The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday restated its determination to eliminate the “cancer of terrorism” in the country.

It said that  combat operations have been revved up through the deployment of  special forces in hotspots, especially in   the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) and  Plateau State.

Also deployed in the hotspots are battlefield enablers to enhance operational intelligence and strike capability of troops against terrorists.

The DHQ, however, warned that anyone caught maliciously disparaging the military would be dealt with in accordance with the law.  

Director Defence, Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba and Acting Director Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Tulur Gusau said these in Abuja.   

Buba said the military and other security agencies had intensified operations in some suburbs of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and neighbouring states.

The  FCT suburbs  are Cashew Forest, Kwaku, Gwombe, Gadoro and Tukuba all in Kuje Area Council;

 Kawu, Igu, Tokulo, Gaba, Zuma 1 and Zuma 2, Shere, Mpape, Jikoko, Berger Quarry and Nukuchi villages in Bwari Area Council.  

 Some villages in neighbouring states to the FCT where the operations are ongoing are  Gauraka, Apo Forest, Gyedna/Sabon Wusa and Garam in Tafa Local government area of Niger State,  and  Numan and Basa in Akwanga and Nasarawa Local government areas of Nasarawa State.

 The Defence Media Operations Director said the military was conscious of the fact that the ongoing insurgency has made life worse for many Nigerians in the    Northeast, Northwest, Northcentral and Southeast.

His words: ”We also recognise the apprehension occasioned by kidnappings, particularly with recent events recorded in the FCT and other areas.

“Indeed, we may not have all the answers now. However, we assure citizens that we are working assiduously to address the situation both in the immediate and long term to ensure the safety of lives and property.

“We are redoubling our efforts to ensure citizens live in a peaceful environment and have a prosperous life. This is achievable and we are focused on achieving it.  

“The Armed Forces would destroy the cancer of terrorism that is ravaging our country thereby creating situations such as that ongoing in the Plateau State. The situation of insecurity that we are confronted with is self-inflicted by our own citizens upon one another. Nevertheless,  It is our duty to protect citizens and create a safe environment for them to have a prosperous future.  

“We do not take lightly the privilege and enormous responsibility of safeguarding our citizens.  It is for this reason that we constantly rejig our operational strategies to adopt the best course of action that would make these ugly experiences a thing of the past.”

Also,   Acting Director Defence Information Brig.-Gen.  Gusau cautioned Nigerians against spreading falsehood, especially with regard to the security challenges in Mangu LGA of Plateau State.

Gusau dismissed claims of bias levelled against troops involved in restoring peace in Mangu.  

He said the claims were baseless, malicious and lacked any reasonable foundation.

The Defence spokesman said: “We want to reiterate that the military remains neutral, focused, professional and committed to its constitutional role of protecting the lives and property of law-abiding citizens.

We will deal with anybody found disobeying the law, without bias or prejudice.

“We strongly caution individuals involved in making malicious comments against the military to cease such acts.

“Henceforth,  any person found spreading falsehoods will face constitutional redress, regardless of their status in society.

“We, therefore, call upon the public to support the ongoing military operations aimed at decimating non-state actors operating in these troubled areas of the state.”

On the Plateau crisis, Gusau said that Operation Safe Haven troops have been reinforced in Mangu to enforce the curfew there and bring the situation under control.

 ”The troops have carried out their duties professionally and in accordance with the rules of engagement.

“They have successfully arrested criminals involved in looting and burning of properties, as well as recovered weapons,” the Defence spokesman added.

The military also gave updates on troops’ operations within weeks in other parts of the country.

It said troops neutralised 94,  arrested 171 criminals and rescued 29 kidnapped hostages during the period. 

Operation SAFE HAVEN  spokesman,   Capt. James Oya, also said troops arrested some youths who attacked Airforce personnel enforcing the curfew in Kerang, Mangu LGA.

Oya said that guns were recovered from the youths, who also destroyed and looted properties in the community.



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