Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Operatives of the Nigerian Army and Nigeria Police have exhumed and detonated three explosive devices on a road linking Borno to Yobe, thereby averting major disaster that could have claimed lives.
This was contained in a statement the Media Coordinator, Nigerian Army Operation, Col. Aminu Iliyasu issued yesterday, disclosing that the explosives were planted along the road.
The statement explained that the troops of the 27 Task Force Brigade Garrison in collaboration with the Explosive Ordnance Device Team of the Nigerian Police discovered and safely detonated three large Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Yobe state.
It noted that the troops continued “to discharge their constitutional mandate with high sense of professionalism and responsiveness across the theatre of operations.
“In their unrelenting effort to clear major routes of Boko Haram criminals’ improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for safe commuting by citizens in the North East, troops of 27 Task Force Brigade Garrison in conjunction with Explosive Ordnance Devices (EOD) Team discovered and safely detonated three large IEDs along Buni Gari-Kamuya Road, linking Borno and Yobe States.
“The IEDs were believed to have been planted by retreating Boko Haram criminals. In a similar operation, troops of 153 Task Force Battalion in conjunction with troops of 22 Brigade Garrison, Nigerian Army Special Forces and elements of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) supported by Air Task Force (ATF), Operation Lafiya Dole encountered a pocket of Boko Haram criminals at Kerenoa, Marte LGA of Borno State.
“The visibly shocked insurgents fled their enclave on sighting the robust advancing troops, abandoning one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) as they scamper in disarray.”
In another development, the statement said the troops of Operation MESA in Plateau State acted on credible information of suspected cult activities, which led to the arrest of four suspected cultists.
The statement said the suspects comprised Anayo Basil, Dadok Jeremiah, Sani Sale and Mary Effiong at Jos University Teaching Hospital in Jos East LGA of Plateau State.
It added that the same troops “raided a suspected drug peddlers’ hideout at Richa Village of Bokkos LGA of Plateau State and arrested one Joe Agai a notorious drug peddler with a large quantity of substance believed to be Cannabis Sativa, a locally fabricated pistol and one live cartridge.
“Another notorious drug dealer, Benjamin Jumbo was arrested by troops of 146 Battalion (Main) in Bonny Island, Rivers State with a 50 Kg sack containing substance believed to be Cannabis Sativa.
“Additionally, a notorious Tarok Militia gang leader, Shehu Jatau and five of his accomplices were also trailed and arrested in a hotel at Central Area Abuja. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects were very active in the unfortunate Plateau crisis that cost the lives of citizens and destruction of properties worth billions of naira.”
However, according to the statement, with the return of peace in the state, the criminal gang resorted to kidnapping, extortion and unleashing unprecedented carnage on innocent residents.”
It also said the troops of 2 Battalion, while on a routine patrol between Polewire and Gayam Villages in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State, rescued seven kidnapped victims from a group of bandits in the early hours of Tuesday, October 29.
It explained the bandits abandoned their victims and escaped into the nearby forest when they sighted the troops.
However, the statement said the rescued victims who were initially travelling from Pandogari in Niger State to Kano were escorted out of the area and continued with their journey.
Also, the statement said troops of 8 Division, while conducting clearance operation against bandits at Mai Yashi Village of Isah LGA of Sokoto State, rescued two kidnapped victims namely Shamsudeen Bisharawa and Sadiq Mustapha from their abductors.
It said the troops of 31 Artillery Brigade “encountered a group of bandits at Ungwan Shai Community in Wushishi LGA of Niger State who are believed to be terrorising the community.
“In a brief fire fight, one of the bandits was neutralized while others are believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds.
“In a related development, troops of 3 Brigade deployed at Falgore in Tudun Wada LGA of Kano State, acting on credible information conducted a successful Cordon and Search Operation at Tudun Wada which led to the arrest of one of the most wanted kidnappers within the area, Umaru Abubakar Kaduwa operating along the Kano – Kaduna Highway.
“The Nigerian Army in the Niger Delta continue to frustrate the activities of economic saboteurs by scaling up the tempo of operations against illegal oil bunkering,
“Between October 28 and 31, the unrelenting troops arrested 18 suspects, destroyed 3 Illegal oil refining camps, 35 Cotonuo boats, 3 large storage reservoirs, 7 metal storage tanks and arrested 10 vehicles including 2 trucks involved in the illicit act.”