The Nigerian Armed Forces have been steadfast in restoring peace and security throughout the country and have deployed troops in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to counter all forms of threats to security, in collaboration with other security agencies.
The chains of military operations in the theaters of operations have diminished the various threats to security and have had a positive impact on the lives of citizens and national development in general.
While there are close to 11,000 deaths recorded in 2022, most of the deaths have been due to military actions and not the activities of non-state actors.
In north-eastern Nigeria, the activities of Boko Haram and the Islamic States West African Province (ISWAP) have been largely tamed.
The destruction caused by the 13-year insurgency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa is being addressed, with millions of displaced people returning to their homes.
Since the beginning of 2022, the pace of military operations in the northeast under the Joint Task Force Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) has intensified, leading to the mass rendition of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists and their relatives. troops on different fronts.
The available record revealed that more than 82,000 terrorists and their families have surrendered so far due to the intensity of the military onslaught against them. More than 60,000 of those who surrendered did so in 2022, along with their wives and children.
The attack also led to the capture of hundreds of terrorists throughout the region.
Today, around 900 arrested terrorists are awaiting trial, while thousands of terrorists, including their commanders, collaborators and logistics providers, have been killed in ground and air operations.
The successes registered in the various operations carried out in the region by the military have facilitated the return of peace and stability in most of the northeast.
This is attested by the fact that most of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have returned to their ancestral homes while several farmlands hitherto inaccessible due to terrorist activities are now being cultivated.
According to the Theater Command, OPHK, the operations also facilitated the rescue of 11 Chibok school girls who have been held captive since 2014.
The first of the rescued girls, Jose josewas intercepted along with her son in Ngazua in Bama on June 12, followed by Maria Dauda and her son rescued in Gava in the Gwoza Local Government Area on June 14, while ruth bitus and her son escaped from the Ukuba Boko Haram terror camp in Sambisa and were rescued by troops in Bama on June 27.
On July 25, the troops also rescued two Chibok girls named kuna luka Y Hanatu Musa with their children in Aulari in the general area of Bama, while Aisha Grema who was pregnant was rescued with her four-year-old son in Bama on 21 August.
The seventh Chibok girl to be rescued was Falmata Lawal and her son on August 30, in the general area of Bama.
On September 1, 2022, troops also rescued asabe ali and her son who escaped from a terrorist camp in Gazuwa, Bama, while Chibok’s ninth girl, jinkai yama he was rescued along with three children in Bama on September 2.
Besides, Yana Pogu and her four children became the 10th Chibok girl rescued by the army in 2022, while the 11th was Rejoice Senkiwho also had two children with her.
The eleven girls rescued in 2022 were included in the list of kidnapped girls from the Chibok school with the numbers 18, 46, 41, 38, 7, 11, 3, 12, 20, 19 and 70.
Similarly, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has had a very remarkable year in 2022, flying a total of 1,398 sorties to counter insurgency and banditry across the country.
The Air Officer Commander, Special Operations Command, AVM Abubakar AbdulkadirIt said NAF had flown more than 1,950 hours during various operations between January and December in the Northeast and Northwest regions to deal with banditry and insurgency.
The NAF’s intervention in the North West led to the elimination of many top terrorist and bandit commanders, while hundreds of kidnapped citizens were rescued.
There were also mass arrests of bandit collaborators by Operation Hadarin Daji troops in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kaduna states.
Similarly, there have been several aerial bombardments by the air component of Operation Whirl Punch on many identified terrorist hideouts in Kaduna State with dozens of terrorists including their top leaders neutralized.
As the intensity of military operations increased, the Defense Headquarters declared 19 wanted terrorists in November and placed a N5 million bounty on each of them.
The wanted persons are notorious bandits and terrorists who have been terrorizing the states of Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara.
Subsequent operational activities through ground and air interdictions revealed that some of the wanted bandit kingpins were killed in Katsina and Zamfara.
In the north central, Operation Safe Haven troops also recorded many successes in kinetic and non-kinetic operations in the Plateau and part of the Kaduna states.
One of the highlights was on October 29, when troops repelled an attack by Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists on the Wawa military cantonment in the Borgu local government area of Niger.
Coordinated ground and air operations led to the death of six of the terrorists and the capture of 18 others, while their equipment was captured and destroyed.
Also in 2022, Guards Brigade troops successfully detained about 60 thugs planning to breach security in the nation’s capital on the eve of the Independence Day celebration.
However, in July there were unfortunate ambushes at the FCT in which two officers and four soldiers lost their lives, just after the attack on the Kuje Custodial Center sent panic throughout the territory.
The military and other security agencies were able to quickly bring the tense situation under control and effectively countered false terror alerts issued by the US and UK embassies in Nigeria.
To underscore the seriousness with which Nigeria views security challenges, the National Security Council met three times in July to assess the security situation and set a target for the armed forces and other security agencies. It is the first time in the country’s history that the council meets three times in one month.
The effects have been monumental in terms of the degradation of insurgents, bandits and terrorists across the country.
In the Niger Delta region, the joint military task force, codenamed Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), destroyed 37 militant camps and more than 1,883 illegal oil refining sites in the region during the year.
According to the Commander, OPDS, Rear Admiral Aminu Hassan699 suspects were arrested in an effort to secure the operations of oil and gas companies in the Niger Delta, as well as protect the people of the area.
The operations helped save more than N53 billion in crude oil, diesel, kerosene and gasoline; destroyed no less than 37 camps of militants and sea robbers and recovered 90 assorted illegal weapons and large-caliber ammunition.
In the south-east, the armed forces have continued to confront the activities of the banned Biafran Indigenous Peoples and their militant wing, the Eastern Security Network, with notable success.
Overall, the Nigerian military has largely gained the upper hand over enemies of the state across the country in 2022.
It is instructive to note that attacks on troop locations and ambushes on their convoys have also dropped dramatically over the course of the year.
These successes were driven by better joint operational planning and execution of plans by all three services, as well as better synergy with other security agencies in the country.
Intelligence gathering and sharing was also improved, as acknowledged by the Chief of Defense Intelligence, Major-Gen. Samuel Adebayo recently.
He said the agency has continued to fulfill its mandates conscientiously with positive results, adding that it prioritized the technical and communication aspects of intelligence in support of the operations and activities of the armed forces inside and outside the country.
Adebayo said that the DIA had also successfully dominated the threat environment with a mix of intelligence special operations and non-kinetic activities that registered degrees of success and continued to deny enemies of the state cohesion and capabilities to operate.
“As we continue to review our activities, in 2023 the Agency intends to refocus its technical and tactical intelligence drive across borders to maintain gains.
“So far, the result in all theaters has been significantly gratifying,” said the defense intelligence chief.