AMIDST the continuous cases of insecurity in Nigeria, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, in various operations, have eliminated 23 terrorists and apprehended no fewer than 137 suspected criminals across the country.
The operations, which took place between August 14 and 25, saw 41 kidnapped citizens rescued.
A statement by the director of defence media operations, Edward Buba, on Friday, August 25, listed the arrested criminals to include five kidnappers, 22 oil thieves, and one informant among others.
Part of the statement read, “The counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations being conducted by troops continue to produce results. Though, the men and women of the armed forces are fighting and dying for the country every day; they have made great strides.
“The military will continue the momentum of its operations by mounting pressure on groups seeking to undermine the security of citizens and the nation.
Buba also mentioned that a total of 231 terrorists and their families surrendered to the troops, consisting of 25 adult males, 63 adult females, and 143 children.
He also disclosed that the troops recovered 41 weapons and 300 assorted kinds of ammunition.
“The breakdown of arms and ammunition is as follows; 14 AK47 rifles, one AK49 rifle, two AK47 rifles loaded with 7.62mm special ammo, one PKT gun, one LMG, two pump action guns, two locally fabricated pistols, three locally fabricated rifle, two dane guns, one pistol, and 2 locally made long barrel guns.
“Additionally, troops recovered are one AK47 rifle loaded with 30 rounds of 7.62mm special, one AK47 magazine, one magazine loaded with 30 rounds of 7.62mm special, 239 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, five rounds of 7.62 NATO, 44 rounds of PKT, five rounds of 9mm ammo and six cartridges. Furthermore, troops recovered 13 motorcycles, 22 mobile phones, one bicycle, 10 machetes, a pair of camouflage, ” the statement added.
The DHQ spokesperson, while noting that the troops recovered over 682,400 litres of stolen crude oil in the South-South, stressed that one of the abducted Chibok School girls was also rescued.
“The operations in the South-South geopolitical zone resulted in the arrest of the following; 682,400 litres of stolen crude oil, 70,950 litres of illegally refined AGO, and 23,250 litres of DPK. All amounting to an estimated sum of N414,396.250 denied to the oil thieves,” he said.
“Troops of Operation HADIN KAI’s offensive operations led to the surrender of terrorists and their family members with one of the missing Chibok School girls amongst them. The surrounding occurred in Dikwa and Gwoza LGAs of Borno State.
Nigeria, over the years, has grappled with various forms of insecurity, ranging from incessant attacks by bandits to the enforcement of sit-at-home orders in the South-South, among other challenges.
These incidents have resulted in the loss of thousands of Nigerian lives, including several security personnel, the displacement of many people, and extensive damage to hundreds of hectares of land.
Data by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) checked by The ICIR showed that non-state actors killed 31,821 people between May 2015 and April 2023. The NST website tracks violent incidents related to political, economic, and social grievances directed at the state or other affiliated groups.
There are several reasons for the rising insecurity, among which are cattle rustling in the country’s northern region and human rights abuse.
In March, Amnesty International (AI) also blamed the development on the failure of leadership and global organisations.
The AI confirmed that Nigeria’s human rights abuse and insecurity levels rose in 2022.
On August 14, The ICIR also reported that within the first 45 days following President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s inauguration on May 29 and up to July 13, 2023, more than 600 individuals had lost their lives due to violence perpetrated by non-state actors nationwide.
According to data, the killings happened primarily from activities of bandits, Boko Haram insurgents, ethnic militias, armed robbers and other non-state actors.
Data from SBM Intelligence, an analysis platform, revealed that about 629 Nigerians were killed in the last 45 days under President Tinubu.
Other data from the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) and media reports checked by The ICIR showed that non-state actors killed 587 people within the same period.
While this persists, the Nigeria Army, in different statements, also said it has made progress in countering the terrorists and their operations.