The Nigerian Army troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have recorded another breakthrough in the ongoing operations against banditry in the North Western part of the country.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operation, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, in a statement on Thursday in Faskari said the troops eliminated a bandit, arrested informants and recovered rustled cattle.
Mr Onyeuko said the troops deployed in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State, on Aug. 5, foiled a coordinated bandits attack on residents of Zamfarawa Kagara village in the state.
He explained that the bandits were met with fire power of the troops when they invaded the village and stole several cows leading to killing of one bandit while others escaped with gunshot wounds.
According to him, all the rustled cows have been successfully recovered and handed over to their rightful owners.
The operation spokesperson also disclosed that troops deployed at Forward Operation Base, FOB, Dangulbi arrested a suspected bandit informant named Rabiu Salisu on Aug. 6.
He said that arrest followed credible information on his nefarious activities with bandits operating in the area.
He added that the troops deployed at the FOB Bagega arrested two bandits’ collaborators named Sani Sani and Sani Abubakar who were reported to be specialists in selling of cows and other items stolen by bandits.
The army spokesperson said they were arrested while butchering a cow for sale and had since confessed to collecting it from the bandits during interrogation.
“Furthermore, troops recovered 17 cows from suspected cattle rustlers at Dogon Ruwa village.
“The cows were recovered from suspected bandits who abandoned them and fled as troops stormed the village following information of their activities from reliable sources.
“In another development, troops on patrol arrested a suspected bandit’s informant and logistics supplier named Saifullahi Adamu at Garin Dodo village in Katsina State following credible information about his elicit engagements with suspected bandits.
“His wife Mrs Hauwa Abubakar also alleged that the suspect forcefully married her, whereas bandits whom her husband associates with usually accuse her of reporting their activities to security agencies thereby, subjecting her to several abuses.
“Hauwa was rescued from her husband and has been handed over to the Katsina State Government while the suspect is in custody for further interrogation,” he said.
Mr Onyeuko further disclosed that the troops arrested two suspected bandits’ couriers named Abdulrazi and Ismaila at Malamawa village in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara in connection with butchering and selling of stolen cows.
He added that the troops also arrested three other suspects named Hassan Mallam, Kabiru Ahmadu and Surajo Muhammadu of Sabon Birni and Munhaye villages at Pasawa-Magami Road of Zamfara.
According to him, the troops recovered eight cattle abandoned by bandits while running from troops at Tsafe in Zamfara.
He noted that the cows had been handed over to their rightful owners.
The army official said troops arrested a suspected bandit named Sabiu Sani who was previously arrested by vigilante group but escaped from custody the same day.
“In another operation following a tip-off, troops deployed in Faskari equally arrested five suspected bandits in a blue Hyundai car with registration number Katsina 107 BAK and the suspects are presently undergoing interrogation.
“Furthermore, on Aug. 8, troops arrested one suspected cattle rustler named Sallahu Rabiu at Natsinta Village with three rustled cows.
“The suspect confessed to have been operating with a gang of cattle rustlers and efforts are ongoing to apprehend other members of his gang.
“Also, troops deployed at Wagini arrested a suspected bandit named Usman Suleiman who was apprehended after being sighted by the eagle eyed troops while trying to sneak into the village from the forest in search of food.
“He admitted to be part of a bandit group terrorising Batsari general area,” he said.
Mr Onyeuko also disclosed that troops deployed at Mara arrested two suspected bandits named Jamilu Mani and Aminu Lawal along Danmusa – Runka Road, who were identified to be notorious bandits terrorising the area.
He added that troops deployed at Bingi while on patrol arrested a suspected bandit and impostor named Sani Saidu wearing a police uniform with the name tag “James Oname”.
The army official revealed that preliminary investigation revealed that James Oname a Police Sergeant was killed in 2015 by bandits at Tunga Rakumi in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara.
“The suspect is undergoing further interrogation.
“Relatedly, same day troops on clearance patrol destroyed eight major bandits camps owned by notorious bandits leader known as Abu-Radde at Lebi Fulani Areas in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina.
“Troops during the operation recovered four dane guns and other items,” he said.
He also said that troops deployed at Yarsanta on Aug.10, intercepted a kidnapped escapee named Auwal Yusuf wandering aimlessly along Yarsanta-Kabuge general area.
The army spokesperson said the victim was promptly rescued by the troops and taken to safety.
He further disclosed that troops on patrol encountered suspected bandits with rustled cows along Bagega – Sabon Birni, bandits opened fire on sighting the troops but fled into the bushe as troops responded with superior
“Troops found traces of blood along bandits escape route while 12 cows were recovered by the troops during exploitation.
“Also, on Aug. 11, troops at FOB Yar Gamji in Batsari while conducting farm patrol arrested a suspected bandit named Ibrahim Musa.
“During preliminary interrogation, the suspect confessed to be on a spy mission and a member of a bandit group led by one criminal named Danladi Dahiru hiding in Dumburum forest.
“Same day, troops arrested a suspected bandit named Bello Haliru along Batsari – Sawara Road following a deligent tracking by the troops.
“He was identified to be a notorious bandit who escaped from vigilante custody during a previous arrest
“Consequently, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has commended the troops for their gallantry, successes and their resilience.
“He urges them not to rest on their oars. He further assured the people of the North-West zone of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to the safety of lives and properties within the zone.”