Nigerian Army Will Be Ruthless With Bandits, Cattle Rustlers, Others – Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-general Tukur Buratai addresses officers in Katsina State.

 

The Nigerian Army has extended its operation to curb the activities of bandits, cattle rustlers, gunrunners, and other criminals in the North-West with a promise to go tough on the outlaws.

Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Nigerian Army announced this on Saturday in Faskari, Katsina State while speaking to journalists from the state and neighbouring Zamfara.

“Be rest assured that the troops are determined to deal decisively with any criminal element not only in the Northwest but also across the country,” he said.

‘Operation Sahel Sanity’, launched amid an upsurge in crime particularly the activities of bandits, rustlers, kidnappers, and gunrunners, will now continue until December.

 

 

The army boss, however, believes determination on the part of the army alone will not be enough to stop the criminal activities which have resulted in the loss of scores of lives in the region and sparked outrage over time.

To him, it would take more support from the people of the region who he said had already provided tremendous support for the army – leading to the killing of hundreds of bandits and arrest of hundreds more including their allies.

“I already said it that these people don’t come from the skies they are within us and most of the arrests that have been made in the towns and villages, they have relations in those communities and they visit them,” he said.

“As soon as we stop shielding these criminals, the sooner we will get the insecurity resolved in all our societies. We have so far improved on our intelligence gathering.”

 

In order to expose such criminals, Buratai expects people to disregard their relationship with them “no matter how tight and close” the relationship may be.

“Otherwise these criminals will one day turn against them,” he warned.

 

Successes

 

Since the army launched Operation Sahel Sanity it has announced successes several times and the army boss is impressed with the progress made so far.

His visit to Katsina is to access the progress of the operation, especially in Katsina and Zamfara states where the Special Army Super Camp is located, from where the operation is coordinated.

“I am impressed with the brief I had this afternoon with the level of commitment, dedication, and loyalty of the troops,” he said.

Under the operation, the army boss added, “The troops have shown courage and determination to resolve the security challenge that has bedevilled the region.

“They tamed to the barest minimum, the issues of kidnapping, cattle Rustling, armed banditry, and gunrunning across the border among others.”

He, however, does not want the army to slow down and decided to extend the operation to ensure that “the desired result is achieved”.

Apart from acknowledging the troops and the people of the region for their support so far, Buratai praised members of the press in Katsina and Zamfara states.

“Their reportage, commentaries, and general assessment have been quite encouraging,” he said.

On Saturday, September 5, 2020, that army announced that troops of Operation Sahel Sanity had over two months killed 100 armed bandits, arrested 148 of them, and recovered about 4,000 cattle.

In addition to that, a total of 3,984 cows, 1,627 sheep/rams, and three camels were recovered while 148 suspected bandits were arrested along with 315 illegal armed miners.

Eight Killed, Others Missing As Gunmen Attack Kaduna Communities

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

No fewer than eight people have been killed by gunmen suspected to be bandits across five local government areas in Kaduna state.

The gunmen were said to have attacked Kajuru, Chikun, Giwa, Kauru, and Igabi local government areas in the early hours of Sunday.

Channels Television gathered that in Kajuru, gunmen invaded the Buda community and opened fire on the residents, killing three people, while many others sustained various degrees of injury.

It was also gathered that another middle-aged was hacked to death by unknown persons in the area.

Meanwhile, some unconfirmed number of people were said to have been abducted from their homes during the operations in various communities in the area.

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In the other local governments, the gunmen also killed four people, while some other residents have been declared missing.

Attacks, An Act Of Criminality

Shortly after the attacks, the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, condemned the act, describing the incidents as actions of criminality and sheer evil.

A statement by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Sunday, said the Governor received briefs on the situations in Kidandan, Rigachikun, Kuyanbana, Buruku general area, and also Buda, within the five LGAs listed, and condoled with families who lost their loved ones in the attacks.

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai. Photo: Twitter

 

The statement explained that despite the recent attacks, the Kaduna State Government will continue to work with security agencies in the ongoing operations against bandits, being coordinated by the Defence Headquarters.

He urged communities to strongly stand together and confront criminality.

The governor noted that bandits should not be allowed to inflict such pain and then have their actions divide their victims along religious and ethnic lines.

“This criminality is an attack on our unity and collective well-being. Government condoles with the families that lost their loved ones to the sheer criminality of the bandits. Security agencies have been directed to double up and intensify operations against bandits and raids on their hideouts.”

The Governor, however, welcomed the peace pact between Dangoma, Takau, and Zikpak communities in Jema’a local government area.

He described the move as a step towards restoring peace and charged the communities to uphold their obligations in the agreement to secure peace and advance development in the state.

100 Bandits Killed, 107 Victims Rescued In North West Since July – Military

A photo released by the military on September 5, 2020, shows some soldiers riding on motorbikes during an operation in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

At least 100 armed bandits have been killed in various parts of the North West by troops of Operation Sahel Sanity in the last two months, the military has said.

The Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, disclosed this on Saturday at a press briefing in Katsina State.

He explained that the operation was aimed at supporting Operation Hadarin Daji to curb the activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers, and other criminals in the region.

Onyeuko revealed that during the series of search and rescue operations conducted between July 1 and September 4, troops rescued 107 kidnapped victims.

He added that the soldiers arrested 148 suspected bandits and 315 illegal armed miners, as well as nabbed 20 bandits’ informants and collaborators, six arms suppliers, 13 rustled cattle marketers, and 32 bandits’ logistics suppliers.

The military spokesman noted that 3,984 rustled cows, 1,627 sheep and rams, and three camels were recovered.

In this photo released by the military on September 5, 2020, troops burn a hideout of bandits in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

He said a large cache of arms and ammunition were recovered, including 43 AK47 rifles, one GPMG, and 100 Dane guns, among other weapons.

According to him, 81 bandits’ camps, including the notorious Dangote Triangle and their logistics bases were destroyed by troops, while 74 bandit attacks and 54 kidnap incidents were foiled withing the period under review.

Read the full text of Onyeuko’s briefing below:

GENERAL UPDATE ON THE ACTIVITIES OPERATION SAHEL SANITY FROM 1 JULY – 4 SEPTEMBER 2020

Sequel to the official commencement of Operation Sahel Sanity in July 2020, as part of activities of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2020 at the Nigerian Army Special Super Camp IV Faskari in Katsina State, the Operation has in no small measure affected the economic life of the people of the north-west zone of the country positively.

The operation was aimed at supporting Operation Hadarin Daji to stem the tide of the activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers, incessant killings, and other sundry crimes in the zone.

These acts of criminalities orchestrated by the bandits have been curbed and reduced to its lowest ebb, thanks to the relentless efforts of the troops of Operation Sahel Sanity.

There is no gainsaying that the hitherto crippled agricultural, social and economic lives of the people of this zone by bandits’ activities have been restored to normalcy.

The above assertion was corroborated during the visits of the Chairmen of the Committees on Army in the National Assembly, Executive Governors, and a host of prominent Traditional Rulers from the north-west zone of the country during their official visits to the Headquarters of Operation Sahel Sanity at the Nigerian Army Special Super Camp IV Faskari Katsina State from 7-14 August 2020.

A photo released by the military on September 5, 2020, shows some arms and ammunition recovered from bandits in Nigeria’s north-west.

 

During the visits, they lauded the efforts of the Nigerian Army in their quest to rout out all forms of criminality in the zone. They attested to the fact that normal life has indeed returned to the zone as farming, economic and social life of the people are being carried out without any form of hindrance and molestation by criminal elements.

The tremendous successes achieved since the operation started could not have been possible without the sacrifice, commitment, and gallantry exhibited by the professional soldiers of the Nigerian Army, some of whom have paid the supreme price within the period under review.

The gallant troops of Operation Sahel Sanity, within this period, carried out a series of clearance operations, ambushes, and other aggressive and confidence-building patrols.

Also, farm and highway patrols were carried out within Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, and Zamfara States, thus boosting the confidence of the people in carrying out their daily activities.

These operations have most importantly led to the rescue of kidnapped victims, recovery of rustled cattle, the arrest of suspected armed bandits and their collaborators, smashing of local and international illegal arms syndicates and illegal armed miners.

A photo released by the military on September 5, 2020, shows some suspects arrested by troops in the North West.

 

Furthermore, there were recoveries of a large cache of arms and ammunition, as well as recovery of motorcycles and dislocation of bandits’ logistics network within the period.

So far, in all the operations conducted, 100 armed bandits were neutralised, a total of 3,984 cows, 1,627 sheep/rams, and three camels recovered, 148 suspected bandits, and 315 illegal armed miners were arrested.

Furthermore, a large cache of arms and ammunition were recovered, which include 43 AK47 rifles, one GPMG and 100 Dane guns, 3,261 rounds of 7.62mm (special), and 151 live cartridges of ammunition.

In all the search and rescue operations carried out, 107 kidnapped victims were rescued, 20 bandits informants and collaborators, six arms suppliers, 13 rustled cattle marketers, and 32 bandits logistics suppliers were arrested.

Also, a total of 81 bandits’ camps, including the notorious Dangote Triangle and their logistics bases were destroyed by troops of Operation Sahel Sanity. Relatedly, 74 bandit attacks and 54 kidnap incidents were foiled by the troops.

The gallant troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have continued to dominate all the volatile areas with confidence building patrols, ambushes, and clearance operations to deny the bandits and other criminal elements freedom of action.

Consequently, the troops of Operation Sahel Sanity are hereby commended for their gallantry, sacrifices, successes, and the professionalism exhibited within the short period of Operation.

A photo released by the military on September 5, 2020, shows some arms and ammunition recovered from bandits in Nigeria’s north-west.

 

They are also urged not to rest on their oars but build on the achievements recorded so far.

The people of the north-west zone of the country are also appreciated for their cooperation in providing credible information for the success of the operation.

They are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with actionable information that would aid the desired goal of the operation.

They are further reassured of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to restoring total peace in the zone and indeed the whole country.

The entire press family both in this zone and across the country are also appreciated for their professionalism, patriotism, commitment in our quest to restoring peace and normalcy in the north-west zone of our dear country.

Finally, I thank you most sincerely for coming to this press briefing. I wish you all journey mercies back to your respective destinations.

God bless.

BENARD ONYEUKO

Brigadier General

Ag Director

Defence Media Operations

5 September 2020

Security Operatives Repel Bandits On Kaduna-Abuja Expressway

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

Security operatives have successfully repelled armed bandits who opened fire on motorists along the Kaduna-Abuja Road in the northern part of the country.

The assailants were engaged in a gunfight with troops of the Nigerian Army and personnel of the Nigeria Police deployed on the expressway.

Mr Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna, confirmed this in a statement on Friday.

The commissioner who visited the scene disclosed that the incident occurred in the afternoon near the Olam Feeds Company.

He explained that those who were injured were immediately referred to a specialist hospital for comprehensive medical attention.

Aruwan added that security forces – both ground and air – have gone after remnants of the armed bandits in the adjoining forest.

“The Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has been briefed on the development,” he stated.

According to the commissioner, the governor praised the security personnel for their exceptional courage and bravery in repelling the armed bandits.

He wished the injured personnel and motorists speedy recovery and praised medical personnel at the Olam Clinic for stabilising the injured.

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai. Photo: Twitter

 

Governor El-Rufai gave an assurance that the state government would continue to partner with security agencies in the battle against bandits and criminals.

The incident followed air strikes conducted by the air component of Operation Thunder Strike during which several armed bandits were killed, and their camps disrupted in the Kuduru and Kwaimbana forest areas of the state.

This was achieved through separate air strikes carried out on 2 and 3 September 2020 on the heels of credible intelligence reports indicating that the 2 locations were being used as staging areas by the bandits.

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, noted in a statement that the feat was recorded in separate airstrikes carried out on Wednesday and Thursday following credible intelligence reports indicating that the two locations were being used as staging areas by the bandits.

NAF Neutralises Bandits In Kaduna

12 Bandits, Killed 15 Victims Rescued In North-West – NAF
A file photo of a military helicopter.

 

The Nigerian Air Force special Operation Thunder Strike, has neutralised several armed bandits at the Kuduru and Kwaimbana forest areas of Kaduna State.

According to a statement by the coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, this was achieved through separate air strikes carried out on the 2nd and 3rd of September 2020 on the basis of credible intelligence reports.

Major General Enenche went on to say that the attack on the Kuduru forest hideout was executed after aerial reconnaissance missions observed significant number of armed bandits around some compounds in a small settlement within the forest.

Consequently, the air component dispatched Nigerian Air Force (NAF) jets and helicopter gunships to attack the location.

“The attack aircraft took turns in strafing the target area leading to the neutralization of several of the bandits as well as damage to their dwellings.

“At the Kwaimbana Forest, where some bandits were seen along with many rustled cattle around some huts and makeshift structures, the NAF jets and helicopter gunships engaged the area in successive passes, taking out some of the bandits,” the statement read in part.

 

At Least 17 Killed By Suspected Bandits In Niger State

 

At least 17 persons are feared killed by bandits in Dukku community in Rijau local government area of Niger State.

Eyewitnesses said the attackers stormed the community at about 7:00 pm on Wednesday, and also attacked a bank at Kagara in Rafi local government area.

The attackers were said to have laid ambush on the community for several hours before unleashing mayhem on the people.

Those killed were mostly members of the local vigilante group in the area who had attempted to combat the gunmen but were overpowered.

A resident of the community told Channels Television via Telephone conversation that the bandits numbering over 120 stormed the community on bikes with sophisticated weapons.

Confirming the incident to Channels Television, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Muhammed Sani Idris however said people were killed, but that the casualty figure was yet to be ascertained.

RELATED: Tension In Niger Community As Suspected Bandits Attack Bank

“Many people were killed quite okay. But, we cannot tell the exact number of persons that were killed. We are still trying to gather more facts on the incident, and as soon as we have an official figure, I would communicate to you,” Idris said in a telephone conversation with our reporter in Minna the Niger State capital.

Meanwhile, Governor Abubakar Bello in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel-Berje, on Thursday, has appealed to residents of Kagara to remain calm, assuring that the government is deploying resources at its disposal to ensure the protection of their lives and property.

According to the Governor, “No responsible government will fold its arms and allow law-abiding and innocent citizens to be mauled down.”

The Governor acknowledged the enormity of the security challenges facing the state but assured the people that the state in active collaboration with President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies remain undaunted in its war against the lower societal elements making life miserable for the people.

The Governor commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives in the attack and prayed for a speedy recovery for the injured victims.

He solicited the cooperation of the people for their useful information to the security agencies, assuring them that their identity will be kept confidential.

Similarly, the Police in Niger State confirmed the killing of 11 persons in Wednesday’s attack at Kagara in Rafi local government area of the state.

Commissioner of Police Adamu Usman gave the confirmation shortly after visiting the area with some of his men.

He said six of the attackers were killed by policemen during the incident on Wednesday.

Usman however revealed that a policeman, a private security guard, a local vigilante, and one resident were gunned down by the gunmen, while a boy died from shock.

Speaking on the attack on the bank, CP Usman said the attackers were unable to gain access to the bank due to heavy firepower from the Policemen who scared the attackers away.

Tension In Niger Community As Suspected Bandits Attack Bank

APC Candidate Wins Niger East Senatorial Seat
A map of Niger, a state in north-central Nigeria.

 

Gunmen suspected to be bandits have attacked the First Bank branch in Kagara, a community in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

Eyewitnesses said scores of armed men riding on motorcycles stormed the area at about 6pm on Wednesday and started shooting into the air before heading for the bank.

They added that many residents in the area sustained varying degrees of injury from gunshots and a yet-to-be-ascertained number of people were feared killed.

A traditional title holder in Kagara told Channels Television that members of the local vigilante group in the area had attempted to combat the assailants, but they were overpowered by the gunmen.

He started hearing the gunshots a short while after returning home, initially believing they were from the vigilante group in the area.

But when the shots persisted he suspected something was amiss. A phone call he received not long after confirmed what was going on.

Asked about the reaction of the police to the attack, and the situation around 8pm, he said, “The personnel we have cannot confront them (the attackers) as a matter of fact. Apart from the fact that they are many, they have more weapons.”

In addition to the firepower the attackers had, he said they positioned themselves  in strategic locations and acted in an organised manner.

Chief Imam’s Son, Two Others Kidnapped In Ogun Community
File photo of a gunman wearing bullets.

 

The source said details about the casualty figures were not clear but they were casualties on both side.

“I think one (of the attackers) was even captured alive,” he said. “I know of four people that were shot but not fatally… one on the arm, one on the leg, but the other two, I can’t tell where they were shot.”

He said a fighter jet from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had helped to repel the attack.

“When it started, we made some calls and an Air Force jet came. So that rattled them,” he said. If we have been having this kind of support as we have with the Air Force, I am telling you this thing (the attacks) would be a thing of the past.”

A message from a missionary in the area during the attack said a police station was also attacked.

“Sir, this evening at 6pm, bandits attacked Kagara town, killed six people in the bank, and attacked a police station.

“Please pray and ask our brethren to also pray for us. My family is in the bush now,” the message read.

It is unclear how much was stolen from the bank by the attackers and efforts to speak with the police authorities in Niger were unsuccessful.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Wasiu, did not pick his calls or respond to messages sent to his phone.

In recent times, Kagara and many other communities in Rafi LGA have come under serious security threats by bandits.

 

Southern Kaduna Indigenes Commend Govt For Effort To Tackle Bandit Attacks

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has commended the Federal Government for the deployment of troops to communities that were attacked by gunmen in the area.

At least five local government areas in the region have been under heavy attacks by gunmen and suspected ethnic militias since the beginning of the year.

Many lives and property worth millions of naira have been lost while many households were displaced as a result of the attacks.

In a statement on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Luka Binniyat, SOKAPU noted that with the additional deployment of soldiers to the troubled communities, the villagers have started returning and many of them, who could afford to rebuild their homes, have begun to do so.

It thanked the Commander of Operation Safe Haven for the recent fast response of troops to distress calls from communities under attack or threat of attacks, unlike in the past.

The union gave an assurance that the people of Southern Kaduna would shun any action that would be inimical to the good image, wellbeing and peace of the area, without compromising their rights to self-preservation within the law.

It also appealed to youths of the region not to initiate any act that could be interpreted as violent to anyone trespassing on any farmland, but to report such incidents to the relevant constituted authorities.

A photo of some vehicles and motorcycles burnt by bandits in Kaduna State in March 2020.

 

Part of the statement read, “SOKAPU assured the OPSH commander that with no other alternative place or land to fall back to, Southern Kaduna indigenes are much more desirous of peace than any other party.

We also used the opportunity to thank him for the recent fast response rate of his troops to distress calls from communities under attack or the threat of attacks, unlike in the past. We also noted his humanitarian assistance to all parties in Southern Kaduna as exceptional.

Again, we showed appreciation with his deployment of large numbers of troops to Zangan District, in Atakad Chiefdom, Kaura LGA which eight communities had been totally displaced since last year and occupied by armed herdsmen.

We acknowledged reports reaching us that the villagers have started returning and many of them, who can afford it, are rebuilding their homes.

Based on the above, we requested that other displaced communities in four LGAs of Southern Kaduna should also be assisted to return home.

We then gave him a list of the remaining occupied villages in our report and called for urgent actions to retrieve the occupied lands and bring culprits to justice

With this, thousands who may wish to return home cannot, because their homes have been completely ruined. Also, hundreds of hectares farmlands of affected communities have been ravaged by cattle on the loose.

We also have thousands living under subhuman conditions in various IDPs or at homes of relations. We are, therefore, calling for assistance from the government, NGOs and good spirited individuals for building materials, food, medicine, and any form of aid that will improve the situation of the victims.

Military Arrests 150 Suspected Bandits, Others In North West

A photo released by the military on August 25, 2020, shows some of the guns recovered from the suspects.

 

Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have arrested 150 suspected bandits, kidnappers, and cattle rustlers among others in the north-west region of the country.

The Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, disclosed this at a press briefing held on Tuesday at the newly established Special Army Super Camp ‘4’ Faskari in Katsina State.

He revealed that the suspects were arrested on different days while troops also recovered 20 locally fabricated Dane guns.

According to the military spokesman, a well-coordinated intelligence-based operation led to the raid of an illegal mining site which also serves as bandits’ hideout located along Gadan Zaima – Zuru Road in Bukuyyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

He noted that one of the suspects was killed while trying to escape, adding that banditry has been financed through illegal mining activities.

Onyeuko said explained that troops on fighting patrol encountered three bandits on motorcycles at Maigalma village in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State while attempting to attack innocent residents on Saturday last week.

A photo of some arms recovered from suspects arrested by troops.

 

He explained that a bandit was killed in the process, adding, “the troops recovered one AK-47 rifle, one AK-47 rifle magazine loaded with five rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and two motorcycles from the fleeing bandits.”

“Also, on 21 August 2020, troops acting on actionable intelligence raided a known bandit hideout around Dogon Karfe village in Bakura LGA of Zamfara. During the operation, four Dane guns and one loaded magazine were recovered by the troops in an abandoned structure.

“Same day, following credible intelligence, troops deployed at Wagini village arrested a wanted notorious bandit named Isuhu Ibrahim (aka Bula) who in the company of other bandits have been terrorising the general area for a while,” the brigadier general stated.

He said all arrested suspects were undergoing preliminary investigation and would soon be handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies for further action.

The military spokesman thanked the people of the North West for their support, saying the successes achieved so far would not have been possible without their cooperation.

He, however, urged them to continue to support the security agencies with timely and actionable intelligence that would assist the troops in their operations.

Three Soldiers Killed In Shootout With Bandits

A file photo of some ammunition recovered from suspects on July 29, 2020.

 

Three soldiers have paid the supreme price when a team of security operatives engaged armed bandits in Niger State.

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, confirmed this a state statement on Monday.

He explained that the incident occurred as troops of Operation Whirl Punch continued the aggressive clearance operation to rid criminal elements out of the north-central region of the country.

Enenche insisted that the soldiers have recorded tremendous success against armed bandits in the region.

He stated that following credible intelligence on the activities of bandits at Tashan Kare in Niger, troops swiftly mobilised to the scene and made contact with the criminals.

According to him, the armed bandits were engaged with superior firepower by troops, leading to the death of an unspecified number of bandits while others fled in disarray into the bushes.

Apart from the three soldiers who were killed during the gunfight, two others were wounded in action.

“Exploitation is ongoing. The Military High Command congratulates the gallant troops for their professionalism and encourages them to intensify the onslaught against the enemies of our country,” the statement said.

’17 Cows Recovered’: Military Details Recent Successes Against Bandits In North-West

A file photo of Nigerian soldiers sitting on a military pick-up truck at a military base.
A file photo of Nigerian soldiers sitting on a military pick-up truck at a military base.

 

The Nigerian Military on Thursday outlined some of its recent successes against bandits roaming the country’s North-West region.

In a press statement signed by acting spokesman Bernard Onyeuko, the military said its Operation Sahel Sanity have recovered cattle and arrested suspected bandits in the past few days.

“The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has commended the troops for their gallantry, successes and their resilience,” Onyeuko said in his statement.

“He urges them not to rest on their oars. He further assured the people of the North-West zone of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to the safety of lives and properties within the zone.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked the military to do better in securing the North-East region from bandits amid calls for the replacement of security Service Chiefs.

 

READ THE MILITARY’S FULL STATEMENT:

PRESS RELEASE

OPERATION SAHEL SANITY: TROOPS NEUTRALIZE BANDIT, ARREST BANDITS’ INFORMANTS AND RECOVER SEVERAL CATTLE IN NORTH WEST

1. In line with the efforts to achieve the mandate of eliminating bandits and other criminals in the North West zone of the country, the gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY have recorded more successes in the on going operation.

2. On 5 August 2020, troops deployed in Batsari LGA of Katsina State foiled a coordinated bandits attack on residents of Zamfarawa Kagara village in the State. The bandits invaded the village and stole several cows but while attempting to escape with them, troops arrived the vicinity and engaged the bandits, neutralized one, while others escaped with gunshot wounds. All the rustled cows were successfully recovered and handed to their rightful owners.

3. Similarly, On 6 August 2020, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Dangulbi arrested a suspected bandit informant named Rabiu Salisu, the suspect was arrested following credible information on his nefarious activities with bandits operating in the area. Also, troops deployed at the Forward Operations Base Bagega arrested two bandits’ collaborators named Sani Sani and Sani Abubakar who were reported to be specialists in selling of bandits’ stolen cows and other items. They were arrested while butchering a cow for sale and have since confessed to collecting it from the bandits during interrogation.

4. Furthermore, troops recovered 17 cows from suspected cattle rustlers at Dogon Ruwa village. The cows were recovered from suspected bandits who abandon them and fled as troops storm the village following information of their activities from reliable sources.

5. In another development, troops on fighting patrol arrested a suspected bandit’s informant and logistics supplier named Saifullahi Adamu at Garin Dodo village in Katsina State, the suspect was arrested following credible information about his elicit engagements with suspected bandits. His wife Mrs Hauwa Abubakar also alleged that the suspect forcefully married her, whereas bandits whom her husband associates with usually accuse her of reporting their activities to security agencies thereby subjecting her to several abuses. Mrs Hauwa was rescued from her husband and has been handed over to the Katsina State Government while the suspect is in own custody for further interogation.

6. Similarly, on the 7 August 2020, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Anka while on patrol arrested 2 suspected bandits’ couriers named Abdulrazi and Ismaila at Malamawa village in Anka LGA of Zamfara State in connection with butchering and selling of stolen cows. Furthermore, troops arrested another 3 suspected bandits’ couriers named Hassan Mallam, Kabiru Ahmadu and Surajo Muhammadu of Sabon Birni and Munhaye villages at Pasawa-Magami Road of Zamfara State. All the suspects are presently undergoing investigation.

7. Additionally, on the 7 August 2020 troops deployed at Tsafe LGA of Zamfara State responded to information on the activities of cattle rustlers and quickly mobilized to the area. The criminals abandoned their loot on sensing approaching troops who recovered 8 cattles in the process which were immediately handed over to their rightful owners. Also, same day troops arrested a suspected bandit named Sabiu Sani. Investigations revealed that suspect was previously arrested by vigilante group but escaped from custody. In another operation following a tip-off troops deployed in Faskari equally arrested 5 suspected bandits in a blue Hyundai car with registration number Katsina 107 BAK. The suspects are presently undergoing interrogation.

8. Furthermore, on 8 August 2020, troops arrested one suspected cattle rustler named Sallahu Rabiu at Natsinta Village with 3 rustled cows. Suspect confessed to have been operating with a gang of cattle rustlers. Efforts are ongoing to apprehend other members of his gang. Also, troops deployed at Wagini arrested a suspected bandit name Usman Suleiman. The suspect was apprehended after being sighted by the eagle eyed troops while trying to sneak into the village from the forest in search of food. He admitted to be part of a bandit group terrorizing Batsari general area.

9. On 9 August 2020, troops deployed at Mara arrested 2 suspected bandits named Jamilu Mani and Aminu Lawal along Danmusa – Runka Road, suspected were identified to be notorious bandits terrorizing the area. In the same vain, troops deployed at Bingi while on patrol arrested a suspected bandit and impostor named Sani Saidu wearing a police uniform with the name tag bearing “ James Oname”. Preliminary investigation revealed that James Oname a Police Sergeant was killed in 2015 by bandits at Tunga Rakumi in Maru LGA of Zamfara State. The suspect is undergoing further interrogation. Relatedly, same day troops on clearance patrol destroyed 8 major bandits camps owned by notorious bandits leader known as Abu-Radde at Lebi Fulani Areas in Batsari LGA of Katsina. Troops during the operation recovered 4 dane guns and other items.

10. In another development, On 10 August 2020, troops deployed at Yarsanta while on routine patrol intercepted a kidnapped escapee named Auwal Yusuf wandering aimlessly along Yarsanta-Kabuge general area. The victim was promptly rescued by the troops and taken to safety. Similarly troops on patrol encountered suspected bandits with rustled cows along Bagega – Sabon Birni, bandits opened fire on sighting the troops but fled into the bushes as troops responded with superior firepower. During exploitation, troops found traces of blood along bandits escape route while 12 cows were recovered by the troops.

11. Also, on 11 August 2020, troops at Forward Operation Base Yar Gamji in Batsari while conducting farm patrol arrested a suspected bandit named Ibrahim Musa. During preliminary interrogation, the suspect confessed to be on a spy mission and a member of a bandit group led by one criminal named Danladi Dahiru hiding in Dumburum forest. Same day, troops arrested a suspected bandit named Bello Haliru along Batsari – Sawara Road following a deligent tracking by the troops. Suspect was identified to be a notorious bandit who escaped from vigilante custody during a previous arrest.

12. Consequently, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has commended the troops for their gallantry, successes and their resilience. He urges them not to rest on their oars. He further assured the people of the North-West zone of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to the safety of lives and properties within the zone.

13. Kindly disseminate this information through your medium with attached photographs to the general public. Thank you for your usual cooperation.

BENARD ONYEUKO
Acting Director
Defence Media Operations
13 August 2020.

Security Operatives Apprehend Suspected Bandits Terrorising Southern Kaduna

 

Security operatives in a bid to curtail attacks and isolated killings in Southern Kaduna have arrested some bandits and criminals suspected to be members of gangs disturbing the area.

The Sector Commander of Operation Safe Haven in Kafanchan, Colonel David Nwakonobi told newsmen that eight suspects were arrested at different locations with dangerous weapons in their possession during the operation carried out by the task force.

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Some of the items recovered from the suspects include locally fabricated pump action guns, locally made pistols, 9 mm ammunition, machetes, and motorcycles.

One of the militiamen involved in the last attack in one of the communities was killed in a shootout and his corpse was discovered in Kibori village during a rescue operation by the troops according to Colonel Nwakonobi.

The suspected bandits paraded by security operatives in Kaduna.

Bandits in recent times have made Southern Kaduna a very dreary to reside.

Several attacks in various villages across the region have led to many deaths with many others being displaced after fires ignited by the raiders, engulf houses and destroy property.

Perplexed by the situation, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai on Tuesday, August 4,  sought support from Traditional Rulers over the recent killings in the southern part of the state.

The governor disclosed in a meeting with Traditional Rulers from the three senatorial zones said there is a need for all hands to be on neck towards bringing lasting peace to the troubled area and other parts of the state.

He also challenged the traditional rulers to fish out criminal elements in their midst.

Some of the weapons recovered from the bandits.

Northern Governors Frown At Persistent Attacks

In solidarity with Kaduna State, the Northern Governors Forum has condemned the attacks in Southern Kaduna, latest of which about 22 persons were reportedly killed after gunmen attacked four Atyap villages in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State.

In a statement, Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State Simon Bako Lalong said the persistent attacks on villages in the area despite all efforts by the Kaduna State Government and security agencies to end the violence raises serious concern and condemnation.

Lalong said this recent attack where the Atyab villages were affected shows the desperate attempt by criminal elements to not only cause pain and sorrow among innocent citizens but also frustrate the efforts of the Kaduna State Government at fostering peace and harmony.

He said “we are deeply saddened by this cycle of violence and blood-letting that is carried out against unarmed and helpless people. This is reprehensible and regrettable. While we call on the security agencies to rise up to the occasion and apprehend these criminals, we also encourage the citizens to assist with relevant intelligence that will lead to the arrest of these bloodthirsty people”.

Governor Lalong also said that the Northern Governors Forum maintains its position that any group or individual that is aggrieved for whatsoever reason should seek redress through official channels than resort to self-help which only exacerbates crises and instability.

The Northern Governors Forum commiserated with the victims of the crisis and the Government of Kaduna State, pledging its support to Governor Nasir El-rufai as he works with all stakeholders to bring the incessant crises to an end.