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HomeDefenceMilitary To Benue Govt' We Won't Join Issues Over Gana's Killing

Military To Benue Govt’ We Won’t Join Issues Over Gana’s Killing

*Intercepts 86 Darul Salam  Terrorists Family Members In Kogi

Ola Akinola

The high command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), has said that it would not join issues with the political authourities in Benue state, over the recent killing of Gana, the wanted militia kingpin, by troops in the state.

Troops of Operation Ayem Akpatuma III, had on 8 September 2020, killed the militia leader, Terwase Akwaza alias Gana.

The military is being heavily criticized by political authourities in the state, for killing Gana, having known fully that he had allegedly surrendered to the state and was covered by the ongoing amnesty programme of the Governor Samuel Orton’s administration.

Meanwhile , the AFN high command said at a press during in Abuja, through its Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, (CDMO), Major General John Enenche, hinted that Gana was killed in an encounter with troops around Gboko in Benue State.

“Forty members of his gang were also captured alongside arms and ammunition”, General Enenche briefed newsmen.

The attention of the military was drawn to the fact that Benue state authourities had expressed misgivings with the said operations, asking whether the military wasn’t aware of the acclaimed amnesty programme of the state, before embarking on the said operation.

Responding, the Defence Operations spokesman said he was unauthorized to speak on a matter, which political leaders in the state had already started speaking on.

According to him; “I’m aware that the Governor made a statement and a Senator there also made a statement. I cannot again. I’m no longer to answer because by law, we are subordinate to them. If it came, say last week,  I might have answered”, General Enenche said, stressing that he lacked the capacity to reply, following directives from military authorities, not to reply on issues raised by political leaders, as it constituted an offence.

While speaking further on the operations in the North Central Zone of the country within the period under rewiew: September 3 to September 9, 2020, the CDMO said that 86 family members of Daryl Salam terrorists, running away from military fire in the forest, were intercepted by troops in Kogi state.

He added that; “The Armed Forces of Nigeria have continued to sustain the tempo in the fight against all the criminality in the (North Central) zone with attendant successes.

“These ongoing kinetic efforts were supported by Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities in the form of stakeholders’ meetings amongst the various ethnic groups in the zone.

“Within the period under review, troops of Operation NUT CRACKER, on 3 September 2020 intercepted 86 persons suspected to be Darul Salam family members along Kpareke-Koton-Karfe Road in Kogi State.

“During the preliminary investigation, it was revealed that the suspects fled Uttu forest general area due to the ongoing military offensive.

“Relatedly, on 6 September 2020 troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE deployed at Guma in Benue State, and Keana in Nasarawa State, conducted a dawn raid at an identified armed bandits’ camp at Guma forest along the Benue-Nasarawa border following actionable intelligence reports on the location of the camp.

“Troops neutralized one bandit while others escaped with gunshot wounds. Troops also recovered one AK-47 rifle, one AK-47 rifle magazine, one locally made pistol and 3 mobile phones while the camp was subsequently destroyed.

“Similarly, troops of Sector 1 deployed at Gagbe in Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State conducted a dawn raid on another suspected armed bandits’ hideout at Tse Agi in the general area.

“The gallant troops stormed the hideout and apprehended 4 suspects while one AK 47 rifle, 2 AK-47 rifle magazines and 46 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition were also recovered at the location. The hideout was subsequently destroyed.

Similarly, Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN arrested 35 suspected criminals during raids on some identified criminal hideouts at West of Mines, Mid West, Charcoal Market and Busa Buji areas of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State. The raids were conducted following intelligence reports of criminal activities in those areas.

“Furthermore, on 5 September 2020, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN raided hideouts of suspected Sara Suka criminals at Yantifa, New Market, Terminus and Bauchi road in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.

“Troops apprehended 20 Sara Suka suspects at the location while two members of a syndicate specializing in the production of fake security agencies identity cards were also apprehended.

“Currently, all the arrested suspects are being profiled after which they will be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further action.

“.As part of Civil Military Cooperation activities within the period under review, Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN fostered several stakeholders meetings with community leaders in various parts of Plateau and Kaduna States.

“Areas covered include: Bassa, Jos, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State, as well as Jama’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

“This move is expected to achieve the desired result with the provision of credible and actionable intelligence specifically from primary sources. In this regard, the locals are requested to cooperate with the security agencies by availing them with the required information that will be useful to our collective objective of taking out the criminals from the zone”, General Enenche said.

The CDMO said that the high command was happy with its roops and other security operatives in all the operations, stressing that they “are further encouraged to remain dogged and sustain the tempo in all the Joint Operations Areas.

“The High Command of the Armed Forces also reassures the general public of its unwavering commitment to securing the country for all human activities to strive.

“Members of the general public are, as always, enjoined to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the nearest military and other security agencies location for prompt and effective action”, the CDMO stated.

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