Nigerian Military extends operation to Niger Republic border

By Timothy Choji, Abuja

President Buhari

The Nigerian government has extended its military operation named ‘Operation Sharan Daji’ from Zamfara, Sokoto and Kaduna states to some border towns between the nation and Niger republic.

This is to curb the activities of bandits in the states and in Nigeria as a whole.

The Defence Minister, Brigadier General Mansur Dan-Ali said this in a statement issued to Journalists at the end of Thursday’s security meeting between President Buhari, Service Chiefs and heads of security agencies at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“In order to forestall future security incidences in Zamfara, Sokoto and Birnin-Gwari axis, Operation SHARAN DAJI has been extended to cover up to the fringes of Niger boarder. The operation has recently been reinforced with more troops from the Nigerian Armed Forces, Nigeria Police and Department of State Services and is supported by the Intelligence, Surveillance and Recognisance Wing of 207 Quick Response Group of the Nigerian Air Force,” Dan-Ali said.

Desired result
The Defence Minister said the step taken by government had since started yielding the desired result as some of the bandits were already in custody.

“The joint operation has successfully arrested some suspected armed bandits and recovered arms and ammunitions from them. Similarly, in other to checkmate the criminal activities along Abuja-Kaduna highway, security agencies have been directed to increase patrols along the axis to address cases of attacks and kidnappings,” he said.

According to Dan-Ali, there was a review of Operation SAFE HAVEN leading to appointment of a new Commander in the North Central.

The Minister also reiterated the need for the deployment of the Nigeria Police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps in all areas liberated by the military in the North-east to consolidate on the gains of military operations and to enable the military push forward in its clearance operations.

Fight against insurgency
Dan-Ali said a similar operation was also recording successes in the Southern part of the country.

He informed the council that the ‘Operation DELTA SAFE’ has sustained its operations against illegal activities in the Niger Delta region with resultant reduction in illegal oil bunkering, militancy and pipeline vandalism.

The Defence Minister requested for the provision of more equipment for the Armed Forces  to sustain the tempo in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges across the country.

He also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his recent election as the Chairman of ECOWAS.

The security meeting was presided over by President Buhari, the Commander in Chief of Nigeria’s Armed Forces.

Immediately after the almost three hour meeting, President Buhari departed for Bauchi, to take part in a campaign rally.

The rally was said to be for the Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC, Lawal Yahaya Gumau, ahead of the forthcoming bye-election for Bauchi South Senatorial district after the death of the former Senator, Ali Wakili.


Lateefah Ibrahim