Dec. 31, 2021
The Federal Government has admitted that its major challenge in the year 2021 has been that of insecurity, but reiterated that the Nigerian military has continued to live up to their billing despite the enormous challenge.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this on Thursday at a press briefing in Lagos to showcase the achievements of the administration in the outgoing year (2021).
“Let me admit straightaway that the year has not been devoid of challenges. For the outgoing year in particular, the major challenge has been that of insecurity. In spite of this and the usual economic challenges, especially the dwindling resources available to the government, the Administration has availed itself creditably”.
“As I said in my introductory remarks, our biggest challenge in the outgoing year is in the area of security”.
Mohammed who lauded the Nigerian military, said, despite the enormity of the challenge, “our military has continued to live up to their billing. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their patriotism and sacrifice. We just can’t appreciate them enough, as you will soon see when I break down their achievements in the year under review”.
Fight against insecurity
The minister added that to keep the country safe, the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) set up various operations across the country. These include the Joint Task Force (JTF) North East, tagged Operation HADIN KAI covering the North East region; the JTF SS, tagged Operation DELTA SAFE covering the South South region; the JTF NW, known as Operation HADARIN DAJI covering the North West region; Operation SAFE HAVEN covering Plateau, parts of Kaduna and Bauchi States; Operation WHIRL STROKE covering Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States; JTF SW, referred to as Operation AWATSE and covering Lagos and Ogun States; Operation THUNDER STRIKE covering Abuja-Kaduna Highway and Operation WHIRL PUNCH covering parts of Kaduna State.
“The North East Zone under Operation HADIN KAI, a combination of kinetic and non-kinetic operations, coupled with a review of strategies, led to the neutralization of over 1000
terrorists, rescue of 2000 civilians and the surrender of over 22,000 terrorists including their families. Many arms and ammunition were also recovered”, he said.
This is in addition to destruction of several IED/bomb making factories of the ISWAP/BHT.
Under Operation HADARIN DAJI in the North West, the conduct of offensive clearance operations, raids and air operations resulted in the neutralization of about 427 bandits, arrest of 257 bandits, rescue of 897 civilians and recovery of 3,087 livestock.
Similarly, Operation WHIRL PUNCH covering parts of Kaduna neutralized about 215 bandits, arrested 133 bandits, rescued 296 civilians and recovered 136 livestock, while Operation THUNDER STRIKE neutralized 36 bandits, arrested 74, rescued 296 civilians and recovered 136 livestock. In the North Central, raids and clearance operations conducted by Operation SAFE HAVEN neutralized 91 criminal elements, arrested 155 suspects, rescued 159 civilians and recovered 3,259 livestock.
For its part, Operation WHIRL STROKE neutralized 158 criminals, arrested 151 suspects and rescued 183 civilians. Operation DELTA SAFE in the South-South destroyed about 1,520 illegal refineries, confiscated 5,315 storage facilities and impounded 617 boats, amongst other items.
Additionally, about 74,297,425 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), 41,971,693 litres of crude oil and 88,350 litres of PMS were recovered. Furthermore, 174 trucks and 13 vessels were impounded while 755 illegal oil bunkerers were arrested and 153 assorted weapons recovered.
In the South West, patrols and clearance operations by troops of Operation AWATSE led to the arrest of 46 persons for various forms of criminalities while several vehicles, jerricans, motorcycles and electricity generators used for illegal bunkering were seized.
“The effectiveness of the military was enhanced by the leadership provided by President Muhammadu Buhari and the unwavering commitment of the armed forces and its leadership. The procurement of modern platforms for the armed forces has also gone a long way in raising the level of their operational readiness and efficiency, in addition to boosting their capabilities”.
“During the period under review, the Nigerian Army procured 160 MRAPS, 150 trucks and 60 APCs to improve its equipment holding. Various kits were equally provided for troops. This is in addition to the provision of accommodation for troops and the recruitment of over 10,000 personnel into the Army”.
“The Nigerian Navy (NN), for its part, commissioned the FALCON EYE Maritime Domain Awareness Capability, the third locally-built Seaward Defense Boat, one helicopter, 4 inshore patrol boats and 90 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats. Over 1,500 personnel were recruited into the Navy during the year.
“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) took delivery of 12 Super Tucanos and 3 JF-17 Thunder Fighter Aircraft and other platforms with which it has conducted several Air interdictions, provided close air support to ground troops and destroyed several illegal structures and equipment belonging to terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements”.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria has also contributed immensely to International peace and security efforts with its robust participation in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the regional initiative, the ECOWAS Military Intervention in Gambia (ECOMIG). The Nigerian military’s continued participation in these Missions has ensured their viability and sustenance towards achieving their military and political goals”.
Overall, the good news is that the military, in spite of its achievements, is not resting on its oars. The Military has assured that it is also poised, in fulfillment of its constitutional duties, to address the myriad of evolving contemporary threats, particularly as the 2023 elections draw nearer.
Still on the fight against insecurity, the implementation of the community policing initiative of the current administration has led to the training of 25,000 constabularies in several police colleges
across the country.
The successful officers who were trained on basic police duties, modern intelligence gathering techniques, rule of law, etc. were deployed to their Local Governments of Origin to aid in intelligence gathering and improve police visibility in their communities.
Also, in an effort to improve the police/citizens ratio, 418 Cadet officers of regular course 3 were successfully graduated in June 2021 and deployed into the operational asset of the Nigeria
Police Force. Through the Police Trust Fund, 200 Buffalo branded vehicles, bulletproof vest, protective helmets, drugs, and medical equipment as well as arms and ammunition, riot control equipment, and combat equipment were procured for the Police Special Weapon and Tactical Squad (SWAT).
Mohammed however noted that the Ministry of Police Affairs has also entered into a contract agreement for the supply of police Anti Riot Equipment with Poly Technology of China through a Government-to-Government arrangement at a cost of 44 million U.S. Dollars. These equipment will go a long way in boosting the capacity of the police to control civil unrest in the most efficient and civil manner.