The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja, has declared its readiness to deal decisively with the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, over his threat to make Nigeria “hell” when he returns to the country.
The DHQ has also vowed to stop any person or group planning to cause mayhem in the country.
It has, therefore, advised those stockpiling weapons with the intention of causing havoc in the 2019 general election in the country to have a rethink or have themselves to blame as the wrath of the law would be visited on them.
Director, Defence Information, Brig-Gen. John Agim, gave the warning at a media briefing on the successes of military operations across the country in Abuja.
“Operation 777 is on and whoever that is coming to Nigeria with hell, Operation 777 will contend with the person, be it Nnamdi Kanu or any other person,” Agim said.
He said Operation 777 was launched to specifically tackle those planning to disintegrate the country.
Agim said Operation 777, which came into existence on October 8, has killed 35 suspected criminals and arrested 98 bandits in the last two weeks, adding that those arrested were currently undergoing investigation after which they would be handed over to the police for prosecution.
Giving a breakdown of the successes of the operations, Agim said some soldiers have paid the supreme price in the ongoing operations across the country, but he did not state where they suffered casualties.
He also said five AK-47 rifles, 20 bows and arrows, 113 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition, 20 live cartridges and four rifle magazines were recovered from the suspects, adding that a total of 419 rustled cattle were recovered within the period and returned to their rightful owners.
He said, “Two soldiers were killed in action, two wounded in action. Equally, two soldiers were missing in action while one AK-47 rifle is missing in action.”
Speaking further on the military’s success, the defence spokesman declared that 405 sheep and 101 goats were recovered and handed over to the various states committees established to return the animals to the rightful owners by the troops of Operation 777.
“In the operation around the maritime areas, a total of 398 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil was recovered, 67,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, 126 reservoirs, 34 illegal refineries, 27 wooden boats and a quantity 101 of 100-litre drums of premium motor spirit were recovered and destroyed,” he further disclosed.
He said Operation 777, which was launched by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, on October 10, was “designed to consolidate on the achievements of the existing operations.”
“Operation 777 is intended to energised our operations. I am happy to observe that various operations across the nation have assumed new vigour, which have recorded a lot of successes in the last few weeks.
“Operation 777 is running concurrently. The operation is also geared towards enhancing a conducive and stable environment for socio-economic activities and the safety of Nigerians, as well as preventing bandits and outlaws from escaping to other peaceful areas. Consequently, the operation is expected to raise the confidence of the public in the affected states, particularly, the IDPs to return back to their homes,” Agim explained.
According to the the spokesman, “The activities of troops are being conducted simultaneously in all the operations areas. It is focused on identifying and destroying bandits and other persons bearing arms against the Nigerian state. It is also to eliminate armed gangs and adversaries as well as conducting cordon-and-search operations to retrieve illegal arms and ammunitions.”
Furthermore, “the operations will actively engage and sensitise the locals and the general public to cooperate with the military.”
“In Benue State, for instance, Operation 777 has located the camp of one notorious criminal and cult leader by name Gana. We were able to neutralise more than 15 of his gang members, including his wife.
“Gana managed to escape, but our troops are on his trail. Sequel to this, many of the IDPs have started returning home. The chairman of Logo Local Government Area confirmed that 27,000 out of 34,000 IDPs at Anyiin IDP Camp have returned home.
“During the period under review, our gallant troops neutralised 35 criminals and a total of 98 suspected bandits/criminals were arrested and they are undergoing investigation and shall be handed over to the police for prosecution.
“The weapon seized include quantity five AK-47 rifles, 20 bows and arrows, 113 quantity of 7.62mm live ammunition, 20 live cartridges and four rifle magazines.
“Within the period also, 419 rustled cattle were recovered, 405 sheep and 101 goats were recovered and handed over to the various state committees established to return the animals to the rightful owners.
“In the operation around the maritime areas, a total of 398 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil was recovered, 67,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, 126 reservoirs, 34 illegal refineries, 27 wooden boats and quantity 101 of 100-litre drums of premium motor spirit (PMS) were recovered and destroyed. Regrettably, during these operations, the military suffered some casualties. Two soldiers were killed in action, two wounded in action. Equally, two soldiers were missing in action while one AK-47 rifle went missing in action.”