By Emmanuel Nduka
Reeling out its operational successes in the fight against insecurity in 2023, the Nigerian Defence Headquarters said its troops neutralized 6,886 terrorists, arrested 6,970 suspects, and rescued 4,488 kidnapped hostages.
The statistics were given to newsmen on Friday in Abuja by Major General Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations during the end of year briefing on troops operational activities from January to December 2023.
“The major security threats within the year 2023 were terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping, oil theft, secessionist agitations and farmers-herders clashes,” he highlighted, adding that during the period, troops also “recovered 3,320 assorted weapons and 39,075 assorted ammunition”.
“Troops recovered 100,316,600 litres of crude oil, 60,339,426 litres of AGO, 3,465,450 litres of DPK and 3,544,990 litres of PMS,” Buba said of operations in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region.
“The threat dynamics were however defined along geo-political zones with some permeating across the regional lines. The predominant threat in the North Central (NC) and North West (NW) regions is armed banditry/terrorism while the Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West African Province lingering insurgency remained the main threat in the North East (NE) region.
“The major threat in the South-East (SE) and South-West (SW) was the secessionist agitations of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Yoruba Nation respectively.
“The South-South (SS) region continued to experience oil theft, cultism and youth restiveness. However, acts of criminalities such as kidnapping, armed robbery, communal clashes and cattle rustling were common across the 6 geopolitical zones.
“It is pertinent to point out that most security threats in the country were fueled by the proliferation of small arms exacerbated by the influx of illegal arms and ammunition through our porous borders and the preponderance of local arms fabrication factories in the country.
“Thus, the armed forces kinetic and non-kinetic efforts were geared towards tackling these threats in all the geo-political zones.
“The security situation in Year 2023 has remained fluid, complex and dynamic with the threat morphing in form and scale. This unpredictable nature of the threat and the attendant demands for stability have continued to pose significant challenges for security forces.
“Consequently, various forces have continued to evolve Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) to professionally respond to these threats. The armed forces has been developing the desired enablers to overcome the country’s numerous threats,” he briefed.
While noting that the application of kinetic and non-kinetic efforts in collaboration with other security agencies has continued to shape the operating environment, Buba added that attention was given to providing relevant resources to enhance troops’ capacity to defeat the threats. “The cumulative outcome of these efforts is reflected in increased stability achieved across the various theatres of operations. Troops are in a dominant position and are winning the war,” he added.