Lieutenant Colonel Faruk Yahaya, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), has announced that records have shown that Nigeria recorded its highest rating in the fight against terrorism in 2022, since 2011 to date. He said this at the opening of the Chief of Army Staff First Quarter Conference 2023 on Monday in Abuja. He said the efforts in Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) in synergy with other security agencies had significantly curtailed terrorism and insurgency that troubled the North Eastern part of the country.
Chief Yahaya also said the continuous injection of trained troops and special equipment through Operations Lake Sanity and Desert Sanity to complement efforts by OPHK had been rewarding. According to the army chief, the insurgents and terrorists no longer have freedom of action. Now, the adversaries are surrendering en masse. “These efforts, expectedly have enhanced troops poise and greatly improved the security situation and public confidence in the North East,” he said. He commended the efforts and achievement by all the agencies, including sister services, stakeholders and the predecessor personnel.
Efforts are underway to neutralize the remaining terrorists.
The COAS said the Nigerian Army was channeling more efforts towards consolidating on the successes that have been achieved so far with a view to completely neutralizing the insurgents that fail to surrender. The outcome of the 2022 COAS Annual Conference in the North West region of the country had created the necessary impact that continues to improve the success of army operations in the region. He said the intensified offensive operations to eliminate bandits and other criminal elements in the regions had also yielded positive results.
According to him, the Nigerian army troops deployed for Operations Hadarin Daji and Forest Sanity have projected forces and intensified offensives to clear bandit enclaves. He said the operations have destroyed criminal hideouts, neutralized several bandits and put the remaining terrorists on the run or made them target only civilians. “We must therefore maintain the tempo and leave no stone upturned to sustain these commendable efforts,” he said. This includes maintaining the peace that has been restored to the region and prevent the terrorists from retaking over the areas.
Joint Task Force Operation UDO KA paid off in the South East.
Nigerian Army’s resolve to ensure security in the country showed in the peaceful conduct of the last general elections across Nigeria. This is in spite of the insecurity created by criminal elements in the South East region. This was made possible through the successful conduct of Operation Safe Conduct 2023 across the nation. Yahaya said additional efforts through Joint Task Force Operation UDO KA brought positive results in the South East. Even though IPOB/ESN and their supporters had threatened to disrupt the elections in the zone.
Generally, these operations and decisive actions against the criminal elements have impacted positively on the security situation in the region. It has also given confidence to law-abiding citizens in the region. The army chief said the Nigerian Army will continue to perform its constitutional roles in collaboration with the sister services and other security agencies in the country including civil authorities in the region. He commended the personnel over their professional conduct and apolitical disposition as well as their strict adherence to his directives and guidance during the just-concluded general elections.
Yahaya urged participants to evaluate ongoing operations.
Also, various groups, organizations and distinguished individuals commended the troops’ efforts during the elections. The COAS urged participants of the conference to make deliberate efforts to come up with genuine opinions and suggestions and also painstakingly evaluate the ongoing operations. He directed that deliberations should be focused on achieving the overall objective of better re-positioning the Nigerian Army to deliver on its constitutional roles. Chief of Policy and Plans at the Nigerian Army, Major General Anthony Omozoje, said the conference was designed to consolidate on the successes attained so far in all army activities.