The Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services on Friday successfully averted a planned attack on Gezawa Local Government Area of Kano State by Boko Haram.
On the same day, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned of a food crisis that may affect no fewer than 2.6 million Nigerians in Borno, Sokoto and Zamfara states, mainly due to the activities of terror groups.
A statement, signed by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the Boko Haram members apprehended Friday were getting ready to unleash a major terror on Kano State before they were arrested.
During the operation, the security agencies recovered from the terrorists, five AK 47 Rifles, five AK 47 Rifle Magazines, one Rocket Propelled Gun (RPG), five RPG Bombs, six Hand Grenades, five pairs of Desert Camouflage Uniforms, 10 pairs of magazine pouches and some Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making materials.
The statement read, “Joint troops of the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services have successfully averted an imminent attack on Kano by insurgents. In a dawn raid operation carried out on the terrorists’ hideout in the early hours of today Friday 3 November 2023, (yesterday) troops of 3 Brigade Nigerian Army in close cooperation with the Department of State Services conducted a well-coordinated raid operation in Gezawa Local Government Area of Kano State.
“The operation was aimed at uncovering and apprehending suspected Boko Haram Terrorists believed to be planning a major operation in Kano State.
“Consequently, the troops swiftly swung into action and apprehended two BHT suspects, who are now in custody.”
Onyema Nwachukwu noted that the successful execution of the operation showed the cooperation between the two agencies.
Nwachukwu urged citizens to help the security operatives with timely information on the activities of criminal elements.
“The interagency cooperation between the Nigerian Army and other security agencies as exemplified in the conduct of this operation, is a testament to the strength of our collective resolve to defeat insurgency and other security challenges.
“We entreat members of the public to be vigilant and collaborate with the Nigerian Army and other security agencies by providing timely and credible information that could aid in the ongoing operations to curb insecurity,” the statement added.
FAO Warns of Food Crisis in Borno, Sokoto and Zamfara
The Food and Agriculture Organisation says no fewer than 2.6 million Nigerians in Borno, Sokoto and Zamfara states including the FCT may face a food crisis between June and August 2024.
FAO country representative, Dominique Kouacou, disclosed this yesterday at the presentation of the October to November round of the Cadre Harmonise food security and early warning analysis in Abuja.
Kouacou was represented by Dr Abubakar Suleiman, Assistant FAO representative, Programme.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the CH analysis was conducted in 26 states and the FCT to ascertain the food security situation and make projections for the future.
According to Kouacou, the current cycle is happening after an unusually lean season, which witnessed several shocks, ranging from persistent insecurity situations like insurgency, and banditry.
He listed other challenges as natural resource-based conflicts, high cost of food and agricultural inputs due to high inflation, and severe dry spells in some states immediately after the onset of rains.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said the analysis was conducted and validated by highly skilled professionals of the CH analysis task force over the past two weeks.
The permanent secretary, who was represented by Mrs Fausat Lawal, Director of Special Duties, said the results of the cycle of Cadre Harmonise analysis were coming at a time when government at all levels was leaving no stone unturned in reinvigorating the nation’s economy.
He said though the challenges were daunting, they were surmountable, adding that several factors seemed to be negating the ministry’s efforts.
“Notable among them are the lingering negative impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and the Russia-Ukraine war which is currently disrupting the food systems and spiking up input prices and food prices.
“The removal of petroleum subsidy has further heightened this pressure, resulting in food inflation and increases in the consumer price index,” he said.
He said that environmental and human factors such as climate change, displacements due to insecurity and seasonal flooding regime had all remained recurrent concerns.
Umakhihe said that the disruptions had implications on food consumption patterns and the attendant high use of irreversible coping strategies among a sizable population of Nigeria.
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja and Ahmad Sorondinki in Kano