Suspected bandits and other criminals specialized in killing and kidnapping Nigerians have been arrested by troops of the Operation Sahel Sanity, a component of the Nigerian Army operating in the North-West zone.
This was revealed by the acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier-General Bernard Onywuko, in a statement on Friday.
The statement said the troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY have stepped up their quest to rout remnants of bandits and other criminal elements in the North West zone of the country.
It says the gallant troops have relentlessly redoubled their efforts in this regard recording more successes against the bandits and their collaborators across the Theatre.
“On 12 September 2020, troops deployed at Dandume while on patrol rescued 2 young girls kidnapped by bandits at Dandume LGA in Katsina State. The girls were rescued after a hot pursuit by the troops which forced the bandits to abandon their victims escaping troops’ wrath by the skin of their teeth. The victims who were reportedly kidnapped on 18 August 2020 have been reunited with their families”.
According to the statement, on 13 September 2020, following credible information, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Wuya recovered one AK-47 Rifle buried in a surgacane farm at Yarsabiya village in Anka LGA of Zamfara State. This prompted further search of the general area in anticipation of more similar recoveries. Relatedly, troops deployed at Moriki and Jangeru responded to a distress call and foiled a planned armed bandits attack on Mai-Zuma village in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara State. The troops immediately mobilized and engaged the marauding bandits in a shoot out along Kayawa axis forcing the bandits to withdraw in disarray and in the process abandoned 3 motorcycles which were recovered by the gallant troops.
Similarly, on 16 September 2020, troops deployed at Magami acting on a tip off arrested one Mr Yaya Rabiu at Magami checkpoint. The suspect was identified by troops to be a member of a notorious bandit gang that recently attacked troops location at Ruwandawa-Kwankele village in Gusau LGA of Zamfara State. Additionally, troops at Dangulbi also acting on credible intelligence arrested a suspected bandit named Basharu in a green tinted Golf III wagon car. Suspect have been on wanted list of bandits terrorizing locals in the general area.
Furthermore, on 16 September 2020, troops on routine patrol encountered armed bandits at Baga Buzu in Zamfara State. The cowardly criminals engaged the troops from afar, but the troops responded with superior fire power forcing the bandits to withdraw in disarray into the nearby forest with gunshot injuries as traces of blood were seen on their escape route. Nevertheless, during exploitation, troops recovered one AK-47 Rifle, 2 motorcycles, and one empty AK 47 Rifle magazine abandoned by the escaping criminals. Similarly, troops on fighting patrol encountered and pursued unconfirmed number of bandits on motorcycles at Kaiga Malamai. During the incident, the bandits abandoned 3 motorcycles and fled into the bushes.
The Army General said on 16 September 2020, troops deployed in Faskari arrested a suspected bandits informant named Isah Indo while spying on troops location. The suspect claimed to be a native of Sabon Layi village in Faskari LGA, but investigation revealed that his claims were false as the villagers denied knowing him. Similarly, following credible information, troops deployed at Yankara arrested a suspected bandits collaborator named Idris Isah from Yampa village in Faskari LGA of Katsina State, who is reported to be engaged in illicit activities with bandits.
Additionally, on 17 September 2020, troops deployed in Faskari responding to a distress call rescued 8 kidnapped victims from suspected bandits at Fankama and Sabon Layi area. This was as a result of actionable information that bandits dressed in military camouflage uniforms were sighted with kidnapped victims, the troops responded quickly and made contact with the bandits forcing them to abandon the victims as they fled into the bushes. In the same vain, troops while on patrol at Chabas Chabas, swiftly responded to a distress call and rescued a Canter truck driver, 11 women and children who were on their way to Batsari Market but were blocked by suspected bandits along Shimfida – Gurbi road. Also on 17 September 2020 troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Dansadau arrested a suspected bandit named Bello Ibrahim on a motorcycle on his way to Dandalla village in Dansadau, Maru LGA of Zamfara state with one Pump Action rifle and 3 live cartridges carefully concealed in a bag. All arrested suspects are in custody understanding preliminary investigation and will soon be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting authorities for further action.
Consequently, the gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY are commended for their continuous successes and their commitment to duty. They are further urged not to rest on their oars until Northwest zone is rid of all criminal elements. While the good people of the Northwest are once again assured of troops commitment to the 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 conduct of their operations.