By Mohammed Munirat Nasir, Gusau:
Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity of the Nigerian Army has arrested about 157 illegal miners, bandit collaborators and killed two bandits in its ongoing onslaught against bandits and kidnapers in the north west.
Addressing journalists today at the Nigerian Army Super Camp IV in Faskari, the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters Abuja, Brig. General Bernard Onyeuko said the operation is aimed at eradicating banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other sundry crimes in the North-West region.
Omyeuko said on 23th August, the troops raided an illegal mining site which also served as bandits hideout located along Gadan Zaima – Zuru Road in Bukuyyum local government area of Zamfara State.
“During the operation, troops arrested 150 suspects and recovered 20 locally fabricated Dane Guns. One of the suspects was neutralized while trying to escape,” he said.
He said preliminary investigation reveals that aside sabotaging the nation’s economy, banditry is being financed through these illegal mining activities.
Onyeuko added that on 22th August, troops encountered three bandits on motorcycles around Maigalma village in Anka local government area of Zamfara State while attempting to attack innocent residents.
“During the encounter, one of the bandits was neutralized while one AK-47 Rifle, one AK 47 Rifle magazine loaded with 5 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and two motorcycles were recovered,” he said.
General said on 21st August, troops deployed at Wagini village in Bakura local government area of Zamfara state arrested a wanted notorious bandit named Isuhu Ibrahim notoriously known as Bula who in company of other bandits have been terrorizing the general area.
He said on the same day troops raided a known bandit hideout around Dogon Karfe village in Bakura local government area of Zamfara and recovered four Dane Guns and one loaded magazine in an abandoned structure.
Onyeuko said on 20th August, troops deployed at Sabon Layi in Faskari local government area of Katsina state rescued one adult male and one female who were earlier kidnapped along with four others at Daudawa village of Faskari local government area of Katsina State.
“Troops acting on a tip off arrested a suspected bandit named Masaudu Abubakar. The suspect was identified to be a member of a syndicate terrorizing the area. In the same vein, troops on fighting patrol apprehended a suspected bandit named Tukur Haliru. Suspect was arrested while trying to sneak into Yargamji village on a spy mission from Danjiko Forest,” he said.
He added on 20th August, troops deployed at Daki Takwas in Gummi local government area of Zamfara state intercepted a Toyota Corolla car with Reg.No. DAL 41MT and discovered 11 brand new locally made rifles and 150 live cartridges carefully concealed in different parts of the vehicle.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that the dangerous cargo was heading to Kofar Dinya in Bukkuyum local government area of Zamfara State. A total of 5 men were arrested in connection to the illegal fire arms,” he said.
Onyeuko said on 20th August, a repentant bandit leader named Bornon Kejo willingly surrendered to troops and submitted 2 AK-47 Rifles and 2 AK 47 Rifle magazines at Zurmi town in Zurmi local government area of Zamfara State.