By Joy Odor
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has disclosed that preliminary investigation reveal that aside from sabotaging the nation’s economy, banditry is being financed through illegal mining activities.
It also disclosed that troops of Operation Sahel Sanity deployed at Daki Takwas intercepted arm cargo heading to Kofar Dinya in Bukkuyum LGA of Zamfara State.
The Military High Command said 7 trucks loaded with cattle suspected to have been rustled were arrested along Jibia – Katsina road and Gusau – Zaria road.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche made this disclosure while updating Defence correspondents on Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies operations for the month of August.
General Enenche revealed that within the period, a total of 155 bandits were arrested, no fewer than 25 armed bandits killed and over 1000 livestock were recovered in this zone of the country.
He said the recovered cattle and suspects were handed over to Katsina State Police Command and Zamfara State Association of Rustled Animals for further action.
According to him, “Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have continued to record significant successes against the armed bandits in the North West Zone of the country.
“For the month of August 2020, troops have continued to exhibit continued resilience in the fight against armed banditry, cattle rustling and other sundry crimes in the zone.
“In one of the feat recorded, troops of operation Sahel Sanity deployed at Daki Takwas on 20 August 2020, conducted a snap road block and intercepted a Toyota Corolla car with Registration Number. DAL 41 MT.
“After a diligent search on the vehicle, troops discovered 11 locally made rifles and 150 live cartridges concealed in different parts of the vehicle.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that the dangerous cargo was heading to Kofar Dinya in Bukkuyum LGA of Zamfara State.
“A total of 5 men were arrested in connection to the illegal fire arms. Also, 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 in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara State.
“Efforts are ongoing to recover more weapons as well as encourage others to surrender and embrace peace”.
The Coordinator said that troops also conducted a well-coordinated intelligence based operation leading to the raid of an illegal mining site located along Gadan Zaima – Zuru Road in Bukuyyum LGA of Zamfara State which also serves as bandits’ hideout.
He noted that during the operation, 150 suspects were arrested and arms and ammunition were recovered.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that aside from sabotaging the nation’s economy, banditry is being financed through these illegal mining activities,” he said.
General Enenche added that the gallant troops on fighting patrol encountered 3 bandits on motorcycles around Maigalma village in Anka LGA of Zamfara State while attempting to attack innocent residents.
The troops he noted recovered one AK-47 Rifle, one AK 47 Rifle magazine loaded with 5 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and two motorcycles from the fleeing bandits, while one of the bandits was killed during the encounter.
He said that this is in addition to the killing of not fewer than 20 armed bandits within the month of August in Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States.
While noting that these successes recorded within the period are evident of the troop’s resolve, doggedness and determination to end the security challenges in the North-West zone, General Enenche said that presently, farming and economic activities have picked up in the zone.