Following the recent upsurge in activities of unrepentant bandits in Zamfara state who have refused to key into the ongoing Peace Initiatives of the Zamfara State Government, Operation Hadari Daji (OPHD) commenced intensive kinetic operations in December 2019 against these criminal elements.
From 16 December 2019 to 9 January 2020, OPHD troops comprising personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services and other security agencies, conducted several clearance operations to smoke out and neutralize these recalcitrant bandits from their enclaves.
So far, OPHD troops have flushed out bandits hibernating around Tashar Kuturu, Dankalgo, Gobirawa junction, Bagega, Kawaye, Duhuwa, Sabon-Birni, Dankurmi, Dangulbi, Hayin Bawa, Zango, Unguwar Shanu, Tundu Mali, Magazu, Mayanchi and Gando forest, in Anka, Talata Mafara, Tsafe, Maru and Bukkuyum Local Government areas of Zamfara state. Additionally, OPHD ground troops backed by the fighter jets of the Air Component also cleared Shinfida in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina state, neutralizing several bandits in the process.
During these operations, OPHD troops successfully neutralized about 100 bandits, including 6 key commanders, and rescued no less than 10 kidnapped persons. Furthermore, troops recovered the following items:
a. 500 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition
b. 23 x Motorbikes
c. 15 x AK 47 rifles
d. 4 x General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG)
e. 1x PKM Machine Gun
e. 1 x Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bomb
f. 1 x Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) tube
g. 11 x fully loaded magazines
h. 600 x rustled cows
i. 300 x rustled sheep
It is worthy of mention that during the clearance operations, OPHD troops in collaboration with the Defence Forces of Niger Republic apprehended a high-profile gunrunner named “Kunene”, responsible for the inflow of arms, ammunition and other dangerous weapons to the region.
In addition, troops also apprehended 3 suspected bandits; Abubakar Kiri Koloma, Abubakar Ibrahim and Haruna Alhaji Yaro, and 2 notorious drug dealers; Kabiru Abubakar Isah and Hamisu Dan-kwanba at various locations in Zamfara state during the period.
As it is, all the suspects have been profiled and handed over to the relevant security agencies for further interrogation and prosecution.
It is also worthy of mention that OPHD has succeeded in ensuring that roads Gusau-Sokoto, Katsina-Jibia-Zamfara, Gusau-Shinkafi-Sokoto, Kajiji-Gummi-Anka-Gusau, and many others are safe for travellers, as in the last 2 months, no incident of kidnapping or highway robbery has taken place.
It is to be noted that this onslaught against unrepentant and recalcitrant armed bandits will continue until banditry is completely crushed and peace is restored in Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto states.
Troops of OPHD remain highly motivated, determined, disciplined and professional in executing this mission in line with extant Rules Of Engagement (ROE) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
Consequently, the Force Commander (FC) OPHD and Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 division, Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Aminu Bande duly uses this medium to reassure the good and peace-loving people of Zamfara and all other neighboring states of their safety.
He equally encourages them to support the operation by providing timely and credible information to OPHD troops through the dedicated emergency telephone numbers, earlier provided to the general public, to ensure prompt and efficient action.
The FC hereby uses this medium to warn all recalcitrant bandits and their cohorts to immediately lay down their arms and embrace the on-going peace process or face full military action.