The Presidency has said Nigerian soldiers in a period of 10 months in 2020 killed 1,805 Boko Haram insurgents/terrorists in the Northeast as well as 473 armed bandits in the Northwest.
Special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media, Mr. Femi Adesina, made the disclosure public in a statement titled “Security Check List As Nigeria Marks Armed Forces Remembrance Day,” on Thursday.
Adesina said the military from 18 March to 30 December, 2020 neutralised 2,403 criminal elements, including terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, and cattle rustlers, across the country in addition to scores of other terrorists and armed bandits killed during air strikes.
He explained that the military through Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East killed 1,805 insurgents and terrorists, including commanders apart from several others killed via air raids and attacks by troops.
“In the North East, 200 kidnapped victims were rescued by troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE. A total of 1,385 rounds of ammunition, 45 grenades as well as 95 assorted rifles were recovered from BHT/ISWAP fighters. In addition, several gun trucks were captured, while some others were destroyed during air strikes. Additionally, within the period, a total of 79 arrests were made including high value targets”
Adesina emphasised that apart from the 473 armed bandits killed, a lot of recoveries were made by the military in the North West.
“In the North West, 5,281 livestock, 6,951 rounds of ammunition and 120 assorted rifles were recovered from the armed bandits by the gallant troops in the Zone, 455 kidnapped victims were rescued and 461 arrests were made in the Zone including high profile armed bandits, gun runners and bandits’ collaborators, while a total cash of N6,365,550 was recovered from armed bandits and their informants in the zone,” he said.
Other activities of the military as highlighted by Adesina include rescue of a total of 864 kidnapped victims by troops across the country, recovery of a total of 9,684,797 litres of stolen diesel and 33,516,000 litres of kerosene.
“Equally, 1,910 criminal elements were arrested and large cache of arms, ammunition and equipment were recovered during the period, while a total of 46,581.8 barrels of stolen crude oil and 22,881,257 litres of stolen PMS were recovered by the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria”.
The presidential spokesman also revealed that government has embarked on massive purchase of military hardware, including 23 new aircraft while combat aerial vehicles will be procured between now and 2022.
“The federal government is investing heavily in military hardware, including 23 new aircraft that have already been delivered and inducted into service, while another 18 manned aircraft and 8 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) are being awaited, in 2021/2022. This is in addition to attack boats, patrol vessels, armoured tanks and so on.”
On the partial border closure tagged Operation Swift Response from August 2019 to December, 2020, Adesina disclosed that a total of 1,401 irregular migrants were arrested while the monetary value of goods like rice, vehicles, vegetable oil seized during the period was put at N12.538 billion.
“Operation SWIFT RESPONSE (OSR) which was launched in August 2019 and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has now transformed into Nigeria’s Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) as part of a Tripartite Operation, comprising Benin, Niger and Nigeria.
“1,401 irregular migrants were arrested while total seizures include 159,506.7 (50kg) bags of parboiled foreign rice; 10,447 bags of NPK fertilizer used for making explosives; 1,974 vehicles; 895 motorcycles; 18,690.3 jerry cans of vegetable oil, among other seized items with the total monetary value of the apprehended items standing at ₦12,538,333,545.50”, Adesina explained.