From Maiharaji Altine Gusau
Troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY have killed four bandits, arrested eight others, rescued six kidnapped victims and recovered 152 rustled animals from Katsina and Zamfara states.
This was revealed by the Acting Director Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko in a statement issued to newsmen in Gusau today.
Onyeuko said, “On October 2, 2020, gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY deployed at Sabon Layi rescued four kidnapped victims from Giruwa village of Dandume LGA of Katsina State following Artillery bombardments on suspected bandits’ location at Unguwan-Doka village which resulted in neutralizing four of the bandits while others escaped into the forest”.
Onyeuko said preliminary investigation revealed that the victims have been in captivity for 12 days adding that “the rescued victims have been re-united with their families amidst cheers and praises”.
He stated that on September 25, 2020, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY responded to a distress call on activities of some cattle rustlers in Kurfi LGA of Katsina State.
“Troops’ timely intervention led to the smashing of the criminal syndicate with attendant casualty on the criminals while 43 cows, 6 goats and 8 sheep as well as 2 Dane guns were recovered from the fleeing rustlers”
“Recovered animals have been handed over to their rightful owners”. Said Onyeuko.
He said that on the same day, 25 Septemebr 2020, troops deployed in Kauran Namoda, Zamfara State acting on credible intelligence successfully intercepted a herd of suspected rustled cattle while the suspects fled into the bush abandoning the animals.
“A total of 30 cows were recovered and handed back to their owners while troops continue with aggressive day and night patrols of the general area to deny criminal elements freedom of action”.
General Onyeuko also maintained that “on 26 September 2020, troops deployed at Nahuta in Batsari LGA of Katsina State arrested one Umar Bello in possession of two rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition during a stop and search operation”.
“Similarly on September 27, 2020, troops on a snap road block arrested one Ahmadu Rufai suspected to be a bandits logistics supplier’.
“Items recovered from him include one dagger, charms, one bag of groundnut mixed with okro and 4 bags of millet believe to be on transit to a bandits hideout”. Said Onyeuko.
He further explained that “on 28 September 2020, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Moriki rescued a kidnapped victim named Ismaha who reportedly escaped from unknown bandit’s camp due to intensity of troops operation in the area.
According to investigation, the victim was kidnapped about three weeks ago while travelling from Sabon Pegi to Kucheri in Tsafe LGA of Zamfara State.
“Similarly on the same day on 28 September 2020, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Dan Ali rescued a female kidnap victim one Rasila (15 years) who was abducted in a farm at Tashar Biri village”. Said Onyeuko.
The victim, according to Onyeuko has been reunited with her family”.
In the same vein, on 29 September 2020, the troops, while on patrol, arrested a suspected drug peddler one Yusufa Mai Unguwar Ahaska from Dorayi in Unguwar Doka village in Faskari LGA.
Items recovered from suspect include substance suspected to be hard drugs. During preliminary investigation, suspect confessed to selling hard drugs to bandit leaders such as Leko and others”.
Also on 29 September 2020, in reaction to intelligent report on movement of stolen animals using trailers to unknown destination, troops swiftly established snap check point and intercepted two trucks loaded with 55 cows and 10 sheep.
The arrested drivers and recovered animals have been handed over to appropriate security agencies for further actions.
Onyeuko also stressed on October 1, 2020, troops while on routine patrol along Faskari – Yankara road arrested a suspected bandit informant named Idris Yahaya spying on troop’s activities.
Also arrested was one suspected bandit collaborator called Buhari Adamu at Machika in Dandume LGA of Katsina State and during preliminary interrogation, suspect confessed to have once taken ransom fee to bandits in Madachi Forest.
Also, on 3 October 2020, the vigilant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY while conducting a Stop and Search operation arrested three suspected kidnappers in Musawa LGA, Katsina State. Items recovered from the suspects include one locally made gun, three mobile phones and one motorcycle.
The troops were commended for the successes so far achieved and were urged not to rest on their oars.
The Army has assured the people of the North-West of the troops commitment to the safety of their lives and property within the zone, calling on them to continue to avail the troops with information that will assist them in the operation.