The Defence Headquarters on Thursday said the menace of banditry and insurgency will soon come to an end, following the stepping up of both kinetic and non-kinetic operations.
It said with the ongoing operations, the days of the bandits and terrorists are numbered, adding that the various operations against the criminals have continued to “progress satisfactorily”.
Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, stated this during the weekly briefing on military operations.
Although there was no timeline for the defeat of the insurgents, Enenche, assured that “it is no longer a hopeless situation”.
Meanwhile, on the ongoing military operations, the Defence Media Coordinator disclosed that troops have sustained the onslaught against criminal elements in their various areas of operation.
According to him, in Katsina State, the epicentre of the banditry, operatives of Department of State Service, Katsina State Command arrested a couple, Usman Shehu and his wife Aisha Abubakar of Rimi Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The suspects, he said were intercepted at Abukur village conveying large cache of ammunitions to Katsina Metropolis including 14 magazines, 61 rounds of 9.6mm calibre ammunition and 399 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition.
He informed that in the North-West zone, “Troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI and other subsidiary operations have sustained various aggressive operations in the North-West zone of the country with tremendous successes. The gallant troops within the period carried out a series of raids, aerial, ambushes, clearance operations and confidence-building patrols.
“Notably, on 21 November 2020, troops of Operation ACCORD while on covert operation at Galadi village in Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State neutralized 2 bandits and recovered 2 AK 47 rifles.
“In another development, still on same 21 November 2020, troops while on routine patrol at Gobirawa village made contact with armed bandits. During the encounter, 6 bandits were neutralized while 4 AK 47 rifles, three Dane guns and two motorcycles were recovered.
“In the same vein, following credible intelligence on activities of illegal miners at Kadauri general area in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, troops swiftly mobilized to the scene and apprehended 11 suspected illegal miners. The suspects have been handed over to the appropriate prosecuting authority for further action.
“Additionally, troops of forwarding Operating Base Kwatarkwashi arrested one Shafiu Suleman, a wanted bandit’s informant at Kwatarkwashi Market. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was the mastermind of the recent kidnapping of some Locals within Kwatarkwashi district of Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
“Furthermore, following distress call on the presence of suspected bandits at Gidan Ruwa along Rukudawa axis of Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State on 22 November 2020, troops swiftly responded and pursued the bandits as they fled on sighting the approaching troops. However, one bandit was neutralized, while one AK 47 rifle and one magazine loaded with 29 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition were recovered. Equally, 2 bandits were arrested in the process.
“In another feat recorded on 22 November 2020, operatives of Department of State Service, Katsina State Command arrested a couple, Usman Shehu and his wife Aisha Abubakar of Rimi Local Government Area of Katsina State. The suspects were intercepted at Abukur village conveying large cache of ammunitions to Katsina Metropolis including 14 magazines, 61 rounds of 9.6mm calibre ammunition and 399 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition.
“Similarly, between 23 and 25 November 2020, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI arrested several bandits’ collaborators in Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States. Notably, on 23 November 2020, following credible Human intelligence, troops deployed at forwarding Operating Base Dankurmi District of Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State arrested one Tasiu Shehu. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect has been supplying bandits with logistics.
“Relatedly, on 24 November 2020, following credible intelligence on the movement of cattle rustlers, troops swiftly mobilised to the area and successfully arrested 3 suspects and 300 cattle. The suspects are currently in custody for necessary action. Equally, still, on same 24 November 2020, following credible information, two suspected bandits’ collaborators were apprehended at Tsayau village in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State by the gallant troops of Forward Operating Base Gurbin Baure. The suspects are currently in custody for further action.”