By Abiodun OBA
The Nigeria Armed Forces is constantly re-strategizing and modifying its operations to overcome the changes in tactics of the extremist operating across the country.
The Director of Defence media operations, General Edward Buba disclosed on Thursday at the bi-weekly Media briefing with Defence Correspondents on the activities of the Troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in the various theatres of operations across the six geo-political zones.
General Buba confirmed that the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and other security agencies in the renewed efforts to end insecurity in the country have identified several safe Havens of Terrorists, vowing never to allow such anywhere in the Nation’s Territory.
The Director of Defence media operations further disclosed that it was clear that some of the safe havens from which these insurgents and terrorists operate often extend across the borders with other countries, thereby making it a regional issue.
He added that nevertheless, the objective of ongoing operations is to ensure these safe havens are completely destroyed within the shores of the country.
According to him, “among the central issues on the ground, in terms of setting security conditions and overcoming instability are the safe havens of some of these violent extremist groups that have existed for many years.
“These safe havens in effect provided a support base for insurgent activities.
“For instance, these safe havens provide the flow of funding, material, weapons, fighters, command and control that supports terrorism and insurgency confronting us. There are safe havens spread across various theatres ranging from the tumbuns in the North East to other locations such as national parks, game reserves and forests across the country.
“Recently, one of the safe havens in Aku Forest in Okigwe LGA of Imo State in the SE was invaded. Troops found unspeakable and unprintable activities going on in the camp. These extremists are cannibals feasting on fellow humans and slaughtering them for other devilish acts.
“Accordingly, the ongoing counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations are designed to ensure that uncertainty is replaced with certainty”.
General Buba explained that the operations of Troops in the last one week, resulted in 50 neutralized terrorists while 114 of them were arrested, adding that the gallant Troops also arrested 19 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 49 kidnapped hostages in the South South region while the troops denied oil theft of the estimated sum of Nine Hundred and Sixty-Eight Million One Hundred and Sixty Thousand Fifty Naira (N968,160,050.00) only.
According to him, “furthermore, troops recovered 65 assorted weapons and 400 assorted ammunitions.
“The breakdown are as follows: 25 AK47 rifles, 4 locally fabricated rifles, 4 pistols, 6 pump action guns, 12 dane guns, 3 AK47 rifles loaded with 50 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo among others.
“Troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and destroyed 54 dugout pits, 66 boats, 138 storage tanks, 253 cooking ovens, 2 pumping machines, 8 speedboat, 17 hoses, 18 drums, 2 cylinders and 53 illegal refining sites. Troops recovered 983,350 litres of stolen crude oil, 144,980 litres of illegally refined AGO and 71,650 litres of DPK.
He however assured the nation that the military would continue to fine tune its operations to ensure maximum protect of citizens and restore security across the country.
According to him, “we are getting it right and continue to encourage citizens that know something to say something, so that we can do something about it. Together we win the fight.”