Leadership (Abuja)

23 September 2012

Nigeria: Insecurity - 2 Battalions Moved to Damaturu, Potiskum

In its continued effort at ridding the country of terrorists' activities, the Nigerian Army has moved two of its battalions to the troubled towns of Damaturu and Potiskum of Yobe state.

This is coming on the heels of a report that a 24-hour dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed on the two towns to enable the military conduct a house-to-house search with the aim of seizing arms that were alleged to have been stockpiled in the two towns.

Leadership Sunday gathered that a new 233 Battalion under the command of Lt. Colonel D. C. Bako has been established to carry out the clean-up exercise in the troubled north-east state of Yobe.

Though leadership Sunday could not ascertain the number of the military personnel that were moved to the troubled areas, a military battalion consists of between 300 and 1, 200 soldiers, according to military sources.

All efforts to get the high military command to confirm the movement and formation of a new battalion was unsuccessful. The army spokesman, Brigedier General Bolaji Koleosho, was said to have been out of the country, while Lt. Colonel A. A. Yusuf that could hold brief for him could not be reached on his mobile telephone numbers.

However, briefing reporters in Damaturu yesterday, spokesman of the Joint Task Force, JTF, Lt. Eli Lazarus, disclosed that 25 suspected members of Boko Haram were arrested by the JTF in an early morning raid in some of the suspected hideout flashpoints of the sect members.

According to Lt. Lazarus, during the operation codenamed 'operation restore sanity 2', which was carried out in Nasarawa, Tashar Tifa, and One Million Rd, the JTF after a fierce battle with the alleged Boko Haram members also recovered 3 grenade launchers.

Other items that were recovered during the raid on the suspected Boko Haram hideouts include 7 laptop computers, 12 assault rifles, Motorola wacky-talky, camera tripod, military and police uniforms, one tricycle popularly called Keke NAPEP, GSM handsets and many sim cards.

Also in the course of the operation, 7 women and 12 children that the sect was allegedly using as shield during its operations were rescued.

Police Arrest 9 suspects In Asaba

The Delta State police command yesterday raided several houses where stolen items are kept by robbers in Agbor axis of the state.

In the raid that followed the discovery by security operatives, nine suspected robbers were arrested.

Similarly, property worth millions of naira suspected to have been stolen from members of the public by the hoodlums were recovered from the hideouts.

When contacted, police public relations officer (PPRO) DSP Charles Muka confirmed the story, adding that nine suspects were arrested during the raid.

He said based on intelligence report that some hoodlums were in possession of stolen items in houses and hideouts in Agbor, detectives from Agbor Division stormed the depots and raided the suspects' hideouts, following which nine of the hoodlums namely Sunday Olije, Onyisi Okwudi, Dennis Osaji, Chukwueku Agbor, Patrick David, Elvis Obera, Kenneth Eboh, Chuks Nwabieze and Esther Sunday, a lady, were arrested.

Muka said that search warrants were properly executed in their houses following which these items were recovered: three Tiger 950 generators, 14 inch Sharp television, two LG DVD players, Samsung DVD player, eight assorted Nokia handsets, and two other types of handsets, two clippers, one stabilizer, two digital cameras, one Phillips pressing iron, assorted sound systems, two hammers, assorted provisions and cash of N7,000.

The PPRO said most of the owners of the stolen items had been identified and that they had claimed ownership of the items, while the suspects were helping the police in their investigations after which they would be charged to court.

Muka used the opportunity to call on members of the public to give the police useful information and be conscious of movements and activities in their domains, adding that the arrest of the suspects was made possible by kind and spirited Deltans who had the interest of peace and security at heart.

With the introduction of arms into the operations of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the state, the state commandant of the corps, Mr. Andekin Amos Musa, has declared total war against vandals and other criminal elements in the state.

The NSCDC boss made the declaration at the passing out parade of officers of the command trained in the use of arms in Asaba.

According to Musa, "I assure you that we will not rest on our oars in discharging our duty at ensuring better security to our nation. I use this opportunity to warn criminals particularly vandals to desist from their criminal acts as it will be a total war."

He said the newly trained officers had been placed on red alert at different locations across the state to arrest criminals, particularly illegal dealers of petroleum products and vandals, adding that the command would deal ruthlessly with criminals.

While charging the officers to be loyal, dedicated and exercise self-control, Musa warned them against the misuse of arms as any breach will attract sanctions.

He also disclosed that more officers will soon be trained in the use of arms to put the command in a better position to confront the vandals anytime, adding that they are now better equipped and ready to fight crime in the state and beyond.

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