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Nigerian military boasts about ‘tremendous successes’ in Northwest, claims life returning to normal

BENUE: Soldiers, herdsmen in fierce gun duel

The Defence Headquarters on Saturday said its operations in the Northwest geopolitical zone has been hugely successful with the “active resumption of farming, social and economic activities by the locals with reduced fear of threats in their localities.”

The Northwest, of recent, became the epicenter of kidnappings, cattle rustling and wanton killings in the country, compelling President Muhammadu Buhari to decry the situation on Friday, saying the military could do much better in containing the situation.

The acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, made the claims in a statement in Abuja, adding that the flag-off of Operation Sahel Sanity on July 6 has yielded significant results.

“The aim of the operation is to support Operation HADARIN DAJI in stemming the tides of the activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers, incessant killings and other sundry crimes in the North-West zone of the country,” Onyeuko said.

“These acts of criminalities orchestrated by the bandits had before now crippled the agricultural, social and economic activities of the people of this zone.”

According to him, the people of the Northwest felt the operation’s “immediate impact” as the military recorded “tremendous successes” withing a “short period of time.”

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“The gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY within the period under review has carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and other aggressive and confidence-building patrols within Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara States.

“These operations has led to the rescue of kidnapped victims, recovery of rustled cattles, arrest of suspected armed bandits, arrest of bandits informants and collaborators.

“Furthermore, there were recoveries of large cache of arms and ammunition as well as recovery of motorcycles and other bandits logistics within the period”, he said.

Bellow is the full text of the statement:

1. The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai flagged off Operation SAHEL SANITY on the 6 July 2020 as part of activities of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2020, during which the Nigerian Army Super Camp IV Faskari in Katsina State was established. The aim of the operation is to support Operation HADARIN DAJI in stemming the tides of the activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers, incessant killings and other sundry crimes in the North-West zone of the country. These acts of criminalities orchestrated by the bandits had before now crippled the agricultural, social and economic activities of the people of this zone.

2. The people of the North-West Zone felt immediate impact of the operation with the tremendous successes achieved within the short period of time. The gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY within the period under review has carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and other aggressive and confidence building patrols within Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara States. These operations has led to the rescue of kidnapped victims, recovery of rustled cattles, arrest of suspected armed bandits, arrest of bandits informants and collaborators. Furthermore, there were recoveries of large cache of arms and ammunition as well as recovery of motorcycles and other bandits logistics within the period.

3. So far, in all the operations conducted, 80 armed bandits have been neutralized, a total of 943 cows, 633 sheep/rams recovered; 33 suspected bandits arrested; 7 AK47 Riffles, 1 GPMG and 16 Dane guns captured; 17 kidnapped victims rescued and 14 bandits informants and collaborators arrested. Also several bandits camps including the notorious Dangote Triangle and their logistics bases were destroyed by troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY. There is no gainsaying therefore that within the first month of Operation SAHEL SANITY from 1-31 July 2020, troops have recorded several successes in line with the aim of the operation. The gallant troops continue to dominate volatile areas with confidence building patrols, ambushes and clearance operations to deny the bandits and other criminal elements freedom of action. This achievement is further evident by the active resumption of farming, social and economic activities by the locals with reduced fear of threats in their localities.

4. The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has commended the troops for their gallantry, successes and the professionalism exhibited within the short period of Operation SAHEL SANITY. He urges them not to rest on their oars. He further extends Sallah goodwill message to the people of North West reassuring them people of the of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to restore peace in the zone.

Benard Onyeuko
Brigadier General
Ag Director
Defence Media Operations
1 August 2020

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