The government of Nigeria has announced that it has taken significant steps to rid the country of oil theft and piracy. According to the navy, several illicit refining facilities, 17 wooden boats, 103 storage tanks, 94 furnaces, and 58 dugout pits were uncovered and destroyed during efforts to overcome criminal forces. In addition, 10 trucks, 1 generator, 1 tanker, 2 cars, and 8 pumping devices were retrieved.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer, and oil theft and piracy have long been a problem in the country. The problem has been exacerbated by the country’s political instability and the presence of militant groups such as the Niger Delta Avengers.
The government says that it is committed to stamping out oil theft and piracy in the country and has called on the international community to support its efforts.
The objects recovered from the perpetrators included two G3 rifles, one locally made pump action weapon, one locally made pistol, three G3 magazines, three AK47 magazines, 280 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 780 rounds of 7.62mm special, MMG metal links, and two beefing radios. Also recovered were five pairs of military camouflages, six pairs of desert boots, some Nigerian currency notes, and massive amounts of products suspected to be hard drugs. The detained individuals and things confiscated were handed over to the proper authority for further action.
In September of 2022, forces neutralised two important Boko Haram commanders, Abu Asiya and Abu Ubaida, in the Sambisa forest. As a result, they killed 36 terrorists, rescued 130 civilians, and detained 46 suspected Boko Haram terrorists and 12 accused Islamic State of West Africa Province logistic providers. Among the items recovered were 21 AK47 rifles, 163 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 2 RPG bombs, 25 Dane guns, 4 unexploded ordnance stores, 2 bandoliers, 10 solar panels, 23 bicycles, 10 motorcycles, 1 tricycle, 19 cell phones, 28 torch lights, bags of assorted grains, 122 rustled sheep, and N203,125.00.
In the same time period, 368 alleged Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province offenders and their families surrendered to our soldiers at various sites around the theatre. All seized materials, rescued civilians, and captured suspected terrorists were turned over to the appropriate authorities for further action, while surrendering Boko Haram militants and their families are being profiled for future action. In a related incident, the air component of Operation Hadin Kai launched an air interception operation in Somalia’s Sambisa Forest based on solid intelligence and blasted a terrorist vital site.
“The air strike inflicted terrible casualties on the terrorists as feedback showed that some of the militants were neutralised while numerous structures were damaged after the strike. Similar operations were carried out against terrorist enclaves at Abdallari, Mafa, Zanari, and Tumbun Baba between September 10 and 14, 2022, resulting in the elimination of numerous terrorists and the destruction of several of their structures.
As part of a non-kinetic strategy to resolve persistent security concerns in the Plateau, the Commander of the Special Task Force Operation Safe Haven proclaimed open on September 10, 2022, at its headquarters in Jos, a 26-man joint peace committee summit chaired by Justice Daniel Longji (Rtd) to enlighten Plateau communities on the importance of peaceful cohabitation.
“On September 16, 2022, in response to a report on the activities of the banned cultist organisation known as the Sara Suka boys, soldiers, in collaboration with Vigilantes, conducted a raid operation in their hideaway in Rikkos and Nassarawa in Jos Local Government Area of Plateau State, arresting six suspects. The report had indicated that the cultists were planning to carry out attacks in Plateau State, and the soldiers acted quickly to apprehend them”.
Among the items discovered are three locally made guns, five mobile phones, four hammers, five cutlasses, six knives, and a part of a jacket. All suspects apprehended and recovered objects were turned over to the appropriate authorities for further action. Furthermore, the air component of Operation Whirl Punch maintained the attack against terrorists on September 8, 2022, with an air interdiction operation conducted out targeting an identified terrorist’s hideaway at Gaude in Niger State’s Shiroro Local Government Area.
“An intelligence analysis indicated that the area was frequently used by terrorists to organise their evil actions. It was also revealed that all of the attacks around Shiroro were coordinated from this location, and as a result, the hideaway was blasted. According to feedback, many terrorists were eliminated, while others fled with varying degrees of injury. “Troops also conducted operational actions in villages, communities and cities in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna State in the North West zone of the Country.
In recent operations conducted in Kaduna State’s Chikun Local Government Area, troops have eliminated 16 suspected terrorists and detained 10 more. Among the items confiscated were 5 AK 47 guns, 10 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 17 mobile phones, 2 motorbikes, 3 locally built firearms, 3 pairs of woodland camouflage, 118 rustled sheep, 4 baofeng radios, and cash totaling N29,250.00. In addition, 21 civilians were saved. All seized objects and detainees have been turned over to the appropriate authorities for further action.
The Nigerian Air Force announced that it had carried out a series of airstrikes against terrorist strongholds in Jibia and Faskari, killing a number of terrorists, including a commander known as Ibrahim Dangawo. The air raids were part of Operation Hadarin Daji, which is aimed at combating the terrorist group Boko Haram. In addition to the airstrikes, security forces also raided an alleged terrorist enclave in Gidan Guga, Faskari, resulting in the arrest of a terrorist mastermind known as Babaru.
Another notable accomplishment by the Nigerian military was the eradication of a large number of terrorists along the Kawari axis in Katsina State’s Dan Musa Local Government Area. The terrorist group was determined to be responsible for kidnapping and robbing people in the neighbourhood. The air attack, according to accounts, killed a substantial number of terrorists.
On September 17, 2022, troops in the South East Zone launched an aggressive operation in coordination with other security agencies against a known criminal camp at Orsumoghu Forest in Anambra State’s Ihiala Local Government Area, resulting in the apprehension of two criminals and the recovery of two others. 4 IEDs, 4 RPGs made locally, 1 pump action rifle and 5 Dane guns.
“Troops also carried out operations against terrorist hiding places and camps in the states of Imo, Enugu, and Abia. Forces discovered four improvised explosive devices, four locally built RPGs, one pump action rifle, four pistols, four AK47 rifles, ten motorbikes, 50 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, and seven Dane guns as a consequence of these operations. Five suspected perpetrators were captured, while four more were neutralised. All seized items and imprisoned criminals were given over to the proper authorities for future action.”
“Notably, the Maritime component of Operation Awatse on 12 September 2022 captured 2 child trafficking offenders with 2 passenger boats laden with 13 adolescent girls thought to be victims of child trafficking at Akarakumo waterways in Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State”. Troops also seized 1,953 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 212 jerry cans of 30 litres Premium Motor Spirit, two cars, two wooden boats, and one motorbike, and detained three suspected smugglers.
In Nigeria, customs officials recently detained a vehicle carrying 20 barrels of calcium carbide and 41 pairs of military camouflage. The vehicle was travelling along the Ijebu Ode-Ibadan road in Ijebu Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The calcium carbide and military camouflage were likely being transported for illegal purposes. Calcium carbide is a hazardous material that can be used to create explosive devices. Military camouflage is typically only available to authorised personnel and is often used for nefarious purposes.
The discovery of this vehicle is a cause for concern. It is likely that there is a black market for these materials in Nigeria. This could lead to serious safety hazards for the general public.
The Nigerian government confiscated 13 young females and 2 accused traffickers during a routine operation. All commodities were sent over to the Nigerian Customs service, while the apprehended passenger boats were turned over to the Nigeria Immigration Service for further action. This is a great victory in the fight against human trafficking, and it is hoped that more operations like this will help to put an end to this despicable practice.