The Defence headquarters on Wednesday announced that troops of the Special Forces have apprehended a key terrorist that specializes in the recruitment of young men into the dreaded Islamist sect, Boko Haram.
According a statement by the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig Gen Chris Olukolade, the same individual also watches over the armoury of the insurgents. In the same vein, 54 other insurgents have been apprehended at different locations in Borno and Yobe states.
The huge arrests, he said were made possible because locals in both states supplied information to the security agencies. Consequently, he said troops stormed the terrorists’ hideouts and were able to recover several arms and ammunitions from them.
Olukolade said “another group of five insurgents, all Nigeriens were arrested when troops stormed their hideout at Mallam Fatori as they attempted to escape in 2 Toyota Cruiser Jeeps.
“Troops continue to patrol the notorious Sambisa forest and are also cordoning the Alou forest and Gwoza Hills. More abandoned vehicles, weapons and other items are being recovered in the camps of the insurgents.
“Among the recent finds are rifles, double barrel guns, various charms and amulets, machine guns as well as pairs of camouflage uniforms, bows and quiver and assorted rifle magazine.
“Others are handset, walkie talkie, car number plates and some food items. Abandoned vehicles recovered include a Golf Car, a Honda, Customs Pickup Van, Honda (2003 Model) and a Volkswagen Monte Carlo”.
In other to have first hand information, the defence spokesman said “a team of local and foreign Journalists have commenced a tour of the operational areas of the Joint Task Force. The tour organized by the Defence Headquarters is to ensure that the media have a first-hand information on the situation in the operational areas.
Also, as normalcy returns gradually to Borno state, the DDI said Police stations are now being “reopened in some parts of Borno State. At Kirenowa, detachments of Police Anti-Terrorist unit have been deployed to complement security in the area”.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 49 insurgents have been apprehended in Yobe state. Olukolade announced that “a total of 49 suspected Boko Haram terrorists (BHT) were apprehended in various locations in Yobe State by troops of Special Forces following a tip off by locals in some communities.
“The arrests which were made during cordon and search operation also witnessed the recovery of various weapons including AK 47 rifles, locally made pistols and ammunitions by the troops combing the vicinities of towns such as Rugan Fulani, Arikime, Afghanistan and Ngandu villages.
“This development was narrated to the Defence Headquarters Operation Assessment Team in Damaturu during the weekend.
“The team led by Air Commodore BE Inyang was also briefed that all the camps of the terrorists in the area had been dislodged as some of the insurgents fled towards Niger Republic.
“The DHQ team was also informed of a trend whereby some particular crimes have now taken the place of terrorism as the criminals now resort to brigandage, robbery and attempted assassination of business rivals’.
He however, enjoined all law abiding Nigerians to go about their businesses peacefully, assuring them of adequate protection by the Special Forces. “Citizens were further encouraged to continue to volunteer information on activities of any terrorists in order to help troops rid the state of insurgents.
Operation Restore Order III continues”., Olukolde stated.