By Victor Akaa, Abuja.
The Nigerian Army has launched Operation Tura Takaibango meant to tracing and tracking down the remnants of Book Haram Terrorists from their enclaves and hideouts in the North East zone of the country.
The Chief of Army Staff,Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai while announcing the launch of the Operation at the 27 Brigade Tactical Headquarters Buni Gari, Yobe state ,stated that the launch of the operation was as a result of the recent increase and upsurge of terrorist attacks on civil settlements , the abduction of travellers on Maiduguri – Damaturu, and Maiduguri – Biu roads, as well as the migration of terrorists into Yobe and southern Borno state.
According to him,the operation was to checkmate the terrorists’ activities as well as bringing the lasting solution to the troubled parts of the zone for farming and economic activities to thrive.
“The enormous successes of the troops of Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE notwithstanding, recent activities within the Theatre has indicated a renewed BHT/ISWAP offensive on soft targets especially vulnerable civilian settlements around the TIMBUKTU Triangle.
“Indeed, the recent upsurge in insurgents’ raid operations with the attendant abductions of some travelers along Road MAIDUGURI-DAMATURU, Rd MAIDUGURI-BIU as well as the recent skirmishes experienced along Rd DAMATURU BIU has necessitated the need for urgent steps to check these unwholesome trends.
“The current threat if not neutralised could result to further attacks on more innocent civilian settlements, the migration of terrorists into YOBE and Southern BORNO States with possibility of increased attacks on civilian communities.
“Therefore the Nigerian Army has launched Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO to effectively checkmate the situation.”
Gen. Buratai also assured that,the Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO had become more expedient as it will boost the efforts by troops of Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE to enable the Nigerian Army to deal with the emerging threats of the BHT/[SWAP with the North Eastern Part of the country.
“The operation is meant to be theatre-wide targeting known insurgents’ enclaves/hideouts for neutralisation and clearance.
“At the end of the operation, it is envisaged that our citizens will be free to move about, conduct their farming and other businesses in a safe and secured atmosphere, devoid of any insurgents’ threat and harassment.
“It is pertinent to note that Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO is set to be another remarkable operation that would make the nation proud of the Nigerian Army’s determination at sustaining its constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of the nation as well as its commitment to aid the civil authority to bring about lasting peace and security in the North East operational area.”
The COAS who was represented by the Chief of Trainings and Operations Army, Maj. Gen. Nuhu Angbazo earlier reechoed that ,the NA was fully involved in the ongoing war against terrorism in the zone codenamed Operation Lafiya Dole in line with the its constitutional role in aid to civil authority.
He however highlighted the tremendous progress recorded by the troops against Boko Haram/ Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists since the coming on Board of Gen. Buratai as Army Chief in 2015.
Some of which include, the liberation of some local governments in the zone which were hitherto under the siege of Boko Haram, the gradual return of IDPs to their a central homes, the stoppage of bombing activities which were been experienced in other zones of the country including Abuja I’m the North Central,amongst others.
Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO was already operationalised on January, 3, 2021 in the North East Theatre of operation comprising Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States by the Chief of Army Staff.
“However, for operational security and global best practices, the Nigerian Army had wanted to make some major operational gains in the war against the Boko Haram/ISWAP Terrorists.
“Since the operation started on the 3 of January 2021, remarkable achievements have been recorded so far. Specifically, on the 6 of January 2021, the troops of 402 Special Forces Brigade made contact in a fierce encounter with the terrorists which resulted in heavy defeat to the terrorists.
“The result was the neutralization of 12 Boko Haram/ISWAP Terrorists, while 1 x terrorist Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device and a Gun Truck were destroyed. Additionally, 1 x Anti Aircraft Gun, 1 x General Purpose Machine Gun, 10 x AK 47 Rifles, 1 x Hand Grenade and large cache of assorted ammunition were captured.
“Based on credible information of the plan effort of Boko Haram/ISWAP Terrorists to attack Geidam town and neighbouring communities, troops on Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO were mobilized to thwart the terrorists evil intention to invade Geidam town thereby preventing loss of lives and property.”
He enjoined members of the public especially the residents of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States not to panic as the security, safety and well-being of innocent and law abiding citizens especially those living in the rural areas have been deliberately factored in the planning of the operation.
He further assured that the troops taking part in the operation would be guided by the Professional Code of Conduct, Rules of Engagement and the respect for human rights.
The Army Chief also called on the general public to remained vigilant and be security conscious, as suspected terrorists/criminals may be fleeing from military operations in those areas and finding safe haven amidst the surrounding communities.
He charged the public to report any suspicious activity or movement to the nearest military formation or other security agencies for prompt action.
He said,in order to ensure cordial Civil-military relations, the army shall make public the contact phone numbers of the Theatre and Sector Commanders in Op LAFIYA DOLE, in addition to the Nigerian Army short code Information and Call Centre 193.
He however extends the immense gratitude of the Chief of Army Staff, Officers and men of the NA to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR for his unflinching support to the NA which has significantly enhanced the capacity, effectiveness and morale of troops.