The Defence Headquarters says the troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have arrested 10 notorious bandits, rescued kidnapped victims and recovered rustled cows in the last few days within the North West theatre.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said the troops had continued to record credible achievements in their quest to rid the North-West zone of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and other sundry criminalities.
He disclosed that the troops on July 18 arrested 2 suspected bandits namely, Marti Abdullahi and Abdullahi Muazu at Gundumi in Isah Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
Onyeuko said their arrest was based on reliable information that the suspects were involved in acts of banditry around the area.
He added that the troops, while on clearance patrol at Teke Mai Filoti village in Sabon Birni Local Government Area same day, arrested another two notorious bandits named Gabbe Muhammadu and Muhammad Bello known for kidnapping and robbery activities.
The military spokesperson further disclosed that troops deployed at Nahuta village in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State also arrested two bandits namely Mohammed Lawal and Useni Abubakar on the same date.
He said the suspects were identified by locals to have carried out several attacks in Nahuta village at various times.
According to him, gallant troops also arrested two suspected bandits at Yar Tasha village, explaining that one of the suspects received a phone call from other suspected bandits asking him to quickly meet up with them for an impending attack.
“Efforts are currently on to track and arrest the callers while all arrested suspects are currently in custody undergoing detailed investigation,” he said.
Onyeuko further disclosed that the troops had on July 19 swiftly responded to a distress call and thwarted a bandits rustling activities in Wanke area.
He added that the troops exploited and recovered 20 cows rustled by the bandits in the process.
According to him, troops deployed at Funtua responded to a distress call and went in pursuit of armed bandits in Kankara Local Government Area, recovered eight cows and subsequently handed them over to the owners.
“Similarly, troops responded to a distress call at Unguwar Tabo where armed bandits invaded and kidnapped one Nuhu Gombo.
“The victim escaped as the bandits abandoned him and fled due to the troops’ unabating pursuit.
“He is presently in troops custody and will be soon united with his family.
“Also on July 22, troops of Forward Operation Base Bingi acting on credible information of armed bandits activities around Ragwada Forest under Maru Local Government Area stormed a bandits hideout in the area and recovered three motorcycles,” he said.
Onyeuko said the troops also responded to a distress call and engaged the bandits at Zauni village in Magami district of Gusau while attempting to rustle cows on July 22.
He said the troops went in pursuit of the bandits who fled in disarray and recovered 25 cows which had been handed over to the owners.
According to him on the same day, troops on clearance patrol at Mara Runka came in contact with bandits who opened fire on them from afar and the valiant troops responded forcing the bandits to flee with possible gunshot wounds abandoning five motorcycles.
He added that the resilient troops pursued and arrested two of the fleeing bandits as well as recovered one black bag containing charms and the sum of N1,650.
“Troops of Op SAHEL SANITY are presently dominating the general area with aggressive patrols and ambushes paving way for smooth conduct of agricultural and economic activities by the locals.
“Consequently, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, commended the troops for their gallantry and resilience in the on going operation and urges them not to rest on their oars but build on the successes so far achieved.
“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,” he said.