There has been no letup in the Nigerian Armed Forces efforts to rid the country of terrorist groups and strengthen the country security. According to the High Command, as of July 28, 2023, the military had successfully eliminated 59 terrorists, 88 criminals, 10 kidnappers, 20 gunmen, 19 suspected oil thieves, and as well rescued 88 kidnapped victims. Major General Edward Buba, the Spokesman for Defence Media Operations (DMO), made the announcement and restated that the Command has conducted numerous operations in all six geopolitical zones to combat the security threats facing the country.
During operations across the country, forces were able to seize 68 firearms and 1,364 rounds of ammunition, 19 Dane guns, four pump actions, five pistols, and 26 AK-47s, one GPMG and one AKMS rifle. They also recovered 1,083 rounds of 7.62mm special, 228 rounds 7.62mm NATO, 14 rounds 5.56 x 45mm, 15 fully loaded AK47 magazines, nine rounds of 9mm ammo and sum of N41,915.00 and CFA 49,000. Other items retrieved were 323,650 litres of stolen crude oil, 128,700 litres of illegally refined AGO, and 4,000 litres of DPK, denying the thieves an estimated value of N388,441,660.00.
Suspected logistical suppliers of terrorist groups were arrested.
General Buba explained that during Operation Hadin Kai, forces attacked terrorist strongholds in the Borno State communities of Gwoza, Konduga, Bama, and Mafa, leading to the surrender of some of the terrorists. As well, troops apprehended a gunrunner in Borno State Bogoro Local Council and a terrorists accomplice in Yobe State Damaturu. On July 18, 2023, troops in the Bogoro Local Council of Bauchi State apprehended a suspect involved in gunrunning operation in Boi. Initial inquiries identified the suspect to be a dismissed member of the 5th Brigade, Damasak.
Two pistols, two magazines, and eight 9mm rounds were found and recovered by the troops. The same day, in a separate operation, troops in Yobe State Damaturu Local Council arrested two people suspected of being logistical suppliers to the terrorist group Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province at Kukareta Market, where they also found two mobile phones and N7,265.00. The Air Component of Operation Delta Safe also conducted air interdiction missions at Degema and Krakrama in Rivers. Rockets were fired at the operational illegal refining sites, causing some damage to the facilities.
42 illegal refining operations were shut down.
Troops engaged in Operation Delta Safe were able to retrieve 498,650 litres of crude oil, 168,145 litres of Automotive Gas Oil and 4,400 litres of dual purpose kerosene during the course of their operation. Also recovered were 152 bullets of various calibres, 23 firearms, and 8 AK-47 magazines. Six vehicles, two boafeng radios, one 8HP, an electric saw, matchets, an axe, and a dagger, uniforms bearing the IPOB flag, with Nigerian police uniforms and boots. 42 illegal refining operations were shut down, along with 36 wooden boats, 68 storage tanks, 77 ovens, 19 dugout pits, 4 speedboats, and 5 outboard engines. In the same time period, 41 people were arrested on criminal charges. Oil thefts during the examined time period amounted to an estimated N388,441,660.00 in losses.
At Oroma, Umuemu, and Umuewelum communities in Anambra West Local Government Area, General Buba said Operation UDOKA forces raided camps/hideouts of suspected Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network gunmen. Troops also conducted similar operations at Mmiata Anam Forest, located in the Anambra West Local Government Area of the state, and in Enugu East and Udi Local Government Areas’ Garki and 9th Mile. Forces were able to eliminate several of the gunmen, retrieve weapons and freed kidnapped hostages during these operations.
Recovered items have been turned over to the authorities.
Operation UDO KA forces recovered 3 AK47 rifles, 1 AKMS rifle, 4 pump action guns, 2 dane guns, 1 locally built pistol, 35 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 86 live cartridges, and 1 locally made hand grenade over the course of their operations. In addition, the forces recovered six vehicles, 11 motorcycles, three mobile phones, a chainsaw, raincoats, boots, a raincoat, and a pumping machine. Troops were also able to eliminate three gunmen and capture 23 others. General Buba noted that all items recovered, suspects arrested, and hostages rescued from kidnappers have been turned over to the appropriate authorities.