Terrorists, financiers are planning to blackmail military -DHQ alerts

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By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

The Nigerian military has alerted the general public of terrorist groups and their sponsors’ plans to blackmail the military in the coming days.

This was disclosed by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) through the Director, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General Edward Buba.
DMO said the terrorists are planning to blackmail the military by depicting some casualties as innocent citizens rather than cohorts.

He therefore, called on the media to be wary of the antics of the terrorist groups and their sympathisers, adding that “our operations have prevented these evil elements from accomplishing their strategic objectives.

The DHQ said the planned blackmail, which would commence any moment from now, is not unconnected to intense bombing and destruction of terrorists’ strongholds and logistics bases across the country, targeting and killing key commanders and their foot soldiers

Buba, while assuring that the military would continue to deal decisively with the terrorists and deny them of carrying out attacks heinous as usual, said military operations conducted across the country in the last two weeks resulted in the killings of 192 terrorists and arrest of 341 others.

He also stated that the soldiers rescued 62 kidnapped hostages, while 122 ISWAP/JAS combatant terrorists surrendered with their family members at various theatres of operations.

Gen. Buba, at a media briefing on military operations conducted in the last two weeks, said that troops discovered and destroyed 99 dugout pits, 36 storage tanks, 192 cooking ovens, 349,970 litres of stolen crude oil, 112,135 litres of illegally refined AGO, 7,560 litres of DPK and 13,000 litres of PMS, and arrested 37 oil thieves in the Niger Delta region of the country. He said the operations denied oil theft estimated at over N821 million.

Giving an update on military operations, Gen Buba, said: “The prerequisite of ongoing counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations by the military across the country is defeating the terrorists and dismantling their military, administrative and political capabilities. Accordingly, through our operations, we are continually boxing in the terrorists and dismantling their resupply routes.

“The military is working decisively to kill the terrorists, dismantle their networks and create conditions whereby they cannot carry out acts of terror or harm citizens.

“It is for these reasons that the armed forces would continue to hunt the leadership of these terrorist groups, everywhere, across these theatres of operations.

“Being a professional force, due diligence by way of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance is painstakingly taken to distinguish the terrorists before air strikes are conducted. These air strikes have resulted in the death of several of these terrorist leaders and the cohorts hibernating in enclaves across the theatres of operation.

“It, therefore, should not be surprising that these terrorists and their sympathisers plot on blackmailing the military as a result of these air strikes. The plot is to depict some casualties as innocent citizens, rather than cohorts of these terrorists. It is, therefore, important for the media to be wary of the antics of these terrorist groups and their sympathisers. Our operations have prevented these evil elements from accomplishing their strategic objectives.

“During the period under review, troops neutralised 192 terrorists and arrested 341 persons, while rescuing 62 kidnapped hostages. A total of 122 ISWAP/JAS combatant terrorists surrendered with their family members. Troops also arrested 37 perpetrators of oil theft. In the SS, troops denied oil theft of the estimated sum of N821,248,740.00 only.

“Furthermore, troops recovered 211 assorted weapons and 6,288 assorted ammunition. The breakdown are as follows: 128 AK47 rifles and 26 dane guns among other items. Others are: 1,301 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 3,260 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 1,325 live cartridges and 140 rounds of 9mm ammo, among other items.

“Troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and destroyed 99 dugout pits, 36 storage tanks and 192 cooking ovens. During the process, the troops recovered 349,970 litres of stolen crude oil, 112,135 litres of illegally refined AGO, 7,560 litres of DPK and 13,000 litres of PMS. The military recognises that there is still a challenging and tough war campaign still ahead. Overall, our objective is to defeat the terrorists and their cohorts by denying them the ability to continue to fight.

“The lifeline of these terrorist groups is the people. Winning the war without the support of the people is close to impossible. It is for this reason we encourage the civil populace and civil societies to galvanise support, in a whole of society approach, to facilitate the total defeat of these terrorists. The time is now for citizens to know that they have a responsibility to the nation.

“For instance, a cursory look at our security situation shows that it is unique, in the sense of being self-inflicted. Beginning with the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East. The illegal mining and kidnapping enterprise in the North West and North Central are perpetrated under the guise of terrorism. The agitation of IPOB in the South East has proven to be for self aggrandisement; then, the call for a Yoruba nation, which is laughable. All these buttress how our security situation is self-inflicted in the country.

“These acts are against the constitution and, therefore, unacceptable for persons or groups to take up arms against a constituted government. Anyone or group that contravenes this provision of the constitution is inviting severe military action and would be dealt with decisively. Above all, the fighting spirit of our men and women in uniform is strong, resilient, focused, proud and committed. We understand that we have no choice, but to continue to fight to defeat the enemy and create a safer environment for citizens”

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