Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Troops comprising of men from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce, Police, Department of State Services and other security agencies, have killed about 100 armed bandits operating in parts of Zamfara and Katsina states, according to Operation Hadari Daji (OPHD), the special security forces fighting armed banditry in the areas.
According to a press statement by the OPHD Force Information Officer, Captain Ayobami Oni-Orisan, six key commanders of the bandits were among those killed, while the troops rescued no fewer than 10 kidnapped victims, seizing an array of weapons and ammunition.
According to the statement:
“Following the recent upsurge in activities of unrepentant bandits in Zamfara State who have refused to key into the ongoing Peace Initiatives of the Zamfara State Government, Operation Hadari Daji commenced intensive kinetic operations in December 2019 against these criminal elements.
“From 16 December 2019 to 9 January 2020, OPHD troops conducted several clearance operations to smoke out and neutralize these recalcitrant bandits from their enclaves.
“So far, OPHD troops have flushed out bandits hibernating around Tashar Kuturu, Dankalgo, Gobirawa junction, Bagega, Kawaye, Duhuwa, Sabon-Birni, Dankurmi, Dangulbi, Hayin Bawa, Zango, Unguwar Shanu, Tundu Mali, Magazu, Mayanchi and Gando forest, in Anka, Talata Mafara, Tsafe, Maru and Bukkuyum Local Government areas of Zamfara State.
“Additionally, OPHD ground troops backed by the fighter jets of the Air Component also cleared Shinfida in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, neutralizing several bandits in the process.
“It is worthy of mention that during the clearance operations, OPHD troops in collaboration with the Defence Forces of Niger Republic apprehended a high-profile gunrunner named, Kunene, responsible for the inflow of arms, ammunition and other dangerous weapons to the region.
In addition, troops also apprehended three suspected bandits, Abubakar Kiri Koloma, Abubakar Ibrahim and Haruna Alhaji Yaro, and two notorious drug dealers; Kabiru Abubakar Isah and Hamisu Dan-kwanba at various locations in Zamfara State during the period.
“All the suspects have been profiled and handed over to the relevant security agencies for further interrogation and prosecution.
“It is also worthy of mention that OPHD has succeeded in ensuring that the Gusau-Sokoto, Katsina-Jibia-Zamfara, Gusau-Shinkafi-Sokoto, Kajiji-Gummi-Anka-Gusau and many other roads are safe for travellers.
“It is to be noted that this onslaught against unrepentant and recalcitrant armed bandits will continue until banditry is completely crushed and peace is restored in Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto states.
“Troops of the OPHD remain highly motivated, determined, disciplined and professional in executing this mission in line with extant Rules Of Engagement (ROE) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.”