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Nigerian Military Set To Prioritise Farmer Protection Amid Security Challenges

Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters has announced operational adjustments to safeguard farmers and ensure successful rainy season farming nationwide.

As part of the efforts to address the security challenges that prevented farmers from going to the farms and resulted in high cost of foods in the country, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said operational adjustments were being made by the military to prioritise protection of farmers to ensure a successful rainy season farming across the country.

The Nigerian Army on Saturday said that its troops deployed in the North-east, in collaboration with Vigilante and Hybrid Forces, killed three terrorists, rescued kidnapped hostages, as well as recovered arms and ammunition, in a series of coordinated counter-terrorism operations.

Also, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, has applauded the media for its support to military operations across the federation, adding the media was critical in military operations.

Speaking on the efforts to ensure that farmers return to the farms, the Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba, while giving updates on the operations of the armed forces in Abuja, said the armed forces had intensified intelligence gathering efforts targeted at hunting terrorists and striking them where they may be hiding and hibernating.

He said the aim was to eliminate the terrorists and the infrastructure that supported their activities.

According to him, troops will continue to employ significant firepower to neutralise terrorists and disrupt their activities across the country.

“Winning the war against the terrorist is non-negotiable,” he said.

Buba added that the troops had in different operations, neutralised 220, apprehended 395 suspects and rescued 202 kidnapped hostages in the last one week.

He added that troops recovered 432 assorted weapons and 9,004 assorted ammunition, comprising three PKT guns, one G-3 rifle, 83 AK47 rifles and 18 locally-fabricated guns.

Also recovered were 16 dane guns, 14 RPG bombs, one RPG launcher, two tear gas launchers, 234 smoke grenades and one bandolier.

Others include: 5,893 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 2,064 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 401 rounds of 9mm ammo, 200 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm, 154 rounds of 7.62 x 51mm, 195 live cartridges, and 17 magazines.

In the North-east, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 83 terrorists, arrested 98 suspects and rescued 61 kidnappers’ hostages.

Assorted arms were also recovered, he added.

In the North-central, troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke neutralised 37 insurgents, arrested 102 violent extremists and rescued 113 kidnapped hostages, he said.

In the North-west, Buba said the troops of Operations Hadarin Daji and Whirl Punch, neutralised 78 terrorists, arrested 103 terrorists and rescued 68 kidnapped hostages.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army on Saturday said its troops deployed in the North-east, in collaboration with Vigilante and Hybrid Forces, killed three terrorists, rescued kidnapped hostages, as well as recovered arms and ammunition.

It said troops executed an ambush operation targeting terrorists’ hibernating around Pulka and Ashagashiya, in Gwoza Local Government Area (LGA), of Borno State.

The service also noted that troops made contact with the terrorists, killing one, while others fled in disarray, abandoning their belongings, during the operations.

The troops, it said, successfully rescued seven women and nine children from the clutches of the terrorists. The troops also recovered one submachine gun (SMG), three bicycles, four blankets, cooking utensils, and several other items.

“Similarly, troops conducted an ambush operation in the Komala general area of Borno State. The operations resulted in the neutralisation of one terrorist and the recovery of two AK-47 rifles with two magazines containing 29 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) ammunition and 91 belted links of PKT ammunition. Additional items recovered include one SMG, two AK-47 rifles, one SMG magazine, nine rounds of 9 mm ammunition, and one motorbike.

“In a separate operation in Benue State, troops in response to intelligence reports about terrorists’ movements in Ayati Village, Ukum LGA, launched a swift operation to counteract the nefarious activities of the terrorists. The terrorists, upon sighting the troops, fled, abandoning one AK-47 rifle, one Dane gun, two 83 mm launchers, four locally made launchers, and one rifle magazine. The troops also seized 19 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) and five rounds of 5.56 x 45 mm ammunition and other assorted arms,” the statement revealed.

In another successful operation in Kogi State, troops responded to information, regarding a planned ransom payment to kidnappers. Coordinating with vigilantes and local hunters, the troops engaged the kidnappers at the planned exchange point in Okunran Okoloke General Area.

During the encounter, one kidnapper was killed, and an AK-47 rifle with a magazine containing 15 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) ammunition and one motorcycle were recovered.

The Nigerian Army concluded that these modest but significant operational successes are indicative of troops’ resilience and dedication in ensuring that they mitigate security challenges across the country.

Also, the CDS, General Musa, while receiving in audience the Director General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Dr. Mohammed Bulama and his management team, in his office at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, applauded the FRCN for their consistency despite all odds, adding that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), was working towards a better Nigeria.

A statement by the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig Gen Tukur Gusau, noted that the CDS assured his guests of the AFN’s readiness to work with FRCN to rid the nation of criminalities.

Ikechukwu Aleke

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