DHQ Attributes Progress in Combating Insurgency, Banditry to Intelligence Gathering

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•700 soldiers amputated, discharged from service, says commission

Deji Elumoye and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The military has said that it made progress in the war against insurgency and armed banditry due to intelligence gathering.
This is coming as the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) yesterday said 700 soldiers were recently discharged from service for losing their limbs while fighting Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east.

Coordinator of the Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO), Major General John Enenche, told reporters yesterday in Abuja that the recent successes recorded in the military’s war on terror were the result of concerted intelligence gathering.

He said the arrest of top commanders of ISWAP and Boko Haram, informants and logistics suppliers were achieved through intelligence gathering.
According to him, while troops sustained the kinetic operations against the bandits and terrorists across theatres of operations, many collaborators and informants were apprehended through intelligence gathering.

In the North-west, Enenche, who reviewed military operations in the past one week, said troops of Operation Accord arrested bandits’ gun runners named Abubakar Mohammed and Ansi Janare at Tangaza Town in Sokoto State, based on intelligence.
He added that various arms and ammunition such as light machine gun, AK47 rifle magazines, 586 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, 100 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and one motorcycle were recovered from the suspects.

Enenche stated that some bandits were also eliminated during air and land operations in Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna States.
In the North-east, the coordinator said results were achieved through land and air operations conducted by the military and other security agencies during the week under review.

He said troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, through the subsidiary Operation Fire Ball, eliminated five terrorists at Buni Gari in Yobe State on November 8 and recovered cache of arms and ammunition.
He added that a woman and three children were also rescued by the troops during a fierce encounter with terrorists on same day at Miyanti in Bama Local Government Area of Borno.

According to him, the Air Task Force of OPLD neutralised some ISWAP fighters and destroyed some of their structures, including a suspected fuel storage facility at Tumbun Allura, a terrorists’ logistics hub on the fringes of Lake Chad in the Northern Borno.
“The air raid was executed on November 8, on the heels of credible intelligence reports as well as aerial surveillance missions, which led to the identification of a command post as well as a suspected fuel dump with a large number of jerry cans and barrels concealed in make shift structures within the settlement.

“The attack aircraft engaged the location, scored accurate hits in the target area resulting in the destruction of the terrorists’ fuel dump.
“Several ISWAP elements were also neutralised as a result of the air strike,” he said.
Also yesterday, the NCPD put the number of soldiers who were recently discharged from service for losing their limbs while fighting the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east at 700.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. James Lalu, while defending the commission’s 2021 budget estimate before the Senate committee on Special Duties, however, said NCPD had integrated the discharged military personnel.
He said: “Recently, we have had to integrate about 700 ex-military personnel who had their limbs amputated and eventually dismissed from the service due to the Boko Haram insurgency. We have to provide artificial limbs for them to ensure they are reintegrated back to the society and live a normal life.”

Lalu also pleaded for an upward review of the agency’s budget to meet the increasing demand of its capital budget while explaining that there are about 31.5 million Nigerians living with disability and the number keeps increasing daily, especially with the recent challenges facing the nation.
According to him, disability is no more a charity issue as it has become a developmental issue that needs to be properly tackled.

He, therefore, warned that failure to address the issue would place serious burden on the government.
He said the budget increase would take care of education, healthcare needs and livelihood of people with disabilities, adding that many disabled persons turn to beggars when they cannot meet with their basic needs.
Lalu also said the commission in 2021 would open zonal, states and local government offices so as to reach out to all its members living in the rural areas.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, urged the commission to create a database of all its members across the country and design empowerment training for them, especially those in the rural areas.
He gave an assurance that his committee will look at the agency’s budget proposal and revert.