Due to the recent spate of unrest and insecurity across the country, the military has launched “Operation 777” aimed at restructuring ongoing security operations across the country.
Operations will include curtailing insurgency, militancy, armed banditry and crude oil theft.
The new operation was launched yesterday at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in Abuja with Acting Defence Information (DDI), John Agim confirming the operation commences on October 10.
Some of the ongoing operations meant to be restructured by operation 777 include “Whirle Punch”, to fight banditry and armed robbery on the Abuja-Kaduna road, as well as Birnin Gwari area of Kaduna State.
The others are “Delta Safe” to tackle oil theft, bunkering and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta, and “Awatse” designed to check pipeline vandalism in Lagos and Ogun states.
Among them also are Operations “Safe Haven” in Plateau, Bauchi and part of Kaduna State, “Sharan Daji”, which was set up to fight armed banditry in the Northwest and “Clearance” to fight kidnapping in Kogi.
Agim also explained operation 777 is meant to consolidate the activities of the other pre-existing operations with the aim of safeguarding the lives and properties of the citizenry.
He said, “The operation is also geared toward enhancing a conducive and stable environment for socio-economic activities and safety of Nigerians, as well as preventing bandits and outlaws from escaping to other peaceful areas.
“Consequently, the operation is expected to raise the confidence of the public in the affected states, particularly the IDPs to return back to their homes.”
According to Agim, a lot of successes had been recorded since the launch of operation 777 two weeks ago including the recovery of a large cache of ammunition and the arrest of 35 suspects.
The recovered weapons include five AK47 rifles, 20 bows and arrows, 113 of 7.62mm live ammunition, 20 live cartridges and four rifle magazines.
Amongst the successes of the operation also include the arrest of a notorious criminal and cult leader, Gana alongside 15 members of his gang.
“Gana managed to escape, but our troops are on his trail. Sequel to this, many of the IDPs have started returning home.
“The Chairman of Logo Local Government Area of Benue State confirmed that 27,000 out of the 34,000 IDPs in Anyiin IDP camp have returned home,” Agim said.
He said in the period under review when operation 777 began, 398 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil, 67,000 litres of refined AGO were recovered in the Niger Delta region.
Agim also said 126 reservoirs, 34 illegal refineries, 27 wooden boats and “quantity 101 of 100 litres of drums of PMS” were recovered during the period.