By DAPO FALADE
Troops of the Operation Sahel Sanity has neutralised 38 armed bandits and arrested 93 suspected bandit logistics suppliers and collaborators in all the operations conducted between 4 September and 25 October, 2020.
This is as the troops are not relenting in the onslaught against armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers and other criminal elements in the North-West Zone of the country.
Acting Director, Defence Media Ooerations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, made this known in a statement issued on Monday to give an update on the activities of the troops during the period.
He also said 30 Dane guns, 941 rounds of 7.62 mm Special ammunition and five live cartridges were captured, while 131 cows, 154 sheep/rams and one cow were recovered during various encounters with troops.
He said Operation Sahel Sanity intensified its activities in the theatre of operation during the period under review, leading to the degradation of the bandits and their activities to the barest minimum as indicated by the successes recorded.
These gains, Onyeuko said, are gradually restoring stability and normalcy back to the zone as evident by the massive resumption of farming and socio-economic activities.
He said the successes achieved since the commencement of the operation could not have been possible without the sacrifice, commitment and gallantry exhibited by the professional and responsive soldiers of the Nigerian Army, adding that some of them paid the supreme price in the course of duty.
“The gallant troops of Operation Sahek Sanity, within this period, carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes, day and night patrols, denying bandits and other criminal elements any respite.
“Also numerous farm and highway patrols were carried out within Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi and Zamfara states, thus boosting the confidence of the locals as well as commuters in carrying out their daily activities without hindrance.
“These operations have most importantly led to the rescue of kidnapped victims, neutralisation of bandits, arrest of several bandits informants and collaborators, recovery and return of rustled cattle to their bona-fide owners.
“Furthermore, there were recoveries of large cache of arms and ammunitions as well as other dangerous weapons. Similarly, numerous captured bandits motorcycles and Bandits hideouts were destroyed by the gallant troops.
“Equally, a number of bandits logistics network have been smashed leading to the arrest of some of the syndicate members within the period,” he said.
According to Onyeuko, 108 kidnapped victims were rescued, 90 bandits informants and collaborators, three rustled cattle marketers and 12 bandits logistics suppliers were arrested.
“Also, a total of 10 bandit’s camps and their logistics bases were destroyed by troops of Operation Sahel Sanity. Relatedly, 47 bandits attacks and 31 kidnap incidents were foiled by the troops.
“The gallant troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have continued to dominate all the hitherto volatile areas with confidence building patrols, ambushes and clearance operations to deny the bandits and other criminal elements freedom of action,” he said.
The military authority commended the troops for their gallantry, sacrifices and successes achieved so far and also urged not to rest on their oars but build on the achievements recorded so far.
It also appreciated the people of the North-West zone for their continued cooperation in providing credible information for the success of the operation.
They were also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with information that would aid the desired goal of the operation and reassured of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to restore total peace in the zone and indeed the entire country.