The Defence Headquarters has reiterated the commitment of the armed forces to tackling current security challenges bedeviling the country by restoring peace to all troubled zones.
The director of Defence Media Operations Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko gave the assurance yesterday when he briefed reporters on the ongoing operations across the country in Abuja.
Onyeuko said the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs had in the last few months conducted several operational visits to various theatres of operation, interacted with commanders, troops and other stakeholders.
He maintained that the various engagements were aimed at ensuring the military high command develop improved ways and means of tackling the myriad of security challenges across the country in partnership with stakeholders.
He also added that troops had intensified efforts in various theatres to neutralise all threats to the nation’s peace and security such as terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, secessionist activities among other threats.
These operational efforts, according to him, were intended to achieve sustainable peace and to ensure normalcy returns to all troubled zones in the country.
“The military have remained resolute in their operations and engaged in series of kinetic and non-kinetic operations in all theatres of major and subsidiary operations.
“We have also worked cooperatively and in great synergy with other security and intelligence agencies to gain several successful and credible outcomes in our operations.
“For land operations, our gallant troops have been actively engaged in constant clearance patrols, ambush, raid, picketing, cordon and search operations as well as artillery bombardments,” Onyeuko said.
He added: “In the maritime environment, troops conducted various operations involving anti-piracy, anti-illegal oil bunkering, anti-crude oil theft, anti-pipeline vandalism and anti-smuggling operations.
“Moreover, the Air Component conducted comprehensive air operations, which included air patrols, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions, offensive air strikes, air interdictions, search and rescue operations as well as close air support for ground troops.”
Onyeuko added that troops had in the last few weeks, neutralised scores of terrorists and bandits including senior BHT/ISWAP and ESN commanders as well as major bandit leaders.
He said many terrorists fighters were incapacitated, adding that their camps were destroyed through artillery and air bombardments.
According to him, troops also rescued several kidnapped victims and arrested bandits/kidnappers informants and collaborators in different parts of the country.
“Troops also recovered large caches of arms and ammunition as well as equipment, vehicles and livestock within the period.
“In the maritime domain, troops disrupted smuggling activities, immobilised illegal refining sites, arrested some perpetrators, seized illegally imported rice and other contraband goods as well as recovered petroleum products.
“Although some of our personnel paid the supreme price in the course of these operations, our dogged troops consistently demonstrated gallantry and resilience,” he said.
Onyeuko explained that the renaming of the counter-insurgency operation in North East from Operation LAFIYA DOLE to Operation HADIN KAI was done to reflect the renewed spirit of oneness in the North East operational environment.