The military high command on Thursday, declared that the nation was at war with enemies of the state which required the support and unity of the citizenry to emerge victorious.
It said Nigeria was witnessing the ugly trends of war which calls for concerted efforts of the citizenry to overcome.
The Defence Headquarters also issued a stern warning to non-state actors fomenting trouble in the country, stating that they were left with two options to either surrender or be vanquished.
It said troops neutralised 266 terrorists, arrested 463 violent extremists and insurgents and rescued 116 kidnapped hostages while 447 assorted weapons and 6,697 assorted ammunitions were recovered in the month of January even as troops operating in the South-south denied the oil theft of the estimated sum of N2,821,503,962.00.
At a media briefing in Abuja, the Director, Defence Media Operations (DDMO), Maj Gen Edward Buba, said unity remained key to containing security challenges afflicting the nation.
“Our nation is at war, and wars can be complex and ugly. Already, we are witnessing some of the ugly trends of war across the country.
“It is time for citizens to close ranks with the military to win this war. Citizens are critical in war and must therefore be quick to realise their role in the ongoing war and act accordingly”, he said.
Buba stated that “unity is key to our victory in overcoming the security challenges confronting us as a nation. Indeed, it must be said that militaries don’t go to war, rather it is nations that go to war.
He asserted that “the armed forces will continue to fulfill its mission of hunting and destroying terrorists and their cohorts across the country in the most professional manner. “Needless to mention, these terrorists are left with only two choices which is to either be killed, die or surrender”, he said.
He further stated that “since the beginning of the year, several terrorists and their leaders have been killed or badly injured owing to offensive actions by both land and air forces.
“Troops are continuing their actions even at this very moment and we are proud of them and appreciate their brave conduct”.
Giving a breakdown of recovery of arms and ammunition for the month of January and the last one week of February, he said 237 AK47 rifles, 26 locally fabricated guns, 18 pump action guns, 55 dane guns, 6,807 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 421 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 16 rounds of 9mm and 506 live cartridges were recovered.
“Others are 1,832,150 litres of stolen crude oil, 523,799 litres of illegally refined AGO, 16,716 litres of DPK and 5,200 litres of PMS among other items.
“Meanwhile, during the week under review. Troops neutralised 105 terrorist and arrested 140 of them. Troops also arrested 26 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 86 kidnapped hostages. In the SS, troops denied the oil theft of the estimated sum of N220,839,500.00”, he said.