- As helicopter gunships decimate 70 bandits in Kaduna
Omololu Ogunmade and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured people and government of Katsina State of renewed efforts, and review of operations, to improve security of lives and property in the state, and other parts of the country.
Presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said the president, in a meeting with Governor Aminu Bello Masari, at the State House on Thursday night, threatened that bandits, who had committed crimes against innocent citizens in the state, and across the country, would not be spared.
He said Buhari also warned bandits to surrender their weapons, or face “disgraceful and violent ends.’’
Shehu said the president pledged more decisive military operations against bandits in Zamfara, Sokoto, Niger, Katsina and Kaduna States.
According to him, Buhari commiserated with Masari over loss of lives from attacks by the bandits, which include District Head of Yantumaki, Alhaji Atiku Maidabino, and All Progressives Congress Chairman in Batsari Local Government Area, Alhaji Abdulhamid Sani Duburawa.
Meanwhile, Helicopter Gunships deployed by the military in a combined air and ground offensive have killed 70 bandits in Kachia Forest in Kaduna State.
The bombardment followed a joint clearance operation by troops of Operation Thunder Strike, Operation Accord in conjunction with troops of 312 Artillery Regiment and local vigilantes on clearance patrol in Kachia Forest.
An update on the war against armed banditry issued by the Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO) said the air interdiction followed timely and credible information on the bandits’ movement within the area.
“Troops pursued the bandits through Gidan Maikeri village in Chikun LGA into the forest. Their location was identified and consequently engaged by Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunships.
“After the air interdiction, 70 bandits were confirmed killed by human intelligence while others escaped with injuries. The troops are exploitating the forest. Details to follow as they unfold”, it said.
The update signed by Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, urged people in the area to “as a matter of security concern report those with sudden and suspicious injuries to the security forces. This is to ensure that the escapees are mopped up”.
Also, Enenche said troops of Operation Yaki in blocking positions for Operation Accord at the outskirts of Kankomi village apprehended two bandits’ logistics suppliers and recovered recharge cards, cigarettes, soft drinks and groceries.
“The military high command congratulates Operation Thunder Strike, Operation Yaki and the air component of Operation Accord for their dexterity.
“The general public is requested to continue to provide timely and credible information that would assist in eliminating bandits and other criminal elements in the country”, he said.