Adelani Adepegba, Abuja
The military authorities have kept mum over the call for the deployment of Chadian soldiers to support Nigerian troops in tackling terrorists in the North-East.
The Chadian troops, who were part of the Multinational Joint Task Force, were withdrawn from the Lake Chad region in January.
But after suffering two consecutive attacks from Boko Haram insurgents, Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, had on Wednesday, said the Chadian soldiers should be brought back.
The governor told a visiting delegation of the Nigeria Governors Forum in Maiduguri, that with the way things are, the Nigerian Army required the assistance of others to reverse the insecurity in the North-East and other parts of the country.
When asked to respond to Zulum’s call at a media briefing in Abuja on Friday, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, declined comment, saying only the MNJTF could speak on it.
He said, “I’m not authorised to speak on anything that involves the Multinational Joint Task Force. Any issues on strategic level, we are not empowered to talk on it until it comes down to operational level.”
Giving an update on the security operations between July to September, the coordinator explained that 450 insurgents were killed by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North-East.
He said, “In the North-East zone of the country within the period, 66 kidnapped victims were rescued by the gallant troops of operation Lafiya Dole.
“Also, a total of 285 rounds of ammunition, as well as 84 assorted rifles, were recovered from the Boko Haram and Islamic West Africa Province fighters.
“Similarly, a total of 450 insurgents/terrorists including commanders were killed by the troops. Additionally, 10 gun trucks as well as 38 grenades were recovered. Also, within the period a total of 53 arrests were made, including high-value targets.”
In the North-West, Enenche disclosed that 3,829 livestock, 6,830 rounds of ammunition and 93 assorted rifles were recovered from bandits by the troops between July 1 and September 30.
According to him, 91 kidnapped victims were rescued while 312 bandits were killed in action and 391 arrested.
“A total cash of N4.8 million was recovered from bandits informants in the zone,” the coordinator noted.
In the North-Central zone, the Defence Headquarters said the troops of Operations Safe Haven, Whirl Stroke and Thunder Strike have rescued 116 kidnapped victims while 107 bandits and militia gang leaders were neutralised.
“In the same vein, 84 assorted rifles, as well as 385 rounds of ammunition, were recovered from bandits and other criminal elements in the zone.
“Similarly, a total of 1,136 criminals including family members of the Darul Salam sect were arrested within the period in the North-Central zone,” Enenche stated.