Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Gift Wada

In response to an attack by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) on a military checkpoint in Abia State, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) announced the arrest of over 100 suspects.

The attack, which occurred on May 30, 2024, at Obikabia Junction in Obingwa local government area, resulted in the deaths of five service personnel and six civilians.

Major General Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations, disclosed this on Thursday, while highlighting the efforts of troops in conducting several intelligence-based operations.

He said the operations led to the discovery and destruction of numerous IPOB/ESN terrorist camps across the region, including a significant camp in Igboro Forest, Arochukwu LGA of Abia State.

“Several arrests were made from the raids, with those found to be culpable still in detention,” said Maj.-Gen. Buba. “Surely, there is intelligence value to the raids and arrests that were made. Those in detention are assisting troops to locate other camps, sleeper cells, and high-profile individuals involved in the activities of the terrorist group,” he noted.

He confirmed that preliminary investigations have led to the release of those not found culpable in the attack. He emphasized the ongoing assistance of the detained suspects in military operations aimed at dismantling the network of the separatist group.

The attack at Obikabia Junction is part of a series of violent incidents attributed to non-state actors across Nigeria, with nine soldiers killed in June alone. The military high command, in a statement following the attack, vowed to retaliate fiercely against the perpetrators, underscoring the government’s commitment to restoring peace and security in the region.

As the situation develops, the DHQ assures the public of its resolve to maintain stability and safeguard the lives of all citizens, urging cooperation and vigilance to support the ongoing security efforts.

Buba said In the week under review, troops neutralized 197 criminals and arrested 310 suspects,” Maj.-Gen. Buba reported. “Additionally, 22 individuals involved in oil theft were apprehended, and 251 kidnapped hostages were rescued.”

In the fight against oil theft in the South-South region, troops prevented the theft of oil valued at approximately N765,654,100. “This is a substantial blow to the operations of criminal networks involved in illegal oil activities,” Maj.-Gen. Buba noted.

According to him, the military also recovered a large cache of weapons and ammunition. Among the recovered items were 180 assorted weapons, including 73 AK-47 rifles, 17 locally fabricated guns, 21 dane guns, and 10 hand grenades. Troops seized over 5,000 rounds of various types of ammunition and several explosives.

Other recovered items included 47 motorcycles, 21 mobile phones, four vehicles, and a significant amount of currency, totaling N1,236,200 and CFA 608,000.

In the Niger Delta, troops discovered and dismantled 29 dugout pits, 22 boats, and 26 storage tanks used for illegal refining. They also destroyed 66 cooking ovens, 85 drums, and 43 illegal refining sites, recovering 728,360 litres of stolen crude oil and various quantities of illegally refined petroleum products.

He addressed recent allegations by the Zamfara State Governor against the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), reiterating the military’s professionalism and subservience to political authority.

“The military will not engage in conflict with the Governor but will seek constructive engagement to address these matters,” he said.

He highlighted the sacrifices made by troops in Zamfara State, where nine personnel have lost their lives in June 2024 alone. “These losses are a painful testament to our commitment and efforts to restore peace and security in the state,” Maj.-Gen. Buba stated.

Despite being labeled as the epicenter of kidnapping, Zamfara State lacks an internal security operation outfit to coordinate the activities of security agencies, unlike other states. This situation, Maj.-Gen. Buba said, “leaves much to be desired.”

He underscored the importance of public support in the fight against terrorism. “Winning the war without the support of the people is close to impossible. The lifeline of terrorist groups is the people, and their support is crucial to our success.”

The defence spokesman assured citizens that the military is committed to their safety and security, working tirelessly to combat acts of terror.

“Citizens must understand why we are fighting this war. The terrorists will not stop until they are stopped, and the military is relentless in its efforts to guarantee the safety of every citizen,” he concluded.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *