TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING BY MAJOR GENERAL LEO IRABOR COMMANDER OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE TODAY THURSDAY 23RD JUNE 2016 IN MAIDUGURI
1. In line with our tradition to keep the public abreast with the ongoing operation in the North East of Nigeria, it is my pleasure to address you today as our troops have continued to progress in the fight against Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs). I intend to mention some of the major operations carried out with the attendant successes recorded since our last meeting. During the period under review, the following operations were conducted:
a. Clearing Patrol around KALA BALGE General Area. On 7 Jun 16, troops on patrol made contact with BHT around TILANI, RANN and KALMA in KALA BALGE general area. Consequently, in the process one was killed while others who suffered gunshot wounds fled. Among the items recovered were 3 motorcycles and a bag containing the sum of N466,000.00 only. Additionally, 8 abducted persons made up of 2 adult females, 2 female teenagers and 3 male children were rescued from BHT captivity. However, one male minor sustained injury and has been treated at our medical centre. All the rescued persons are in our custody for further screening and profiling.
b. Fighting Patrol. On 8 Jun 16, our troops conducted fighting patrols and cleared the following villages: KIRCHA, GONIYE, WUJJAL, ALKELU, KITA JIDDUM, GONIYE, JAMERI, GERIGANA, GEREKURA, JABE, HASSANA JERE AND CHACHILE. During the patrol, 2 BHT were killed while others fled. In the process, 8 Dane guns, 3 BHT flags, 2 handsets and a generator set were captured.
c. Clearing Operation at ABBARI. Following an Intelligence report, own troops carried out operation on 8 Jun 16 at ABBARI village in ALAGARNO Forest. On sighting own troops, BHT fled. However, one BHT was killed and another one captured alive. Items recovered were one Dane gun, 2 motorcycles, 2 wrist watches, gun powder, some hard drugs and the sum of N275,060.00 only.
d. Clearing Operation at YAJIWA. On 9 Jun 16, troops embarked on clearing operation to YAJIWA in ALAGARNO Forest. During the operation, 8 BHT camps were cleared. Items recovered from the camps include 2 primed IEDs, 3 pressure plates, a 36-hand grenade, 2 Dane guns, 7 motorcycles, a damaged mine detector, a vehicle and a camel bag. The 3 primed IEDs were safely disarmed by own troops while other items were destroyed.
e. Ambush in MUSKA. On 10 Jun 16 after receiving an information about some BHT elements moving towards MUSKA village in NGALA LGA, own troops at LOGOMANI carried out an ambush on the suspected BHT. As a result, 10 BHT were killed and 2 others were captured alive. At the same time, 2 civilians were rescued during the operation. Among the items recovered include: 6 AK47 magazines, 56 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, a bundle of detonating cord, a manual booklet on preparation of IED, 2 magazine pouches, a Techno Ipad, a Nokia handset, a Gionee handset, a digital multimeter, 6 SIM cards, 3 memory card, an Airtel modem containing memory card, a wrist watch, 2 Islamic books, an empty black bag and 2 motorcycles.
f. Clearing Patrols around ALGARNO. Own troops conducted clearance operation in some suspected BHT camps located about 17.8 km east of troops defensive location in ALGARNO Forest. The troops cleared 5 suspected BHT camps and discovered a burnt Styer Armoured Personnel Carrier, 2 vehicles and 3 motorcycles but no contact was made with the BHT. Similarly on 13 Jun 16, troops conducted a long range patrol to LAWANKINARI village which is about 16 km north east of BORGOZO. In the process, troops apprehended a suspected BHT member (Abubakar Kurimi) who has on him the sum of N24,555.00 only and a Dane gun.
2. Now, an update on Operation GAMA AIKI. The ongoing operation in Northern Borno is a joint operation between our troops and those of the Multi-national Joint Task Force (MNJTF) comprising Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon which aimed at flushing out the BHT at the far northern fringes of Borno State and the Lake Chad Basin. The operation commenced on 13 Jun 16. Since its commencement, troops have made contact with BHT on 3 occasions. Two on our side and one on the side of the Chadians. In all the 3 occasions, the BHT suffered heavy casualties both in manpower and equipment. Among the equipment captured from the BHT are 27 AK47, 3 GPMG, an LMG, 3 hand grenades and 2 RPG tubes. Since the operation started, a total of 31 BHT have been killed on our front. Unfortunately, we lost a soldier while 9 other soldiers were wounded and they are responding to treatment in our hospital. The operation is continuing. The Air Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE is providing air support for the operation.
3. Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to use this opportunity to state that we have received reports that some personnel are in the habit of collecting money to escort civilian motorists and goods along the major routes. These allegations are currently being investigated. However, should there be any officer or soldier who is seen collecting money, please do not hesitate to report such to the Theatre Command. The military has a responsibility to Nigerians. We are here to protect and assist Nigerians according to the law of the land. In that regard, all requirements for the task to be performed are being provided. Therefore, please note that you do not have to pay for such escorts and do not be accomplices to the illegal payment. Whoever is caught doing that will face the full weight of the law either military or civilian. Also, please feel free to report such illegal activities through any of these GSM numbers: 0902-810-1021 and 0808-225-2400. Similarly for any public inquiry, the lines would be available daily between 09:00 am and 07:00 pm.
4. On this note, let me sincerely thank you for being partners in progress. I wish to also assure you that the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE are more than ever determined to completely wipe out all terrorists from their hide out in our great country Nigeria. Our mandate is clear. We remain committed to this mandate. To the members of the public, I urge you to remain vigilant and report any suspicious movement of persons and objects to the military or to the nearest Security Agencies.
5. Thank you.
Operation LAFIYA DOLE