The 31 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Minna, Niger State, says it has dislodged cattle rustlers camp in Bagabaga village, located within Alawa forest, Rafi Local Government in the state, recovering 100 cows and 92 sheep.
According to a statement from the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations of the Nigerian Army, Captain Njideka Agwu, the operation was led by the Brigade Task Force Commander, Lt Col. Dzarma Zirkushu. Other items recovered include 70 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 19 cartridges of double barrel, one locally made revolver pistol, one empty AK-47 magazine, three handsets and a motorcycle.
Mrs Agwu said that Army authorities had handed over the livestock to the Chairman of the Local Government Council, in the presence of the DSS officer in charge of the council, Mr Barnabas Idzi, the representative of the Nigerian Police, Mr Lawal Yinusa and District Head Alawa, Alhaji Shehu Adamu Gajere.
She added that the aim of the operation was to get rid of banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the area, warning that the Brigade, under the leadership of Brigadier General Baba Ibrahim, would not tolerate criminal acts in the area.
“I want to categorically state that the Brigade will not condone any form of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping, rape or any form of criminality in its area of responsibility,” she said.
The Army spokesperson admonished members of the public to go about their normal business without fear of intimidation and also called on any person with useful information to report to the nearest security agency.
Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner in Niger State, Abubakar Marafa, has said that since his arrival in the last two months, there had been no single case of cattle rustling in any part of the state, while cases of kidnapping have reduced to the barest minimum.
He also said that he had warned cattle rustlers, kidnappers, armed robbers and other sundry criminals to leave Niger State, vowing that he was prepared to take the battle to their hideouts across the forest areas of the state.