By Victor Akaa, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters has said troops of Operation Sahel Sanity had on 18th July, 2020, in different locations apprehended about 8 suspected armed bandits during their separate operations within the North west geopolitical zone of the country.
The troops had also bring liberty to several kidnapped victims as well as recovered rustled cattle among others.
According to the statement, the gallant troops have continued to record credible achievements in their quest to rid the entire North West zone of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and other sundry criminalities, giving rise to relative stability and peace in the zone.
Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, DHQ Brig. Gen. Bernard Onyeuko gave the hints in a statement made available to News headquarter on Thursday.
Gen. Onyeuko noted that on 18 Jul 20 Troops deployed at Gundumi in Isah LGA of Sokoto State arrested 2 suspected bandits namely, Marti Abdullahi and Abdullahi Muazu following reliable information of their involvement in acts of banditry.
“On the same day while on clearance patrol at Teke Mai Filoti village in Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State, troops arrested 2 notorious bandits named Gabbe Muhammadu and Muhammad Bello known for involvement in kidnapping and robbery activities.
“Similarly, troops deployed at Nahuta village in Batsari LGA of Katsina State, on the same 18 July, 2020 arrested 2 bandits namely Mohammed Lawal and Useni Abubakar who were identified by locals to have carried out several attacks in Nahuta village at various times.” he stated.
According to the Acting Director, the gallant troops had also arrested 2 suspected bandits at Yar Tasha village.
He asserted that while in custody, one of the suspects’ phone line received a call from other suspected bandits urging him to quickly meet up with them for an impending attack. Efforts are currently on to track and arrest the callers.
He noted that all the arrested suspects are currently in custody undergoing detailed investigation.
Gen. Onyeuko further added that, on 19 July 2020, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Wanke swiftly responded to a distress call on bandits rustling activities in the area, however, bandits fled on information that troops were closing in on them.
“Nevertheless, the resilient troops exploited and recovered 20 cows rustled by the bandits in the process.
“Troops deployed at Funtua responded to a distress call on armed bandits activities in Kankara LGA, went in pursuit of the fleeing bandits and recovered 8 cows which were subsequently handed over to the owners.
“Troops also responded to a distress call at Unguwar Tabo where armed bandits invaded and kidnapped one Nuhu Gombo. The victim escaped as the bandits abandoned him and fled due to the troops’ unabating pursuit.
“He is presently in troops custody and will be soon united with his family.
“Also, on 22 July 2020 troops of Forward Operation Base Bingi acting on credible information of armed bandits activities around Ragwada Forest under Maru LGA stormed a bandits hideout in the area.
“Bandits fled the hideout abandoning 3 motorcycles which were recovered by the troops.”
In another operation on 22 July 2020, Onyeuko said, troops while responding to a distress call from loclas at Zauni village in Magami district of Gusau LGA Zamfara State on the bandits’ invassion in the town and rustling of cows, troops swiftly mobilised to the area and went in pursuit of the bandits.
“In the ensuing encounter the bandits fled in disarray, troops recovered 25 cows which had been handed over to the owners.
“Similarly, on 22 July 2020 troops on clearance patrol at Mara Runka came in contact with bandits who opened fire on them from afar and the valiant troops responded forcing the bandits to flee with possible gunshot wounds abandoning 5 motorcycles.
“Nevertheless the resilient troops pursued and arrested 2 of the fleeing bandits.
“Items recovered from them include one black bag containing charms and the sum of one thousand six hundred and fifty Naira (N1,650.00) only.” he added.
Gen Onyeuko further assured that troops of Op Sahel Sanity were presently dominating the general area with aggressive patrols and ambushes paving the way for smooth conduct of agricultural and economic activities by the locals.
The Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai had since commended the troops for their gallantry and resilience in the on going operation.
Thus, he urged them not to rest on their oars but build on the successes so far achieved as he assured the people of the North-West zone of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to the safety of lives and properties within the zone.