The military says its troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have continued to record tangible achievements in their quest to rid the entire North-West zone of Nigeria of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and other sundry criminalities.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said the troops had on Sept. 25, smashed a criminal syndicate and recovered 43 cows, six goats and eight sheep in Kurfi Local Government Area of Katsina State.
He said that two dane guns were recovered from the fleeing rustlers during the encounter, adding that the recovered animals had been handed over to their rightful owners.
Onyeuko also disclosed that the troops, deployed at Kauran Namoda in Zamfara, successfully intercepted a herd of suspected rustled cattle while the suspected rustlers fled into the bush abandoning the animals.
He added that troops continued with aggressive patrols of the general area to deny criminal elements freedom of action.
Onyeuko said the troops deployed at Nahuta in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina on Sept. 26, arrested one Umar Bello for being in possession of two rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition during a stop and search operation.
He added one Ahmadu Rufai, suspected to be a bandits logistics supplier, was arrested on Sept. 27 with one dagger, charms, one bag of groundnut mixed with okro and four bags of millet. He is believed to be taking the products to a bandits hideout.
Onyeuko further disclosed that troops on Sept. 28, rescued two kidnapped victims in different locations, adding that they had been reunited with their families.
According to him, troops on patrol on Sept. 30, arrested a suspected drug peddler, one Yusufa Mai Unguwar Ahaska from Dorayi in Unguwar Doka village in Faskari Local Government Area.
“Items recovered from the suspect include substances suspected to be hard drugs. During preliminary investigation, the suspect confessed to selling hard drugs to bandit leaders such as Leko and others.
“Earlier on Sept. 29, in reaction to intelligent report on the movement of stolen animals on trailers to an unknown destination, troops swiftly established a snap checkpoint 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, he said.
“Similarly, on Oct. 1, troops on routine patrol along Faskari-Yankara road, arrested a suspected bandit informant named Idris Yahaya while spying on troop’s activities.
“Also on the same day, troops deployed at Maigora, arrested one suspected bandit collaborator called Buhari Adamu at Machika in Dandume Local Government Area of Katsina State.
“During preliminary interrogation, the suspect confessed to have once taken ransom fee to bandits in Madachi Forest.
“The Suspects are in custody undergoing further interrogation,” he said.
Onyeuko said the troops also rescued four kidnapped victims from Giruwa village of Dandume Local Government Area of Katsina state following artillery bombardments on suspected bandits’ location at Unguwan-Doka village on Oct. 2.
He disclosed that four of the bandits were killed while others escaped into the forest.
According to him, the vigilant troops, while conducting a stop and search operation, arrested three suspected kidnappers in Musawa Local Government Area of Katsina State.
“Items recovered from the suspects include one locally-made gun, three mobile phones and one motorcycle.
“To this end, the gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY are commended for the successes so far achieved and their commitment,” he said.