- You are once again welcome to our routine update on the activities of troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY aimed at keeping you and the general public abreast of our modest achievements over the last few days. As you are aware, through previous briefings and Press Releases, some giant strides were earlier recorded by the troops since the Flag Off of Operation SAHEL SANITY on 6 July 2020 with the aim of eradicating banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other sundry crimes in the North-West region. Our gallant troops deployed within the theatre of operation have continued to build on the gains recorded so far with the conduct of intelligence based aggressive clearance operations, fighting and confidence building patrols and ambushes against criminal elements within the zone.
- In continuation of their mandate, on 23 August 2020, troops 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 serve as bandits’ hideout. During the operation, troops arrested 150 suspects and recovered 20 locally fabricated Dane Guns. One of the suspects was neutralized while trying to escape. Preliminary investigation reveals that aside sabotaging the nation’s economy, banditry is being financed through these illegal mining activities.
- Similarly, on 22 August 2020 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. During the encounter, one of the bandits was neutralized while others escaped. Troops 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.
- Also, on 21 August 2020, troops acting on actionable intelligence raided a known bandit hideout around Dogon Karfe village in Bakura LGA of Zamfara. During the operation, 4 Dane Guns and one loaded magazine were recovered by the troops in an abandoned structure. Same day, following credible intelligence, troops deployed at Wagini village arrested a wanted notorious bandit named Isuhu Ibrahim (aka Bula) who in company of other bandits have been terrorizing the general area for a while.
- Relatedly, on 20 August 2020, troops deployed at Daki Takwas conducted a snap road block and successfully intercepted a Toyota Corolla car with Reg No. DAL 41MT. After a deligent search on the vehicle, troops discovered 11 brand new locally made rifles and 150 live cartridges carefully 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.
- In another development, on 20 August 2020, 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 embrace peace and submit their arms. Additionally, same day on 20 August 2020, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY deployed at Sabon Layi rescued one adult male and one female earlier kidnapped by suspected bandits. The victims were kidnapped alongside 4 other persons at Daudawa village of Faskari LGA of Katsina State. However, the victims managed to escape from their abductors as a result of troops intense operational activities in the area. The rescued persons have been handed over to officials of Faskari LGA for onward reunion with their families while efforts are ongoing to rescue the remaining 4 victims. Also, troops acting on a tip off arrested a suspected bandit named Masaudu Abubakar. The suspect was identified to be a member of a syndicate terrorizing the area. In the same vein, troops on fighting patrol apprehended a suspected bandit named Tukur Haliru. Suspect was arrested while trying to sneak into Yargamji village on a spy mission from Danjiko Forest.
- Also, between 19 – 20 August 2020, 7 trucks loaded with cattle suspected to have been rustled were arrested along Jibia – Katsina road and Gusau – Zaria road respectively. Arrested cattle and suspects have been handed over to Katsina State Police Command and Zamfara State Association of Rustled Animals, Gusau for further necessary action.
- Meanwhile all arrested suspects are currently in custody undergoing preliminary investigation and will soon be handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies for further action.
- We wish to thank the general populace of the North West zone for their support and cooperation without which the tremendous successes we have achieved so far would not have been possible. As partners in progress we still solicit for more timely and actionable intelligence that will assist the troops in the operation. It is hoped that banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other sundry crimes will soon be a thing of the past. Our gallant troops are equally commended for their commitment and resilience in the course of this operation.
- To the members of the press. Thank you most sincerely for your cooperation and commitment in our efforts to end banditry and other criminalities in this zone.
- Once again I thank you for coming to this press briefing and wish you journey mercy back to your respective destinations.
Defence Media Operations
25 August 2020