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Tribute: Borno OC SARS, the unsung hero of terror on Boko Haram

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Tribute: Borno OC SARS, the unsung hero of terror on Boko Haram
Tribute: Borno OC SARS, the unsung hero of terror on Boko Haram

Tribute: Borno OC SARS, the unsung hero of terror on Boko Haram

The war against ISIS and Al-Qaida affiliates, Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgency in the North-East Nigeria, particularly Borno State rages on after more than a decade. There are several undocumented cases of selfless bravery from individuals putting their lives on the line to make sure the terrorists don’t win.

Across different security outfits that are deployed to keep the enemies of the State subdued, an Officer and Commander of the Special Anti -Robbery Squad, Borno Command stands out – Chief Supretendent of Police(CSP), Mohammed Ibrahim.

CSP Mohammed Ibrahim was deployed to take the mantle of Leadership at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Command in Maiduguri (the Capital of Borno State ) in 2011. Since his deployment, the proactive and effective strategy and tactical operation of the dogged officer and his men have significantly impacted the fight against armed robbery kidnapping, and terrorism (Crime-terror nexus) in Maiduguri – the original enclave of Boko Haram violent activities. Confidence in the SARS positive engagement has risen within residents of the city of Maiduguri and indeed other local government areas (LGA )of the state that were hot spots of the insurgency.

The officer continues to engage in live saving operations which provides complimentary support to the Nigerian military in the counter insurgency campaign. This outstanding performance has been attributed to his deep understanding of the complexities of the asymmetric war tactics of the Boko Haram terrorists and his ever-evolving mastery of the operational tactics of fighting the insurgents with the effective use of the Armoured Personnel Carrier(APC).

His mastery of the APCs provides a tactical advantage in SARS operations. They offer enhanced protection, and enabled safer personnel deployment in high-threat areas. The APC’s internal layout is designed to accommodate a driver, commander, and eight troops. The armoured hull offers a high level of protection against Kinetic Energy (KE) penetrators, mines, Rocket Propelled Grenades, EFPs, and Improvised Explosive Devices(IED’s).

CSP Mohammed and his men have won the admiration of the local population as courageous first responders whenever and wherever terrorists lunch an attack in Maiduguri, the ‘Home of Peace’. Besides responding to attacks, the officer has led many successful offensive operations in the exclaves of Boko Haram, leading to the neutralization of hundreds of terrorists; rescue of women and children; rescue of security personnel abducted by the insurgents and recovery of large cache of arms and ammunition within the past years. These efforts have been in collaboration with the Nigerian Military under the leadership command of Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai.

In the past five years, the frontline battle against Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria has been strictly under the command of the Nigerian military – especially the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force. However, there have been occasions where the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) units have been involved in frontline activities before 2015.


On March 24th , 2012 at about 1730hrs, officers and men of the SARS squad exhibited an extraordinary act of gallantry in an operation when a group of hoodlums suspected to be Boko Haram tried to overrun Lamisula Police Division. The insurgents were dislodged and, in the process, three were killed. One machine gun with 88 rounds of live ammunition, three rocket propelled grenade, five AK-47 magazines with 27 rounds of live ammunition and one Peugeot 504 station wagon were recovered from the suspected jihadist.

On April 6th 2012, at about 2330hrs, the Commander SARS led his officers to engage in an active incident to dislodge some insurgents who attacked Dikwa Police Division. The insurgents had already loaded police properties including some weapons in the drive-away vehicle. As they were about to drive off from the premises, the SARS team from Maiduguri engaged them in a fierce battle, which lasted for several hours. Scores of the jihadist were killed and all the stolen weapons retrieved.

Five days later on the 10th April, at about 1920hrs, the same officer and his men showed an exemplary act of gallantry by responding to a distress call when a divisional police station in Banki was attacked by a group of insurgents. Three of the terrorists were killed at the end of that encounter.

On 6th September 2012, at about 2045hrs, the same team raided a Boko Haram hideout at Bukar Tella word Bama LGA where a fierce battle led to the killing of ten Boko Haram insurgents. Unfortunately, one Corporal Ibrahim Ali was killed during the encounter.

On 24th of January 2015 at about 0720hrs, the SARS team in collaboration with the military used tear gas smoke to repel Boko Haram insurgents from invading Maiduguri through the Maiduguri/ Damaturu road. The following month on February 1, 2015, at about 0500hrs a large number of insurgents attempted to invade Maiduguri through Maiduguri/ Damboa axis. They were repelled by the gallant team in coordination with the Nigerian Army by the effective deployment of tear gas smoke.

On May 7, 2013 the officer and his men exhibited another act of gallantry by dislodging more than 3,000 insurgents who invaded Bama town. The jihadist had simultaneously targeted the area Command headquarters, the divisional police headquarters, Prison Service Headquarters, army barracks and other government institutions.

Leading from the front and without concern for his own safety, the officer and his team were dispatched from Maiduguri with two APC vehicles. On their way, the insurgents had set up three ambushes against the team, undoubtedly, the officer successfully neutralised the terrorist’s advanced team and headed to face thousands of the terrorist armed with various calibre of arms.

This battle ensued for more than eight hours, resulting to massive casualties on the side of the terrorist and recovering of kidnapped police families conveyed in three vehicles. Also recovered, were the police and local government officials taken away by the insurgents as well as some of their weapons. Unfortunately, 27 police men and several soldiers were killed during the fierce encounter.

On 10/1/2013, 8/2/2013, 16/2/2013, following a tip off, SARS operatives on three occasions stormed insurgents enclaves in Bulabulin Alajari wards Maiduguri, a place used for concealment of robbed vehicles and other articles. The insurgents on sighting the teams, opened fire on them with machine guns, rockets launchers and other assault rifles.

The SARS team promptly returned fire and overran the enclave. One of the insurgents, name not known, was shot, one other named Mohammed Hassan, was arrested while others fled. The entire enclave was thoroughly searched and a total of twenty-four different make of vehicles stolen from innocent members of the public were recovered.

On January 6, 2019, The SARS team in collaboration with the IGP Intelligence Response Team apprehended 21 high profile notorious Boko Haram terrorist, responsible for all the bombings within Muna, Konduga Monday markets and other parts of Maiduguri.

On 26 December, 2019, Boko Haram militants ambushed a military convoy in North Eastern Nigeria, killing more than a dozen military and four police personnel of the SARS during raid on a nearby military base along the highway in Kukareta village, 20 km (12 miles) from Damaturu. Note that villages along the road which connects Borno and Yobe states have been badly impacted by the resurgence of Boko Haram attacks.

In a reprisal attack against the killing of the four SARS operatives, on January 21, 2020, the team had another encounter with the insurgents in large numbers at Mainok in kaga LGA. The insurgents dislodged the military from their base and made away with weapons. Two-gun trucks taken away from the military base were retrieved by the SARS teams including one other gun truck attached with Boko Haram flag.

On 13th July 2020, at about 1500hrs, Boko haram terrorists in seven-gun trucks laid ambush on military convoy and motorist along Auno Jakana Damaturu highway. Upon receiving the distress call, teams of SARS, CTU, Hunters on nipping point mobilized and moved swiftly to the scene where a camouflaged Hilux was abandoned with the body of an unidentified male. In the process of a thorough search, the following fire arms and ammunitions were recovered. Two anti-aircraft guns with 4 spare barrels, one MG with 251 Ammunitions, 8 Ak 47 with 51 7.62mm and two Magazines, and one black Jacket.

One Tata truck belonging to Nigeria army was set ablaze by the insurgents. 13 persons in a Toyota HiAce bus belonging to the Borno state government with Reg no LG 19 MAG were abducted by the insurgents. Force number 500257 Cpl Muhammed Musa attached to Yobe command narrowly escaped the attack.

On July 14, 2020, the police Counter-terrorism operatives rescued two soldiers abducted by Boko Haram fighters along Maiduguri Damaturu road and recovered several arms abandoned by the terrorist.

These incidents of bravery from men like CSP Mohammed, many others and the SARS demonstrate the importance for inter-agency coordination , communication and collaboration in the theatre of war between all security agencies – especially the Nigerian Police. Without recognising the selfless efforts and sacrifices of individuals, the effort of the entire security architecture in the North East will continue to suffer a psychological deficit.(Visited 15 times, 15 visits today)

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Troops eliminate 42 terrorists, bandits, rescue 93 victims –DHQ

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By Gistflash News

July 29, 2021

The Nigerian troops have eliminated 42 terrorists and bandits, arrested 41 and rescued 93 kidnapped victims in the Northeast, Northwest and North Central theatres of operation in the last two weeks, Defence Headquarters says.

The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, announced this while giving updates on the military operations across the country on Thursday in Abuja.

Onyeuko said that the troops of Operation Hadin Kai, had eliminated 16 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists and arrested 29 as well as rescued 40 civilians in the Northeast within the period.

He said the successes were achieved through several land and air operations which include robust clearance, ambush and road piquet operations as well as comprehensive air patrol within the theatre.

“Cumulatively, the operations led to the neutralisation of 16 BHT/ISWAPs as well as arrest of 29 of them, while 40 civilians were rescued.

“BHT and their families, five female adults and 12 children were arrested at FOB Mayanti and Darajamel on July 15.

“Troops also recovered one General Purpose Machine Gun, four AK-47 rifles, 50 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and one belt containing 296 rounds of 7.62 mm NATO ammunition, accessories for making IED among other items,’’ he said.

Onyeuko also disclosed that the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji in the North West, neutralised no fewer than 14 bandits, arrested 24 and rescued 36 victims in different locations within the theatre.

He added that troops also assisted one of the victims to deliver a baby safely during one of the encounters.

According to him, a total of seven AK-47 rifles, six motorcycles, assorted military and police uniforms, six vehicles and four machetes among other items were recovered within the period.

“Also, a total of 24 criminal elements were intercepted and arrested, including 16 bandits’ informants/collaborators and an impostor by name Faisal Saidu who paraded himself as Lance Corporal Saidu Abubakar.

“Furthermore, a total of 223 rustled livestock were recovered during the period,’’ he added.

The defence spokesperson further disclosed that troops Operation Safe Haven, successfully conducted several kinetic and non-kinetic operations in various locations in Plateau, Bauchi and Kaduna State within the period.

He said that the troops eliminated seven bandits and five armed robbers with several others escaping with gunshot wounds, while 12 were arrested within the period.

He added that a total 12 assorted rifles, a truck load of stolen railway tracks and sleepers were also recovered and 17 kidnap victims rescued in the course of the operations.

According to him, all arrested criminals and recovered items have been handed-over to appropriate prosecuting agencies for further necessary action, while rescued victims have been reunited with their families.

“Peace and security meetings were also held in various parts of the state with community heads, youth leaders and relevant stake holders.

“Troops have continued to dominate the theatre of operations with aggressive fighting and air patrols to deny criminal elements freedom of action within the theatre of operations,’’ he said.

Onyeuko said that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke, Whirl Punch and Thunder Strike, have continued to exert dominance in Benue, Nasarawa State, Kaduna State and along Abuja-Kaduna Highway to deny bandits freedom of action.

He said the troops had on July 18, tracked and arrested a notorious criminal named Mr Simon Unande, who allegedly supplied military uniforms and accoutrements to militia gangs in parts of Benue and Taraba.

NAN

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Customs seizes items worth N133m

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By Gistflash News

July 29, 2021

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) seized 124 assorted items worth N133 million in Kebbi between January and June.

The Area Comptroller, Kebbi Area Command, Hafiz Kalla, made this known on Thursday in Birnin Kebbi while briefing newsmen on the activities of the command during the period.

“The command made 124 seizures of assorted items including  2,279 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 454 packages of cannabis sativa, 1,008 bags of 50kg foreign fertilizer, 157 bales of second hand clothing, new textile materials and 12 units of used vehicles.

“The duty value of the items stands at N133.11m,’’ the comptroller said

Kalla also said that the men of the command on July 27 intercepted a tanker loaded with undocumented Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) petrol, while on routine surveillance.

“Officers and men of the command intercepted a tanker with registration number KUR152XA loaded with 60,000 PMS petroleum on Tsamiya/Illo road in Bagudo Local Government Area.

“The driver could not tender relevant documents to convince us of his destination hence he was brought to the office along with the product for further investigation.

“In the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, the matter will now be handed over to the NNPC-led operation created by the Presidency to curtail PMS diversion’’

On revenue, Kalla said that the command generated more than N5 million as fees from the auction sales of perishable and inflammable items during the period.

NAN

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Kidnapped Kaduna chief regains freedom

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By Gistflash News

July 29, 2021

The traditional ruler of Jaba in Kaduna State, Chief Jonathan Maude, has regained his freedom three days after his abduction.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 83-year-old royal father was abducted on Monday on his farm in neighbouring Nasarawa State.

A source close to the palace, who pleaded for anonymity, told NAN that the traditional ruler had returned home in “good condition’’.

NAN could not, however, confirm if any ransom was paid before his release as the kidnappers had allegedly demanded for N100 million.

When contacted, ASP Mohammed Jalige, Police spokesman in Kaduna State, confirmed the release.

The release of the traditional ruler is the latest in a series of abductions involving traditional rulers in the state in recent times.

NAN

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