By Nkasi Kolie
The Defence Headquarters said troops of the various operations have continued to subdue banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the North West and North Central parts of the country.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the operations of the military across the country on Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said the land and air components of Operation Hadarin Daji, conducted successful simultaneous operations at different locations in Zamfara, Katsina, Niger and Kaduna States between July 2 and July 14.
He said the troops conducted series of ambushes, clearance as well as cordon and search operations in different locations during the period.
According to him, in each encounter, troops engaged and subdued the criminals and recovered several livestock as well as arms and ammunition, including AK-47 rifles, locally made pistols, Dane guns and several rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.
“On July 12, based on credible and timely intelligence on the massing up of bandits around Sububu Forest possibly in preparation for an attack, the Air component engaged the bandits in a precision bombardment.
“Several bandits, motorcycles, camps and other equipment were destroyed which dealt serious setback to their criminal activities in the area.
“The air component has continued to dominate the airspace with reconnaissance and in support of ground troops,” he said.
Onyeuko said the security situation in some locations within the theatre had been considerably calm, adding that the locals had been carrying out their daily activities peacefully.
He disclosed that residents of Magami District in Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara held a peaceful rally in appreciation of military operations that had ensured relative peace in their environment on July 3.
According to him, the residents said that the rally is as a result of the fact that they have been able to access their farmlands without harassments or attacks by bandits.
In North Central, Onueuko said the troops of Operation Safe Haven executed several concurrent kinetic and non-kinetic operations in Plateau and Kaduna states during the period.
He said that troops had successfully ensured amicable settlements between farmers and herders as well as stopped herders from grazing and destroying farmlands at different locations.
According to him, troops also raided and arrested several drug peddlers and cultists at Forbur village in Jos and Shen Village in Barkin Ladi areas of Plateau.
He also disclosed that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states, thwarted several criminal activities and rescued several kidnapped survivors and arrested some kidnappers during the encounters.
He added that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke/Whirl Punch intercepted a trailer loaded with railway clips and tracks vandalised from Wasa Village in Sanga area of Kaduna and apprehended three suspects.
According to him, the arrested suspects, Abdullahi Bello, Ibrahim Jafar and Mohammed Yakubu have been handed over to appropriate prosecuting agencies for further necessary action.