that the country at 62 was still grappling with the challenges of insecurity and bad governance.
“Nigeria at 62; we are at zero point: Insecurity in this country has rubbished Nigeria.
“I wouldn’t know if insecurity has added to make our money look like rag. I can’t understand! Today, there is inflation; at the same time, people are being killed at will”, he said.
The Woji monarch said for Nigeria to get it right, people must do away with tribalism, and wondered why people in their 80s still want to govern the country when they are quality, competent young men everywhere.
He commented the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his purposeful leadership in the state.
Also speaking, the Okan-Ama of Ataba Kingdom in Andoni Local Government Area, King Benson Mgbowaji Egwenre Oruk, said the country has disappointed its founding fathers.
He said that at 62, the country has not met the expectations of her people, nothing that Nigeria has continued to slide into a pariah state.
He also said that gone were the days when Nigerian currency was at per with the American Dollar and the British Pounds, adding that at the moment, the Naira had been reduced to nothing.
Egwenre said what was needed at the moment was a committed and God-fearing leader to pilot the affairs of the state.
The royal father also commended Governor Nyesom Wike for providing quality leadership in the state.
He used the occasion to call on politicians in Ataba Kingdom and the rest of Andoni to embark on issue-based campaigns while urging the people to remain peaceful.
However, in his opinion, the EzeIgbu Ubie 111 in Ahoada West Local Government Area, Eze Okpokiri Maxwell, said Nigeria was passing through its period of growth and development.
He said the dreams of the founding fathers had not been misplaced as every nation has her challenges.
The royal father said political independence has brought freedom to Nigerians, stressing that all challenges presently confronting the country would be surmounted one day.
Speaking further, an activist, Prince Williams Chinwo, also decried the dwindling fortunes of Nigeria, and expressed the hope that the country would come out of the conundrum one day.
For a university lecturer with the Rivers State University, Dr Monday Didia, Nigeria at 62 ought not to be celebrated given the rate of killings and economic downturn in recent times.
Didia said that no parent would be happy to birth a child like Nigeria who has chosen to be a toddler at 62.
“I don’t think Nigeria at 62 is worth celebrating unless for the fun of it. How can we celebrate nothing? Ranging from the economy to the least, no remarkable impact has been made”, he said.
The university don frowned at the over seven months industrial strike embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which he said has caused setback in the education sector.
Another respondent, Mr Bobby Amadi, an agriculturalist, described Nigeria as a near failure at 62.
Amadi recalled the oil boom era in the early1970s and how farmers were seen as lords, regretting that Nigeria squandered the oil money on frivolities and became poor.
He narrated how the Malaysians took palm seedlings from Nigeria and has become the highest producer of palm oil in the world while the natural owner of the product [Nigeria] trails far behind.
“Well, we are Nigerians, what we are celebrating is Independence Day and nothing more. The reason is that we cannot sincerely point out one thing that we have independently achieved”, he said.
Meanwhile, a top Immigration Officer, who pleaded anonymity, noted that Nigerians were leaving the country in droves for other parts of the world due to bad governance..
According to him, passport offices throughout the country are busy everyday attending to applicants who want to leave the country with their families in search of greener pasture.
A political scientist and lecturer at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Port Harcourt, Dr Oboada Alafonye Uriah, said Nigerians are wallowing in a vicious cycle of development.
‘’You prove to be developing, but you improve by six steps forward and then you move seven steps backwards. So, are we really making progress? No, we are not’’.
He lamented the high level of insecurity, economic hardship and poor standard of education in the country.
‘’Nigeria has depreciated to the level that every right thinking Nigerian should be worried about whether we have the country Nigeria or not. In fact, Nigeria has failed. By all standards, we have failed’’, he lamented.
As a way forward, Uriah advocated transparency and accountability in governance, saying once there is sanity at the top, it will permeate every sector,
Another respondent, Barrister Sunny Igwe, who is a legal practitioner, said Nigeria at 62 is painful ‘’because we appear visionless’’.
He said that in spite of Nigeria’s abundant human and natural resources, the country is wallowing in misery and penury due to what he called ‘’visionless leadership’’.
He wondered why the country keeps on spending trillions of Naira on fuel subsidy when we should have used the money to fix the nation’s four refineries.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to elect good leaders who have the potentials to move the nation forward.
Speaking in the same vein, a banker, Erasmus Amakiri, described Nigeria at 62 as a complete failure.
He said Nigeria is going backwards in the area of economy, power supply and job creation.
‘’Beside this, Nigeria is owing a debt that even our great-grand children can not pay off. Over N4trillion. That’s crazy. We are not making progress, for me, Nigeria is a complete failure.
‘’It’s my country. I love it, but then, the leaders are not helping us. At 62, we are supposed to be grown-ups but we are still like babies’’, he said.
A Medical Doctor and Head of Department, Pharmacology, Rivers State University (RSU), Dr Ekene Woke, also hit Nigeria below the belt.
According to him,’’there is nothing to celebrate or remember about it. A 62 year-old is a full grown man and should be able to correct his mistakes but to Nigeria, the reverse is the case. We have learnt nothing from our past mistakes. The country is at war at itself. Citizens are being killed every day and government can only give excuses at every time.
‘’Nigeria at 62 is a complete failure. Which area is left out? Is it water? Water is a basic necessity of government but people are using borehole for their water supply. Is it security? People are building up vigilantee. The state police has been shut down by people who are benefiting from the system. It’s only Nigeria that copied the federal system from the USA but only removed the part of state police for reasons that people don’t understand.
‘’However, the only thing we can celebrate in Nigeria is that the country has not divided. But the unity must have reasons to make the citizens happy. If we have been divided, things would have been much worse than this. So, we only have celebration of unity.
In his own view, President, National Association of Surface Tank Oil and Gas Retailers of Nigeria and Professor of Engineering, King Onyeche Promise Obinna, said that Nigeria has not got it right with leadership.
He said Nigeria needs a purposeful and creative leadership that could turn things around for the better, noting that the ability to provide policies of governance that will generate and recreate wealth and make it envy for all nations is lacking.
However, Prof Isaac Zeb-Bipi of the Rivers State University, said Nigeria has experienced some positive changes in the area of education.
‘’At least, now we can talk about having more institutions both at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We can talk about the introduction of private institutions to complement public schools. We can talk about producing a good number of our citizens through these institutions for them to be able to read and write’’, he said.
He, however, said that the nation’s education could have done better in the area of infrastructure and manpower if right policies were put in place.
‘’Yes, we could have done better in terms of having schools that are well equipped, we could have done better in terms of having products of these schools that are properly and thoroughly educated, we could have done better by having education providers properly catered for, we could have done better by having our institutions meet the demands of industries’’, he said.
Zeb-Bipi hailed the state of infrastructure at the Rivers State University, attributing it to the visionary leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike and the pragmatic leadership of the Vice Chancellor, Prof Nlerum Sunday Okogbule.
BY: Tonye Nria-Dappa, Lady Godknows Ogbulu, John Bibor,
King Onunwor, Susan Serekara-Nwikhana & Oreoluwa Adigun
Nigeria@62: Seek Knowledge On Nigeria’s History, IBB Tells Youths …As Buhari, Banigo Preach Unity, Equity
Former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) has called on youths to make efforts to be more knowledgeable about the nation’s history as Nigeria marks its 62nd Independence anniversary.
Babangida told newsmen, yesterday, in Minna, that a good knowledge of the nation’s history would guide the youths in their search for a better Nigeria.
According to him, it was necessary for the youths to know what Nigeria’s founding fathers went through to keep it strong and united.
“Seven years after independence, we went through a civil war and came out of it. The main goal was to keep Nigeria united. We succeeded in achieving that.
“Since then, successive governments, both civilian and military, have strived to keep us united as one entity,” Babangida said.
He lauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts toward tackling security challenges bedevilling some parts of the country, urging all to support efforts by the government and security agencies.
“Nigerians must support security agencies with the information required to track down criminals. Government needs everyone’s support to fight this deadly insurgency,” he said.
He called for peaceful coexistence among Nigerians toward smooth conduct of a free, fair, and credible election in 2023.
Also speaking, the President Muhammadu Buhari, and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping have exchanged felicitations on the occasion of the two nations’ independence anniversary on October 1.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, while Nigeria marks its 62nd anniversary, China is celebratingit’s 73rd.
In his letter congratulating the Chinese President on the anniversary, Nigeria’s president stated that relations between the two countries have “achieved far-reaching and fruitful results on the basis of equity, mutual trust and mutual benefits,” adding that Nigeria seeks to elevate the strategic partnership to a new level.
Buhari commended China’s accomplishments under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), to which President Jinping doubles as General Secretary.
“As the 20th National Congress of CPC will be held in October, I wish this historical Congress a great success, and also hope it will draw up blueprint for China’s future development.”
On his part, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, said the Sino-Nigerian relations enjoy “sound momentum, with political mutual trust being enhanced, cooperation in various fields yielding fruitful results and coordination on international and regional affairs being closer.”
He added, “On the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the Independence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I would like to, on behalf of the government and the people of China, and in my own name, extend to you and through you to the Nigerian government and people, the warmest congratulations and best wishes.
“I wish the Federal Republic of Nigeria prosperity and its people happiness.”
Similarly, as the nation celebrates the 62nd Anniversary of its Independence, Rivers State Deputy Governor,Dr.Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has urged Nigerians to continue to keep hope alive that the country will be great again.
Banigo stated this in her goodwill message in Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, to felicitate with Nigerians at 62nd Independence anniversary.
She reminded them that the 2023 General Election presents the nation an opportunity to elect credible leaders that would turn around the fortunes of the country, stressing that the power of fast tracking the growth of the nation lies in the choices they make at the polls.
The deputy governor, who reiterated the commitment of the Wike-led administration’s determination to continue to give the Rivers people a good lease of life, urged them to continue to support and vote all candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party in the upcoming elections to continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
Also reacting, the Rivers State gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sir SiminalayiFubara, felicitated with Nigerians, and expressed hope for a new dawn as the nation marks her 62nd independence anniversary, today.
Fubara, in a statement signed by his Deputy Media Assistant, Bon Onyedi, in Port Harcourt, last Thursday, said that the coming days would usher in a fresh start and would be the threshold to the attainment of the people’s aspirations by galvanising their potentials for prosperity and development.
He noted that although the nation, as an entity, had faced monumental challenges since gaining independence, with the most painful experience occurring in the past seven years, there was great hope lying ahead as seen in its sub units like Rivers State that have maintained development momentum due to quality leadership.
The governorship candidate urged the people to pray for the peace and progress of the nation in general and Rivers State in particular as the anniversary occasion ushers the country into the electioneering season.
He further congratulated the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his commitment that led to the recovery of Rivers State assets, especially the Legacy 600 Bombardier Aircraft that had been carelessly abandoned in Germany by the previous administration.
Be Attentive To Dev Needs Of Host Communities, Wike Tells IOCs
The Rivers State Government has encouraged international oil companies (IOCs) to be particularly attentive to the socio-economic development needs of host communities.
The State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike, stated this during the Ikike First Oil ceremony organised by TotalEnergies EP at TotalEnergies Office in Port Harcourt, last Thursday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Wike said, “As a state government, we will always ensure a secure working environment for the operators in the state such as TotalEnergies. In cognisance of the major role oil plays in the GDP of the country, we commit to the safeguard of oil installations and its workers across the state”.
According to the governor, Rivers State would continue to remain safe for investors, stressing that the success story of Ikike First Oil proves the fact that it was worth the while inviting investors to come to the state, which he described as a safe haven for businesses to thrive.
He commended the management and staff of the company for achieving the first oil from the Ikike Offshore Project, thereby recording a milestone with start-up of the Ikike field development project.
In his remarks, the Managing Director, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Mike Sangster, said the Ikeki field, which was launched before the COVID-19 pandemic, produces 50,000 barrels of crude oil daily, noting that the project would serve as a template for future projects, as it offers them an opportunity to develop Nigeria.
He said the construction, which was done in the Nigerian yard, generated 3,000 direct and indirect jobs during the period.
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