The Defence Headquarters on Thursday has unveiled the cause of MANGU crisis that broke out in the early hours of 23 January 2024 which involved some Fulani herders and some communities in the North Central zone of the country.
According to Director Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba at the bi-weekly media briefing with Defence Correnspondents, situation escalated and resulted in break down of law and order in MANGU Town and adjoining communities.
Maj. General Buba said Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN recorded the following during the period under review; arrested suspected violent extremists/insurgents and foiled fulani militias attack on locals in Mangu and Bokkos LGAs of Plateau State. Troops conducted raid operation and foiled kidnap incidents in Sanga, Jema’a and Kauru LGAs of Kaduna State as well as Riyom LGA of Plateau State.
He added that troops arrested suspected violent extremists/insurgents and fulani militias gang leader in Mangu and Wase LGAs of Plateau State.
He said on 18 January 2024, following credible INTREP, troops conducted sting operations and arrested 5 suspected violent extremists/terrorists in Mangu LGA of Plateau State. During the operation, troops recovered 5 AK47 rifle with 123 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammo and 2 motorcycle.
On 17 January 2024, troops responded to information on large number armed Fulani Militias mobilizing to attack a Community in Bokkos LGA of Plateau State. Troops made contact with the violent extremists/fulani militias. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 10 insurgents and recovered 10 AK47 rifles, 210 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 5 mobile phones and 29 rounds of PKT ammo.
General Buba said the crisis which started from GANGARAN KWATA escalated to other parts of MANGU LGA despite concerted efforts by troops deployed to the general area to restore normalcy.
He noted that the cause of MANGU crisis was caused by cattle rustling and the killing of a Wagungun man who was on his motorcycle but suddenly ran into cattles on 22nd January, 2024 and argument between he herders militias and the Wangagu man which led to his death.
He also added that military high command has deployed special forces to some of the hotspots in order to conduct targetted operations.
“We have also deployed several battlefield enablers to enhance intelligence and strike capability on these terrorists, thus, We are encouraging the warring fractions to shield their swords.
“As for the FCT and environs, offensive operations are ongoing at the following locations; Cashew Forest, Kwaku, Gwombe, Gadoro and Tukuba all in Kuje Area Council. Other areas covered were Kawu, Igu, Tokulo, Gaba, Zuma 1 and Zuma 2, Shere, Mpape, Jikoko, Berger Quarry and Nukuchi Villages all in Bwari Area Council of FCT.
“In neighboring states to the FCT such as Niger State. Troops are conducting operations in ; Gauraka, Apo Forest, Gyedna/Sabon Wusa and Garam in Tafa LGA of Niger State. Additionally, troops covered Numan and Basa in Akwanga and Nasarawa LGAs of Nasarawa State respectively.
Overall, during the week under review. Troops neutralised 94 and arrested 171 of them. Troops also arrested 43 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 29 kidnapped hostages. In the SS, troops denied the oil theft of the estimated sum of Four Hundred and Eighty Five Million Nine Hundred and Eighty Three Thousand One Hundred and Fifty Naira (N485,983,150.00) only.
Furthermore, troops recovered 168 assorted weapons and 2,757 assorted ammunition. The breakdown as follows: one GPMG, 85 AK47 rifles, one Vektor R4 rifle, one G3 rifle, 10 pump action guns, 12 locally fabricated guns, 6 locally made pistols, 21 dane gun, one double barrel gun, one fabricated revolver rifle, 2 x 36 hand grenades and one fabricated dane gun.
Others are: 290 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 2,132 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 115 rounds of 5.66mm ammo, 29 rounds of PKT ammo, 10 rounds of 9mm ammo, 297 cartridges, 21 magazines, 14 vehicles, 35 motorcycles, 27 mobile phones, 2 baofeng radios and the sum of N2,594,000.00 amongst other items.
Troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and destroyed 16 dugout pits, 51 boats, 49 storage tanks and 3 vehicles. Other items recovered include 38 cooking ovens, 3 pump machines and 31 illegal refining sites. Troops recovered 363,875 litres of stolen crude oil, 198,315 litres of illegally refined AGO and 5,200 litres of PMS.
Overall, we would like citizens to clearly understand why we are fighting this war. They should understand that the terrorist will not stop, until they are stopped. Everyone should understand that the terrorist and their cohorts exist for the sake of war.
Therefore for the sake of peace they must be eliminated. All hands must be on deck, in our villages, communities and environments to ensure that the security forces are supported with necessary information to win this war. We also urge trusted voices by the people to use their voice for good and not for evil. There is need to stop the bleeding and commence the healing.
On the whole, the military is doing everything to guarantee the safety and security of citizens. We will continue to do more and make improvements.