- Special Motor Cycle Section inaugurated in Chibok
- Gaidam: No need for exodus from Yobe communities
By Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja and Michael Olugbode in Damaturu
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai has ordered troops battling Boko Haram in the North-east and bandits in the North-west to “fight to finish.”
The Army chief gave the order yesterday while inaugurating the Special Motor Cycle Section of 117 Task Force Battalion’s Quick Response Group in Chibok, Borno State.
Represented by the Commander, 28 Task Force Brigade, Sector 1, Operation Lafiya Dole, Brigadier General Mohammed Usman, Buratai urged the troops to be proactive and committed to the fight against insurgency.
He said motor bikes were introduced to enhance quick counter attack measures against the insurgents.
General Usman emphasised that the creation of the Special Motor Cycle Section would enable the troops to chase the terrorist completely out of their enclaves.
He further urged the troops to intensify the conduct of clearance and confidence-building patrol within their area of responsibility, which include Mbalala, Peyeso, Gatamarwa, Gogomdi, Shawa and Kwada, amongst others, in order to deny the insurgents freedom of movement and operations.
Receiving the motor bikes on behalf of the battalion, the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Abdulrahaman Bello, commended the effort of the Chief of Army Staff for approving the creation of the outfit “which has no doubt boosted the fighting spirit of his troops.”
Colonel Bello assured Buratai of his battalion’s readiness and commitment to the fight insurgency and promised that the motor bikes would be deployed as appropriate to chase the terrorists out of their enclaves and neutralise them.
Highlight of the ceremony include commissioning of the Special Motor Cycle Section and demonstrations by troops of 117 Task Force Battalion to the admiration of the Brigade Commander and his staff Officers.
Meanwhile, as the military battles insurgents in the North-east and armed bandits in the North-west, jet fighters of the Nigerian Air Force, undeterred by the loss of its aircraft and crew members on Wednesday, struck a hideout of armed bandits terrorising Zamfara State, killing many of them.
In the same vein, troops of the Nigerian Army yesterday killed six terrorists in Gawa Mafa Local Government of Borno State.
“In the course of the patrol, the troops discovered and destroyed Boko Haram hideout. They also neutralised six terrorists in the area.
“During the search on the hideout before destruction, the troops recovered three pieces of 36 hand grenades, four dane guns, and 26 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition. They also recovered three gas cylinders and a set of bow and arrows.
“The gallant patrol team also rescued three women at Boskoro who were later handed over to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp officials at Dikwa,” an army statement said.
Also yesterday, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Dirsn Mikiya destroyed another armed bandits’ hideout and neutralised several of their fighters near Doumbourou Hill in Zamfara State.
NAF said the strikes were based on human intelligence reports, which was confirmed by its own intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission.
“The attack was executed following human intelligence (HUMINT) reports, which were later confirmed by Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, indicating that a large number of bandits, armed with high calibre weapons, regularly assemble at a compound around the foot of the Hill before going out on operations.
“Accordingly, the ATF scrambled two Nigerian Air Force (NAF) attack helicopters, supported by an ISR platform, to engage the bandits and destroy their compound.
“The helicopters strafed the target area in successive waves of attack, with the first wave causing some damage to the structures and neutralising some of their fighters.
“The second wave was sequenced to engage the armed bandits as they re-emerged out of their hiding places, thus inflicting further fatalities on them.
“Credible sources later revealed that the leader of the group was amongst those killed during the attack”, NAF said.
Meanwhile, in line with Buratai’s directive to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole to take the war to their enclaves and flush out the remnants of the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs), the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Nigerian Army and Commander Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole, Brigadier General Abdulmalik Bulama Biu, charged troops under command to redouble their effort with renewed vigour, gallantry and doggedness in the fight against insurgency and terrorism in the Theatre.
Also yesterday, Yobe state government called on residents of the state to stay calm, insisting that there was no need for mass exodus from areas recently attacked by Boko Haram insurgents.
The government assured that the military was fully in control of the security situation in the state and that it has contained threats to lives and property.
A statement by Mallam Abdullahi Bego, Director-General of Media Affairs to Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, said: “Following recent incidents involving Boko Haram terrorists in Kuka Reta, Katarko and Bunigari towns of the state, the Yobe State Government wishes to draw the attention of the public in the affected areas and all across the state to the heightened and continued effort of the military and other security agencies to ensure peace, security and the safety of people throughout the state.”
Bego said the governor urged the public to remain calm and vigilant, noting that: “The call becomes necessary following reports that some people in the affected areas were leaving their communities for other areas due to security concerns.”
He said the governor noted that those concerns were understandable, and asked that the people should not panic or leave their communities.