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Over 5,000 terrorists, families surrender to Nigerian troops

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No fewer than 5,890 terrorists comprising foot soldiers and their commanders have surrendered with their families to troops in the North East, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said.

DHQ spokesman, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, who disclosed this on Thursday at a press briefing in Abuja said the surrender took place between August 12 and September 2.

He highlighted some of the operational efforts of the military that yielded significant results within the period under review in various parts of the country.

Onyeuko stated that troops of Operation HADIN KAI sustained their operations to terrorists in the North East theatre, adding that this compelled the terrorists to surrender in large numbers.

According to him, 565 Boko Haram fighters including three commanders and four amirs and their family members were handed over to the Borno State government for further management after thorough profiling.

The military spokesman said the Armed Forces of Nigeria remain steadfast in the fight against all forms of criminality in different parts of the country.

The Military High Command, according to him, appreciates the continuous sacrifices of the troops in the various theatres of operation and salutes their courage, resilience and commitment towards achieving sustainable peace.

He also thanked Nigerians for their continued support and urged them to avail the military with credible and timely information that would facilitate proactive engagements in all the theatres of operation.

Read the full text of Onyeuko’s briefing below:

PRESS BRIEFING BY DIRECTORATE OF DEFENCE MEDIA OPERATIONS HELD AT DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS NEW CONFERENCE ROOM ON 2 SEPTEMBER 2021.

Good morning, gentlemen of the Press. You are once again welcome to our bi-weekly briefing on the Armed Forces of Nigeria’s operational efforts.

The Armed Forces of Nigeria have sustained their operational engagements across the country against all criminal elements across the country. These operations yielded significant results notwithstanding some negative incidents of the past week.

This is evident in the reduction of the spate of incidents recorded; the massive surrendering of terrorists in the North East as well as a reduction in IPOB/ESN activities in the South East and economic sabotage in the South-South and South West zones of the country.

Today’s brief, therefore, will highlight, some of our operational efforts that yielded significant results between 12 August and 2 September 2021.

OPERATION HADIN KAI’

Within the period under review, troops of Operation HADIN KAI sustained their operations to terrorists in the North East theatre. The counter-insurgency efforts of the troops through kinetic and non-kinetic operations compelled the terrorists to surrender in large numbers.

Suffice to note that, within the last few weeks, more than 5,890 terrorists comprising foot soldiers and their commanders have surrendered with their families to own troops in the North East Zone. A total of 565 BHT’s comprising 3 Commanders, 4 Amirs, 5 Nakibs and 5 cattle rustling specialists, out of the surrendered BHTs and their family members were handed over to the Borno State Government in Maiduguri for further management after thorough profiling.

Meanwhile, on 14 June 2021, own troops repelled terrorists’ attack in Borno State as troops, with the support of the Air Component through air interdiction missions, inflicted heavy casualties on the terrorists and their equipment. No fewer than 48 of the terrorists, 20 arrested including fighters and commanders were neutralised and their logistic base and facilities including three gun trucks were destroyed in the process.

A total of 52 assorted arms and 1,977 rounds of 7.62mm assorted calibre ammunition including AK-47 and FN rifles with magazines, hand grenades, commando mortar guns, locally fabricated rifles, Dushka anti-aircraft guns, Dane guns and Nigerian Police rifles, among other items were recovered from surrendered terrorists and operations within the period.

Also, a total of seven terrorists collaborators/informants and logistics suppliers were arrested and handed over to appropriate prosecuting agencies for necessary actions.

OPERATION HADARIN DAJI

In operation HADARIN DAJI, troops have sustained their operations against the bandits’, kidnappers and other criminal elements in the North West Geo-political zone. Troops within the period arrested criminal informants/collaborators whose activities have been causing setbacks for own troops’ operations in the zone.

A total of 15 armed bandits, two armed robbers neutralised, 13 bandits informants arrested, 15 motorcycles recovered, two AK 47 rifles recovered, 33 kidnap victims rescued, 66 criminal elements were arrested and some vandalised railway sleepers/tracks were recovered within the period in focus.

The operations that led to the significant results were carried out at Gidan Zuma village under Kwatarkwashi District and Bakinwa in Gusau LGA; Matuzgi and Gora Namaye village in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State; and along Gurbi – Shimfida Road in Jibia LGA of Katsina State.

Other locations where significant results were recorded include; Magam village in Tangaza LGA of Sokoto State, Faskari Town and Batsari/Ruma general area in Batsari LGA and Jibia Town in Jibia LGA of Katsina State.

OPERATION SAFE HAVEN

On 14 August 2021, security forces of Operation SAFE HAVEN arrested 20 persons involved in the attack and killing of 26 travellers at Rukuba Town in Jos North LGA of Plateau State. The arrested persons have been handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further necessary action.

In a related development, on 27 August 21, troops conducted a raid operation at Rikkos, Jos North LGA of Plateau State, also in the course of operation, troops arrested four suspected Sara Suka members. The suspects were profiled and subsequently handed over to the relevant security agency for prosecution.

Furthermore, on the same day, own troops arrested three criminals namely Messrs Mujahid Isah, Kamal Isah and Abdulrahman Jibrin in connection with an attack on Mr Aliyu Mukhtar at Dilimi, Jos North LGA of Plateau State. The suspects are undergoing interrogation and would be handed to the relevant security agency for further action.

In another development, on 28 Aug 21, own troops in conjunction with Nigerian Police and some vigilante group responded to a distress call on attempted kidnap of one Mr Ayuba Pam at Rantiya Gas Plant, Jos South LGA.

Troops engaged the gunmen and neutralised one kidnapper while others escaped with gunshot wounds. One AK 47 rifle was recovered during the encounter. Efforts are ongoing to apprehend the fleeing gunmen.

Similarly, on 29 August 21, own troops on stop and search intercepted one Mr Francis Achi on a motorcycle with three unfinished locally fabricated revolver rifles concealed in a sack along Ganawuri-Manchok road in Riyom LGA of Plateau State. The suspect is currently undergoing interrogation.

OPERATION WHIRL STROKE

Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE on 13 August 2021, responded to distress calls of armed herdsmen activities at Udei and Ughedu towns in Benue State. During which troops repelled armed bandits’ attacks on villages, destroyed three criminal camps and recovered 23 rustled cows and three motorcycles.

On 14 August 2021 troops on fighting patrol intercepted and arrested nine cultists who had been terrorising Utonkon community in Ado LGA of Benue State. In another development on 15 August, troops acting on credible intelligence ambushed and arrested some railroad vandals at Tse-Guma village and recovered some railroad tracks and sleepers, while the criminals were handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further action.

Additionally, on 16 August, own troops carried out raid and clearance operations on criminals’ hideouts at Terr village in Sankera Uyum Council Ward and Ukpam Community in Guma LGA of Benue State and arrested two notorious armed robbers named, Mr Aondosoo Aba and Mr Emmanuel Gobo, respectively.

OPERATION DELTA SAFE

Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE within the period in focus conducted a series of anti-illegal oil operations in their area of responsibility. These operations were conducted at Opuoma and Mmahu communities in Ohaji-Egbema LGA of Imo State; Sand Community in Akwa Ibom State; Madangho Creek in Warri South West LGA, Ndoro and Beneside Communities in Burutu LGAas well as Yokri-Egbe Seashore, all in Delta State.

Other operations were executed at Ibaa in Emohua LGA, Iyala, Buguma and Cawthorne Channel Creeks as well as Samkiri, Orutoru and Dema Abbey Communities, all in Rivers State and Delta State. During the operations, troops discovered and deactivated a total of 33 illegal refining sites with 46 illegal refining units, 94 boiler ovens and nine reservoirs.

Also, a cumulative total of 139 metal storage tanks and 63 dugout pits, all laden with 440.2 barrels and 1,637,500litres of illegally refined AGO as well as 62.2 barrels and 572,000litres of stolen crude oil and shelter stations were discovered and treated accordingly.

Other illegally refined products intercepted and immobilised were a wooden boat used for transportation of illegal oil products; 321 polythene bags, 16 drums and 15 jerry cans laden with illegally refined petroleum products.

Furthermore, within the period, own troops disconnected all illegal pipes connecting to Shell Petroleum Development Company pipelines around Okporowo Right of Way in Ahoada East LGA and Edeoha Community in Ahoada LGA of Rivers State. In the same vein, troops discovered and immobilised a Cotonou boat laden with 2,000 litres of stolen crude oil.

In addition, troops carried out a cordon and search operation around Bonny LGA Recruitment and Empowerment Centre in search of the mastermind of kidnap incidents at Abalamabie Community in Bonny LGA, Rivers State. During the operation, troops arrested a notorious kidnapper identified as Mr Promise aka Bummi, who had been on the security forces watch list.

NON-KINETIC ACTIVITIES

In his continued consultations with the Military Veterans of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the various Geo-political Zones of the country, the Chief of Defence staff (CDS) General LEO Irabor affirmed that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remained at the forefront in tackling the myriad of security threat confronting the nation.

He stated this while interacting with the retired senior military officers in the North Central Geopolitical Zone held on 18 August 21 in Makurdi, Benue State. In the same vein, while in Yola, Adamawa State North East Geopolitical Zone on 24 August 2021, General Irabor hails citizens’ support, allays fears on surrendered insurgents as he engaged senior retired officers on security parley.

He expressed his appreciation to the citizen and residents of the Zone for genuinely supporting the ongoing intensive clearance operations by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria towards the restoration of permanent peace in the Zone.

He equally allays fears of the general public on the ongoing mass surrender of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province ex-fighters. In a related development, on 27 Aug 2021, the CDS held a security interaction with the retired senior military officers from the South-South Geopolitical Zone in Asaba, Delta State.

The CDS maintained that the military remains at the forefront of leading the war against every form of criminalities as the Constitution avail the Armed Forces the mandate of supporting the civil authority. He stressed that the retired senior officers are the best hands, most qualified in the fight against insecurity and champion of peace and security in the Country.

He urged them to join hands with the military to bring lasting peace to the Country. He said security challenges in the Niger Delta needed a holistic approach and called on stakeholders to contribute their quota.

CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF VISIT TO PLATEAU STATE

In his quest to entrench lasting peace in Plateau State, the Chief of Defence Staff General LEO Irabor undertook a working visit to Jos on 1 September 2021. He held a stakeholders’ meeting in Jos Plateau State with the Governor His Excellency Simon Lalong, all the traditional rulers, religious leaders and community leaders in the State at Government House Jos where discussions were held on the security challenges in Plateau State.

The discussions are largely successful as all stakeholders pledged their support for peace in the state. Thereafter, the CDS paid a visit to the palace of the traditional rulers of Jebbu Miyango Community the Mbra Ngwe Rt Rev Ronke Aka and that of Anaguta Community HRM Pozo Johnson Jauro Magaji the Uja of Anaguta, where he commiserated with the traditional rulers and the people of those communities on the recent unfortunate incidents in their domains.

Finally, the visit was another success story in the CDS non-kinetic initiatives in achieving peace and stability in the country.

The Armed Forces of Nigeria remains steadfast in the fight against all forms of criminality in different parts of the Country. The Military High Command appreciates the continuous sacrifices of the troops in the various theatres of operation across the country.

It salutes their courage, resilience and commitment towards achieving sustainable peace in the country. We appreciate the general public and the press for their continued support and further encourage all to avail the Armed Forces with credible and timely information that will facilitate proactive engagements in all the theatres of operation across the country.

Thank you and God bless.

BENARD ONYEUKO

Brigadier General

Acting Director

2 September 2021

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Lagos Assembly moves to end open grazing, considers VAT bill

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The Lagos State House of Assembly says the Prohibition of Open Cattle Grazing Bill, when passed will ensure harmonious relationships between herders and farmers in the state.

The assembly made this known after the bill was read on the floor of the house for the second time, by the Acting Clerk, Olalekan Onafeko, at plenary on Monday.

It said the bill would also protect the environment of the state and the South-west zone.

The House also read for the first and second time, the state’s Value Added Tax (VAT) bill, and asked the Committee on Finance, which was handling it to report back on Thursday.

The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, who described the Prohibition of Open Cattle Grazing Bill’ as timely, thereafter, committed the bill to the committee on agriculture for public hearing.

The speaker also suggested that the bill should make provision for the registration of herders, and prepare them for ranching.

“Allocating parcel of land is not enough, but there should also be training for those who will go into ranching, as ranching is expensive and requires adequate preparation,” he added.

VAT

Concerning the VAT bill, the speaker said it would further lead to an increase in revenue and infrastructural development.

”This is in line with fiscal federalism that we have been talking about,” he said.

Mr Obasa said the VAT law, when passed, would help the state meet challenges in its various sectors.

He also urged the Lagos State government to do everything legally possible, to ensure the judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, was sustained even up to the Supreme Court.

The speaker lamented a situation where about N500 billion would be generated from the state, while N300 billion was generated from other South-west states, but paltry amounts would be disbursed to Lagos State in return.

Mr Obasa said it was an opportunity for the state to emphasise again, the need for the consideration of true federalism.

Speaking earlier on the bill on open grazing, Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1) lamented that farmers had continuously become afraid to visit their farms, thus causing shortage of food.

Mr Yusuff also said many farmers had become indebted, as they now found it difficult to pay back loans they secured.

His position was supported by Kehinde Joseph (Alimosho 2) who noted that the bill would ensure peaceful coexistence, reduce crime and help to guide the activities of herders.

Olumoh Lukeman (Ajeromi-Ifelodun 1) suggested that the high court should be made to handle cases from enforcement of the bill when passed, or that the state should establish special courts for such purpose.

Also, Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 1) expressed support for the bill, noting that it would give a level of security to the state and help reduce economic losses.

He added that Lagos had 250 hectares of land in Ikorodu and another 750 hectares in Epe for ranching.

David Setonji (Badagry II), said: “There was a time we went on oversight function in a school here in Lagos. We were embarrassed by cattle. We had to wait for the herder to move the cattle before we embarked on our oversight function.”

Mr Setonji suggested a collaboration between the Neighbourhood Safety Corps and the police, in the implementation of the law when passed and assented to.

Other lawmakers who contributed during the plenary were Adedamola Kasunmu (Ikeja II), Rasheed Makinde Ifako Ijaiye II), and Sanni Okanlawon (Kosofe I).

(NAN)

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Ngige: FG to recover millions wrongly paid to 588 doctors

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The federal government says it is planning to recover “millions of naira wrongly paid to 588 medical doctors” across the country.

While fielding questions from state house correspondents, Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, said the affected doctors wrongly benefitted from the medical residency training fund meant for a particular category of doctors.

The minister said the names of the doctors were uncovered after a scrutinisation of the 8000 names submitted by chief medical directors of federal government health institutions for the training programme.

Ngige said a substantial amount of the money has been refunded by some of the affected doctors while efforts are being intensified to recover the remaining balance.

He said the delay in making the refund by the affected doctors is holding back the residency fund payment by the government.

“Ministry of health has gotten the list of doctors who supposedly are to benefit from the medical residency training fund,” he said.

“Total submission of about 8000 names were gotten and the ministry of health is scrutinising them.

“We have done the first round of scrutinisation and they will now compare what they have with the Post-Graduate Medical College and the chief medical directors who submitted the names.

“The Association of Resident Doctors, in each of the tertiary centres, worked with the CMDs to produce those names, but now that the names are being verified.

“We discovered that about 2000 names shouldn’t be there because they don’t have what is called Postgraduate Reference Numbers of National Postgraduate Medical College and (or) that of the West African Postgraduate Medical College.

“So, this is it and that is the only thing holding back the residency fund payment because it is there already for incurred expenditure has been done by the finance minister and it’s in the accountant-general’s office.”

“So, once they verify the authenticity of those they are submitting, the Accountant-General will pay.

“We are doing that verification because we do not want what happened last time in 2020 to reoccur.

“In 2020, the submitted names didn’t come through the appropriate source, which is the Postgraduate Medical College and payment was affected and it was discovered that about 588 persons, who were not resident doctors benefited from such money.

“They are now finding it difficult to make the full refund. But they have to refund that money. Some are refunding, but there is no full consideration of the account.

“That account has to be reconciled to enable the accountants pay the next round of funding for 2021.”

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has been on strike for a month over “irregular payment of salaries”, among other issues.

Efforts by stakeholders, including the national assembly, to mediate between the federal government and the resident doctors have not yielded results.

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Insecurity: Kaduna suspends weekly market, bans livestock transportation

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The Kaduna State government has suspended trading at the popular weekly Kawo market.

The order on Thursday came days after the government suspended similar markets in five other local government areas of the state.

Kawo market is one of the largest weekly markets in Kaduna North.

It is located in the same area as the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), the Hassan Usman Katsina House popularly know as State House and the Legislative Quarters.

According to a statement by the state commissioner of Internal Security and Homeland Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Thursday, “the Kawo weekly market which usually holds every Tuesday in Kaduna North LGA has been suspended with immediate effect”.

“The Government of Kaduna State wishes to highlight that the previous directives suspending weekly markets, and selling of petrol in jerrycans in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi and Kajuru LGAs, as well as banning the felling of trees for timber, firewood and charcoal and other commercial purposes in Birnin Gwari, Kachia, Kajuru, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi and Kauru LGAs, are still in force.

“Citizens are hereby informed that all these directives will be vigorously enforced by security agencies.”

Also, the statement said the state government banned the transportation of livestock.

“The ban also prohibits the transportation of livestock into Kaduna state from other states. Both bans take effect immediately, from today 2nd September 2021.

“The government also wishes to reiterate that the transportation of donkeys into the state is a criminal offence and anyone found engaging in this will be prosecuted accordingly.”

Kawo Market ban

Many traders who spoke with news men in Kaduna welcomed the suspension of the weekly Kawo market.

Apart from the larger weekly trading, trading also takes place daily among residents of the neighbourhood.

Danladi Bala, a grain transporter, said the state government’s decision to suspend weekly trading in the market is right.

“Yes, we are traders here, but the recent suspension of weekly markets in other local government areas will make the Kawo market the target for criminal activities. They will all come here. It is a wise decision from the government,” he said.

Hajiya Mama, a trader, also said she was not suprised by the announcement.

“I trade in the market, but in the last two weeks we have been witnessing the influx of traders with large commodities.

“With the closure of weekly markets in Zamfara and other part of the state, this market will be an option for good or bad traders,” she said.

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