Military Steps Up Onslaught On Terrorists

August 15, 2020

In the aftermath of President Muhammadu Buhari’s consultations with state governors and security chiefs, the Nigerian military has intensified the ongoing onslaught on insurgents with a view to containing insecurity in the country.

Accordingly, in continuation of its offensives against the terrorists, the air task force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE yesterday killed scores of Islamic State of West Africa Province’s (ISWAP) fighters and destroyed compounds housing them at Tongule in the Lake Chad area of Northern Borno.

State governors and security chiefs had on Tuesday ended their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the nation’s security with calls for a joint strategy to bring various conflicts to an end within time limits.

The meeting focused on the country’s security policies and approaches in tackling the internal security challenges with a charge that intelligence-gathering and sharing must be optimised for the nation to secure itself.

As part of efforts to rid the country of terror group the military on Wednesday launched air strikes following credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports indicating terrorists’ activities in Tongule village.

Coordinator Defence media operations, Major General John Enenche, said following confirmatory Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, which showed presence of a sizable number of the ISWAP elements at designated locations in the settlement, the air task force dispatched a force package of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets to attack  the location.

He said the NAF jets took turns in engaging the location scoring devastating hits on the designated targets leading to the destruction of the structures as well as the neutralisation of several ISWAP fighters

This is just as the Special Forces approved by the Defence Headquarters to halt the senseless killings and restore peace in Southern Kaduna have arrived Kafanchan ahead of their deployment to the various flashpoints in the area later today.

The Special Forces drawn from the Nigerian Army were received at Sector 7, the headquarters of Operation Safe Haven, by the Kaduna State commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, on behalf of the state governor, Nasir el-Rufai.

Receiving them, the commissioner said, “We came to formally welcome you to Kaduna State, and Southern Kaduna in particular after your induction. You are courageous and outstanding officers who have done well in Faskari, Batsari and other flash points in the country.

“The governor is pleased with your deployment and optimistic that you will do well in consolidating the gains already achieved by troops, police and other security agencies in this general area.

“Beyond the boots on the ground, the Kaduna State government is conducting series of engagements with traditional rulers, religious leaders, community leaders, civil society and other agencies, and we are making progress.

“Our consistent appeal is recourse to the law. No one should take the law on his or her own hands. Failure to recourse to the law only worsens the situation at hand, and as such, citizens must resort to available lawful means for arbitration and amicable resolution of grievances.”

The governor expressed gratitude to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, Chiefs of Army and Air Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai and Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar as well as the Commander, Operation Safe Haven, Maj Gen Chukwuemeka Okonkwo for their immense commitment in containing the situation.

The commissioner had a closed-door session with community leaders before leaving Kafanchan town.

DSS Warns Against Inciting Statements

Meanwhile, the Department of State Services (DSS) has alerted the nation about desperate efforts by some notable personalities to use their exalted positions to take advantage of developments in the country and cause a total breakdown of law and order.

DSS spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya, in a statement, noted that the agency had revealed that part of the orchestrations was to engage in divisive acts as well as use inciting statements to pit one group against another.

Reacting to the recent pronouncement by former CBN deputy governor, Dr Obadiah Mailafiya, the DSS warned that “with the latest occurrences in the country, Nigerians may have no reason to doubt the Service’s earlier pronouncement.

“Dr. Obadiah Mailafiya’s recent outburst aimed at playing to the gallery and creating unnecessary tension is a confirmation of his group’s desperation to breach the peace,” the secret police added.

The statement made available to LEADERSHIP Weekend further noted: “Mailafiya, as a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and currently, a Directing Staff at Nigeria’s foremost Policy Research Institute, the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, has unhindered access to government platforms. It is expected that he should be conversant with official information management protocols.

“But regrettably, he chose to cross the lines of decorum and conduct expected of a personality of his status. It is disappointing that he never took advantage of these to reach any of the security or related agencies to share the so called information at his disposal. This, he has agreed to be a grievous error on his part. It, however, suggests his mischief and determination to use the fake news he spewed to incite the people under his control.

“It is even more condemnable that Mailafiya, who had profusely apologized during his visit to the Service’s Plateau State Command for his ignoble statement, would, afterwards, announce to the world that he stood by his misguided eruption.”

The DSS also warned others who it said in the guise of political mobilization and supposed pursuit of group interests, engage in hostile and subversive activities to desist from advancing their inimical and parochial causes.

It continued: “The Service will not stand idly and watch disgruntled and aggrieved elements take laws into their hands and cause mayhem in the polity.

“In line with its mandate of detecting and preventing threats and crimes against the internal security of Nigeria, the Service hereby reiterates its previous warning that it will henceforth not condone unruly conducts of persons and groups that ought to know better.

“In this regard, it will not hesitate to, within the confines of the law, decisively deal with such persons and/or groups, no matter how highly placed, that may wish to test its resolve. It will, nonetheless, continue to support participatory democracy in the country and therefore urges all players to abide by the rules of the game.

“On the other hand, the Service implores law abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses without fear. It assures them of protection and pledges to strengthen existing measures designed to achieve this objective.”

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