By; Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna.
In an effort to end armed banditry in Nigeria, particularly North-West part of the country, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 1 Division Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade said in two months soldiers have killed 35 armed bandits and cattle rustlers in the region.
He said 6,009 livestocks were so far recovered from the bandits across 5 states in the region.
According to him, the Soldiers have also succeeded in arresting about 39 armed bandits and cattle rustlers from the zone.
The GOC disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Kaduna, saying large sum of weapons have also been recovered by the joint military and other security agencies who led the operations in the zone.
“We carried out these operations across these states: Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara and Niger states within the past 2 months specifically based on intelligence reports.
“Operations in Kaduna State axis were concentrated around Damari- Birnin Gwari Kwalakwange forest areas. 8 bandits/ Rustlers camps were destroyed, bandits killed and livestock recovered which have been handed over to the relevant authority.
“Weapons recovered include 2 AK 47 rifles, 4 dane guns, 1 short Barrel locally made gun, machetes, bow and arrows and the sum of 45, 000 naira cash. We also lost a soldier, 3 sustained injuries.
“In Zamfara State the operations focused on identified bandits, cattle rustling in 5 Local Government Areas of the state which are Gusau, Tsafe, Zurmi, Birnin Magaji and Maradun. Bandits were killed, arrests, 19 bandits, cattle rustlers camp were destroyed.
“Operations also took place in Katsina and Kano States following intelligence reports on increased level of cattle rustling and banditry. In Kano operations were carried out in Falgore and Zainabi forest were eleven camps were destroyed. In Katsina operations were conducted in Rugu and Gamji forest among other places with considerable success,” he said.
He added that the Army is also monitoring religious groups within the area of responsibility and keeping tab on their activities.
He further assured that the Army will comply to rule of engagement and adhere to human rights in discharging their duties.