Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko while giving details said,the quest towards riding the North-West zone of banditry and other criminalities by troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY is yielding more successes as the troops neutralize bandits, rescued several kidnapped victims and arrested more suspected arm bandits and their collaborators in recent operations.
“On 24 August 2020, following a distress call from locals , troops arrested a suspected bandit named Lawali Dairu at Yauni village in Safana LGA of Katsina State. The suspect invaded the village alongside one Ila Musa to kidnap a woman but met strong resistance from local vigilante group in the area. However, his accomplice escaped before troops arrived the village. During investigation, the suspect confessed being an associate of a bandit leader named Mallam Yau hibernating in Tsafe forest. Concerted effort to arrest his cohorts is ongoing”.
According to him, in another development, on 25 August 2020, troops deployed at Faskari reacted to a distress call at Daudawa village about bandits attack. The gallant troops responded swiftly and pursued the fleeing bandits. In the process, the troops rescued 2 kidnapped victims and arrested one of the bandit while others escaped. The arrested bandit is undergoing interrogations.
“Relatedly, on 26 August 2020, troops on fighting patrol encountered and rescued 6 persons wandering around Tungar Kaduku Forest. Preliminary investigation revealed that they are natives of Damari village in Bakura LGA of Zamfara who were earlier kidnapped by suspected bandits in their village. 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 a bandit informant one Bello Abdulrahman around Mashaya – Anguwan Abuja area of Bena town. Preliminary investigation revealed that 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 own custody undergoing further interrogation.
Furthermore, on 27 August 2020, troops of FOB Danjibga arrested a suspected bandit named Zayyanu Kaura at Danjibga market. During investigation, suspect confessed to be working for one Yakubu, a bandit leader who lives in Dutsen Kura forest. Suspect is in custody for further action while efforts are ongoing to apprehend his group leader.
General Onyeuko also on 28 August 2020, troops deployed at Mara laid ambush on suspected bandits who attempted to invade Gobirawa village but were repelled by combine effort of troops and local vigilante. During the ambush troops made contact with the armed bandits and engaged them with heavy volume of fire neutralizing 2 of the armed bandits in the process 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. Additionally, on same day troops of FOB Bagega while on fighting patrol around Tungar Makeri Village of Anka LGA of Zamfara state rescued 2 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.
Relatedly, on 28 August 2020, troops conducted a raid operation at some identified bandits hideouts at Gamji Village. During the operation, 6 suspects were apprehended while troops recovered 1 Dane Gun, 1 Motorcycle and 2 cutlasses from the suspects. On same day, troops deployed at Zakka acting on credible intelligence arrested 3 suspected armed bandits namely Sagar Garba, Hafisu Mato and Suleiman Sada. 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.
The Army General 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