…As Saudi Arabia pledges more humanitarian support to Nigeria***
The Nigerian Army says its troops have rescued 31 persons comprising 14 women and 17 children at Mantari, Malam Masari and Gabchari Villages in Bama Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, stated this on Monday in Abuja, even as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Adnan Bostaji says his country will continue to offer humanitarian assistance to Nigeria especially in the health Sector.
Iliyasu said that the successful ambush operation conducted by the troops of 21 Special Armoured Brigade on Dec. 4 at Darel Jamel, Bama LGA of Borno led to the rescue.
He added that the troops killed a number of Boko Haram terrorists while several others escaped with gunshot wounds during the encounter.
According to him, the combined troops of 68/94 Battalions of Operation LAFIYA DOLE also uncovered a Boko Haram enclave and engage it with devastating volumes of fire at Malam Fatori in Abadam LGA.
“Without any attempt to return fire, the cowardly criminals scampered into the nearby bushes in complete disarray.
“Subsequently, the troops immediately embarked on an exploitation of this success by pursuing them along their withdrawal route.
“During the said exploitation, troops discovered a body of one Boko Haram terrorist and further observed several trails of blood along the said route.
“Additionally, two AK47 Rifles, two AK47 Rifle magazines loaded with 30 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition each and three unexploded mortar bombs for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were captured from the insurgents.
“Other items equally captured include, one bundle of IED cable, one IED battery, one camel bag, three motorcycles, three sets of overall cloths, bedding materials, cooking utensils, food items, motorcycle spare parts, 122 cylinder tubes and various mechanical tools,” he said.
Iliyasu also disclosed that troops of 144 Battalion engaged and neutralised three insurgents at Limankara in Gwoza during a failed attempt to infiltrate the troops’ location on Dec. 3.
He added that a Boko Haram terrorist, Abba Modu, voluntarily surrendered to the troops of 3 Battalion at Gamboru in Ngala LGA on Dec. 3.
According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that he joined the sect in 2015 and was a member of Mamman Nur group.
“He also disclosed that he actively participated in rustling cattle for the sect.
“He, however, declared that he regretted his past actions and called on his former colleagues to use this opportunity to surrender to authorities so that they do not perish as sinners,” Iliyasu disclosed.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Adnan Bostaji says his country will continue to offer humanitarian assistance to Nigeria especially in the health Sector.
Bostaji made the pledge in an interview on Sunday in Abuja after receiving a Humanitarian Award for his works in Africa, a honour bestowed on him by the Nigeria Festivals of Award.
He said that the award was a translation of the humanitarian aid that Saudi was providing to Nigeria and other countries across the world.
The envoy said that in 2020, the embassy would take more of its already existing health campaign, in the area of eye treatment and eye operation to other parts of the country so that every Nigerian would benefit.
“This award means that the historical ties between both countries are very strong and it is a way to enhance the assistance more and more.
“Based on the kingdom’s interest to do more and aid the Nigerian citizens in humanitarian activities, the medical campaign has been held in Nasarawa and Oyo states.
“The bottom line is to treat eye patients with glaucoma and cataract and to do a number of operations.
“The Kingdom does not differentiate between ethnic groups of Nigeria.
“It gives everybody on the same footing and that is why very soon, we will move over to some South Eastern states to show that the Kingdom is very objective.
“We are expecting the next campaign in February and March and that would be focusing on the South Eastern states.
“The reason it has not been done yet is because the embassy has to collaborate with state governments to see which states have the proper hospitals to handle the operations and medical campaign,” Bostaji said.
He thanked organisers of the award for recognising his contributions to humanitarianism through the embassy.
According to him, the award will further spur the embassy to more assistance.
He expressed delight to be the first ambassador and foreigner to be given the award.
Speaking earlier, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) congratulated Bostaji on the award.
She praised him for his role in strengthening the bilateral ties between Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
Abike-Dabiri said that the award was a well-deserved one considering the various kind of support Nigeria had received from Saudi Arabia.
She also praised the ambassador for his role in securing the release of Zainab Aliyu, a Nigerian who was apprehended by the Saudi Arabian authorities in 2018 for alleged drug trafficking.