The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), yesterday, said it was at the final stage of counter-terrorism and anti-banditry operations in the North West zone of the country.

Coordinator of Defence Media Operation, Major General John Enenche, who disclosed this while fielding questions from correspondents at a weekly press briefing in Abuja, said the war was at the “domination stage.”

“Encounters between the military and the terrorists are now on the low side. What it signifies is that, once there is a reduction, it means the game is changing rapidly in favour of the armed forces of Nigeria and Nigerians at large,” Enenche explained.

He noted that banditry is not a new crime in Nigeria, bandits used to call themselves local vigilantes in the past. Gen. Enenche said: “There is good news. For the past two days now, with the confidence building patrol, I have been so happy there were no encounters.

The information that keeps coming in, especially in from North West, is interesting. They will tell us where they are and when you go there, you will actually see them, and then they are being decimated. I can tell you that we are at the stage of domination now, dominating the whole area. That is quite encouraging.

“The truth of the matter is that we are succeeding. We are teaching and guiding the troops on how to identify suicide bombers, people that arm themselves with explosive devices, and how to identify bombers when they notice strange movements.

“This year, we will not talk about operations, all we are going to do is action. I will give you the necessary situation report as we are eliminating the terrorists, and dominating. In the North West, domination is on and I can assure you that since we will sustain and improve on it, banditry will go like a dream, as it is said in the Bible,” army chief said.

According to Enenche, the military does not focus on one source of surveillance or action as it has both ground and air put together, as well as other technical sources.

“We keep increasing the tempo and changing our style of operation. Whatever we did before is never good for now and what we are going to do tomorrow. We are on the table constantly planning.

“The surveillance that we maintained through air reconnaissance and intelligence is at the peak in the north, and the aggressive patrol by the land forces has made it possible for them to focus more on soft targets. We are going to ensure that this is improved upon on regular basis,” he added.

Gen. Enenche assured Nigerians that the armed forces are not leaving their troops untutored on how to identify terrorists that are on mission to attack soft target.