Troops of the Operation Hadarin Daji (OPHD), Nigeria Army, operating within Zamfara State general area have killed no fewer than 100 unrepentant bandits, including six commanders.
The Army also rescued 10 persons held hostage, recovered 600 rustled cows and 300 sheep within December and January this year.
The operation which was carried out in some local governments of Zamfara and Jibia local government in Katsina State saw to the recovery of 15 AK 47, 4 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), 23 motorcycles used by the bandits, and other dangerous weapons. According to a statement by Captain Ayobami Oni-Orisan, acting Force Information Officer, Operation Hadarin DajI (OPHD), the troops were resolute in their determination to flush out unrepentant bandits from Anka, Maru, Bukkuyum and Jibia local governments areas of Zamfara and Katsina States.
According to Cpt. Ayobami, “The troops during these operations successfully neutralized about 100 bandits, including 6 key commanders, and rescued no less than 10 kidnapped persons.
“Furthermore, troops recovered, 500 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 23 Motorbikes, 15 AK 47 rifles, 4 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), 1 PKM Machine Gun, 1 Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bomb, 1 Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) tube, 11 fully loaded magazines, 600 rustled cows and additional 300 rustled sheep.” While stressing that the troops comprise of personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Police, DSS and other security agencies, Cpt Ayobami said the operation was between December 16 2019 to January 9, 2020.
The acting OPHD Informarion officer also divulged that the troops flushed out bandits hibernating around Tashar Kuturu, Dankalgo, Gobirawa junction, Bagega, Kawaye, Duhuwa, Sabon-Birni, Dankurmi, Dangulbi, Hayin Bawa, Zango, Unguwar Shanu, Tundu Mali, Magazu, Mayanchi and Gando forest, in Anka, Talata Mafara, Tsafe, Maru and Bukkuyum Local Government areas of Zamfara State.
“Additionally, OPHD ground troops backed by the fighter jets of the Air Component also cleared Shinfida in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina state, neutralizing several bandits in the process.
“It is worthy of mention that during the clearance operations, OPHD troops in collaboration with the Defence Forces of Niger Republic apprehended a high-profile gunrunner named “Kunene”, responsible for the inflow of arms, ammunition and other dangerous weapons to the region.
In addition, troops also apprehended 3 suspected bandits; Abubakar Kiri Koloma, Abubakar Ibrahim and Haruna Alhaji Yaro, and 2 notorious drug dealers; Kabiru Abubakar Isah and Hamisu Dan-kwanba at various locations in Zamfara state during the period.
“As it is, all the suspects have been profiled and handed over to the relevant security agencies for further interrogation and prosecution.”
In his assurance to the people of the zone and Nigerians, the Army said, “ It is also worthy of mention that OPHD has succeeded in ensuring that roads Gusau-Sokoto, Katsina-Jibia-Zamfara, Gusau-Shinkafi-Sokoto, Kajiji-Gummi-Anka-Gusau, and many others are safe for travellers, as in the last 2 months, no incident of kidnapping or highway robbery has taken place.
“It is to be noted that this onslaught against unrepentant and recalcitrant armed bandits will continue until banditry is completely crushed and peace is restored in Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto states.
Troops of OPHD remain highly motivated, determined, disciplined and professional in executing this mission in line with extant Rules Of Engagement (ROE) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“Consequently, the Force Commander (FC) OPHD and Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 division, Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Aminu Bande duly uses this medium to reassure the good and peace-loving people of Zamfara and all other neighboring states of their safety.
He equally encourages them to support the operation by providing timely and credible information to OPHD troops through the dedicated emergency telephone numbers, earlier provided to the general public, to ensure prompt and efficient action.
The FC also warned all recalcitrant bandits and their cohorts to immediately lay down their arms and embrace the on-going peace process or face full military action”.