By; MOHAMMED MUNIRAT NASIR, Gusau
Bandits tormenting Zamfara State have been given 24 hours to lay down their arms and surrender or face serious fire by the troops fighting banditry in the state.
The warning was given on Tuesday by the Force Commander, Operation Hadari Daji (OPHD), Major General Jide Jellil Ogunlade while addressing journalists at the OPHD headquarters in Gusau.
“As from tomorrow onwards, we are going out fully to launch serious onslaught against the bandits in the forest, we will not allow the bandits to come out of the forest to avoid collateral damages”, he said.
He assured the people of the state that banditry will very soon be history in Zamfara.
“After this operation that will come up in the next 24 hours, we will ensure that farmers carry out their farming activities and displaced villagers return home under conducive atmosphere”, he assured.
Ogunlade said the bandits don’t want peace therefore the troops will ensure that the criminals are crushed totally in the state because they launched 20 attacks just less than 24 hours after governor Bello Mohammed offered to give amnesty to those who surrender. .
“We are going to take the war to the bandits in the forest because just their actions show that they are unrepentant”, he said.
The Force Commander said since on 10th May, when the Defence headquarters reorganized the military operations and changed the name to OPHD, the troops in just six weeks have successful neutralized 20 bandits and arrested 15 of the criminals and also rescued 49 kidnapped victims in the state.
Other successes recorded by the troops include the recovery of 11 AK 47 rifles, 14 local Dane guns, 2437 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunitions, 2 pump action rifles, 2 locally made pistols and also recovered 2164 rustled cows which have been returned to the owners.
“Troops of Operation Hadari Daji have recorded significant achievements in the theatre of operations and making steady but assured program in degrading the capabilities of bandits and other criminals operating within the state”, he said.