Nigerian military prides itself on "tremendous successes" in the northwest, claiming life back to normal

Defense headquarters on Saturday said its operations in the northwestern geopolitical zone have been extremely successful with "the active resumption of agricultural, social and economic activities by locals, with reduced fear of threats in their localities".

The northwest has recently become the epicenter of kidnappings, cattle rustling and arbitrary murders in the country, forcing President Muhammadu Buhari condemn the situation on Friday, saying the military could do much better to contain the situation.

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Acting director of defense media operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, made the allegations in a statement in Abuja, adding that Operation Sahel Sanity's flag on July 6 produced significant results.

"The purpose of the operation is to support Operation HADARIN DAJI in combating the tides of the activities of armed bandits, cattle thieves, kidnappers, incessant murders and other various crimes in the northwest of the country," said Onyeuko.

"These acts of criminality orchestrated by the bandits had already damaged the agricultural, social and economic activities of the people in that area."

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According to him, the people of the northwest felt the "immediate impact" of the operation, as the military recorded "tremendous successes" over a "short period of time".

Read too: Nigeria's armed forces received N238 billion in two years to defend the nation – report

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“The gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY, during the period under analysis, carried out a series of liberation operations, ambushes and other aggressive and reliable patrols in the states of Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara.

“These operations led to the rescue of kidnapped victims, the recovery of rusted cattle, the arrest of suspected armed bandits, the arrest of informant and collaborating bandits.

"In addition, there was recovery of a large cache of weapons and ammunition, in addition to recovery of logistics for motorcycles and other bandits in the period," he said.

Below is the full text of the declaration:

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1. Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai Operation SAHEL SANITY was deactivated on July 6, 2020, as part of the activities of the Nigeria Army Day Celebration in 2020, during which the Nigerian Army IV Super Camp IV Faskari, in Katsina State, was established. The purpose of the operation is to support Operation HADARIN DAJI in combating the tides of the activities of armed bandits, cattle thieves, kidnappers, incessant murders and other various crimes in the northwest of the country. These acts of criminality orchestrated by the bandits had already damaged the agricultural, social and economic activities of the people in that area.

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2. The people of the Northwest Zone felt the immediate impact of the operation with the tremendous successes achieved within the short period of time. The gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY, during the period under analysis, carried out a series of liberation operations, ambushes and other aggressive and confidence-building patrols in the states of Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara. These operations led to the rescue of kidnapped victims, the recovery of rusted cattle, the arrest of suspected armed bandits, the arrest of informant and collaborating bandits. In addition, there was recovery of a large cache of weapons and ammunition, as well as recovery of logistics for motorcycles and other bandits in the period.

3. To date, in all operations carried out, 80 armed bandits have been neutralized, totaling 943 cows, 633 sheep / sheep recovered; 33 suspected bandits arrested; 7 AK47 rifles, 1 GPMG and 16 Dane guns captured; 17 kidnapped victims rescued and 14 informants and collaborators arrested. Also several bandit camps, including the famous Dangote Triangle and its logistical bases, were destroyed by Operation SAHEL SANITY troops. Therefore, there is no denying that, in the first month of Operation SAHEL SANITY, from 1 to 31 July 2020, the troops recorded several successes in line with the objective of the operation. Gallant troops continue to dominate volatile areas with trusted patrols, ambushes and liberation operations to deny bandits and other criminal elements freedom of action. This achievement is even more evident by the active resumption of agricultural, social and economic activities by the local inhabitants, with reduced fear of threats in their localities.

4. The Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, praised the troops for their gallantry, successes and professionalism displayed in the short period of Operation SAHEL SANITY. He asks them not to rest on the oars. He also extends Sallah's message of goodwill to the people of the northwest, assuring them of the Nigerian Army's commitment to restore peace in the area.

Benard Onyeuko
Brigadier General
Ag Director
Defense Operations
August 1, 2020

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