By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja, Aug. 31, 2020 Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have continued onslaught against banditry in the North West by killing and arresting more bandits in their latest operations across the zone, Defence Headquarters says.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, in a statement on Monday, said that more kidnapped victims were also been rescued.
Onyeuko said the troops arrested a suspected bandit named Lawali Dairu at Yauni village in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State on Aug. 24, following a distress call from locals.
He explained that the suspect and one Ila Musa invaded the village to kidnap a woman but met strong resistance from local vigilante group in the area, adding that his accomplice escaped before troops arrived the village.
According to him, the suspect confessed during investigation that he is an associate of a bandit leader, Malam Yau hibernating in Tsafe forest, adding that concerted effort was being made to arrest his cohorts.
Onyeuko also disclosed that the troops had on Aug. 25 responded to a distress call at Daudawa village in Faskari about bandits’ attack leading to rescue of two kidnapped victims, arrest of one bandit while others escaped.
He further said that troops on fighting patrol on Aug. 26 encountered and rescued six persons wandering around Tungar Kaduku Forest who were discovered to be kidnapped victims from Damari village of Zamfara.
According to him, they also revealed that their escape was possible due to intense pressure by troops presence and operational activities in the area.
“The rescued victims were immediately reunited with their families.
“Similarly, on same day troops deployed at FOB Bena arrested a suspected bandit informant one Bello Abdulrahman around Mashaya – Anguwan Abuja area of Bena town.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was responsible for giving out information to bandits on troops movement and identifying persons to be kidnapped for ransom in Bena general area.
“Further investigation reveals that the suspect has strong connections with Rosha, Sadi Kaboru, Musa Dan Umoru and Dogo Gide who are notorious bandits in the area.
“The suspect is in custody undergoing further interrogation,” he said.
The operations spokesperson further disclosed that troops of FOB Danjibga arrested a suspected bandit named Zayyanu Kaura at Danjibga market on Aug. 27.
He said that the suspect confessed to be working for one Yakubu, a bandit leader who lives in Dutsen Kura forest, adding that the suspect was in custody for further action while efforts are ongoing to apprehend his group leader.
According to him, troops deployed at Mara laid ambush on suspected bandits who attempted to invade Gobirawa village on Aug. 28 with the support of the local vigilante.
“During the ambush troops made contact with the armed bandits and engaged them with heavy volume of fire neutralising two of the bandits while others escaped with gunshot wounds as traces of blood were seen on their withdraw route.
“During exploitation, troops also recovered one AK-47 Rifle and one Motorcycle from the fleeing bandits.
“On the same day troops on fighting patrol around Tungar Makeri Village of Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara, rescued two kidnapped victims who escaped from Gobirawa forest due to the activities of troops in the general area.
“The victims were immediately reunited with their families in Dahuwa and Sabon Birni villages,” he added.
Onyeuko also said the troops conducted a raid operation at some identified bandits’ hideouts at Gamji village on Aug. 28 leading to arrest of six suspects and recovery of one dane gun, one motorcycle and two cutlasses.
He added that troops deployed at Zakka also arrested three suspected bandits namely, Sagar Garba, Hafisu Mato and Suleiman Sada, acting on credible intelligence.
According to him, suspects were identified by locals to be members of a syndicate terrorizing the general area.
“During preliminary investigation the suspects confessed their involvements in recent cattle rustling activities at Kwaya, Sabon Birni and Baure villages.
“All arrested suspects are undergoing investigation while effort is ongoing to apprehend other criminals in the general area.
“To this end, the gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY are commended for the successes achieved and their commitment to duty.
“They are further urged not to rest on their oars until Northwest is rid of all forms of criminalities, while the good people of the Northwest are once more assured of troops commitment to safety of lives and property within the zone.
“They are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information that will assist them in the operation,” he said.