The Nigerian army claims to have intensified operations throughout the country to ensure a peaceful and supportive atmosphere for all citizens and residents during the high season.
Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, army operations media coordinator, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said troops arrested a van carrying three adult females, 15 adult males and three rustled cows during a cleaning operation at Mada Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.
He said the claim by the suspects that came from the extraction of Shuwa was denied by the locals in the area, adding that none of the suspects could speak any of the local languages.
Iliyasu said the preliminary investigation revealed that one of the suspects and a non-governmental organization (NGO) operating in the state had communicated several times.
He added that the investigation revealed that the suspect was on WhatsApp’s chat platform with the NGO.
Iliyasu said that troops in the various theaters operating throughout the country had continued to decimate and frustrate the activities of criminal elements in line with the resolution of the army chief of staff, Lieutenant General. Tukur Buratai
He also revealed that Sector 3 supported by the task force of Lafiya Dole had successfully rejected an attack on Gubio in Borno between Sunday and Tuesday.
According to him, two insurgents were neutralized, while a truck of guns, two AK-47 rifles and an anti-aircraft gun were recovered.
“Additionally, 51 civilians hitherto held hostage by the criminals were rescued during the encounter.
“The troops continue to dominate the area with fighting/clearing patrols, ambushes, raids as well as cordon and search operations.
“Similarly, troops, acting on timely information also arrested four male suspects with large consignments of dried fish intended for delivery to the criminal insurgents.
“All four suspects are currently undergoing interrogation where they are giving useful information,’’ he said.
Iliyasu said that in Yobe, troops discovered two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) along a route in Buni Gari in Gujba Local Government Area and safely donated them.
He said that a joint operation with the police had yielded positive results in Cross River and Lagos states in recent times.
He quoted the chief of army staff as reassuring the public of the unwavering resolve of the army to safeguard the territorial integrity of the country with the support of civil authority.
“The Nigeria army hereby requests our good and law abiding citizens to go about their normal economic activities without fear of molestation.
“The populace is equally requested to please assist the army with any useful information that will assist in our operational efforts aimed at ridding the society of criminal elements and other miscreants,” he said.