Your comment on troops wrong, DHQ tells Zamfara governor 

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Thursday berated Zamfara state Governor Dauda Lawal over  his comment  alleging  poor attitude of troops in the fight against terrorism and other forms of insecurity in the state, even as troops killed 233 terrorists across the country, including 36 in the Kaduna/Katsina axis.

The governor, had, while appearing on Channel Television, lamented the ‘laidback attitude’ of the police and the military in combating the menace of banditry plaguing the North-West state.

 He said the uninspiring attitude of federal government-controlled security agencies was responsible for the creation of the state security outfit.

…DHQ counters 

Countering the governor, however, Director Defence Media Operations Maj-Gen Edward Buba, described the military as a professional force subservient to political authority, particularly the political leadership of Zamfara state. 

Briefing journalists in Abuja,  Buba  accused the state government of not doing enough to support the military and other security agencies in the fight against banditry in the state.

He said: “The military will not join issues with the Governor; rather we choose the part of cooperation over conflict with the state Governor and look forward to constructively engage with him on these matters. 

 “Troops of Operations HADARIN DAJI deployed to Zamfara state have lost 9 personnel so far in the month of June 2024. These killed in action personnel are a painful testament of our tireless efforts, commitment and sacrifice to restoring peace and security in the state. 

 “Nevertheless, the allegations against the military and security forces operating in the state really need to be analysed impartially and understood. The situation underscores the fact that, winning the war without the support of the people of the state is close to impossible.”

 …Successes recorded

Speaking on the successes recorded by the military in the fight against insecurity across the country, General Buba said troops neutralised 197 terrorists and arrested 310 persons in the last one week.

He said troops also arrested 22 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 251 kidnapped hostages. 

On the killings of 5 personnel at the checkpoint in Abia, the Defence spokesperson disclosed that “troops conducted several intelligence based operations that led to the discovery and destruction of several IPOB/ESN terrorists’ camps across the region such as at Igboro Forest in Arochukwu LGA of Abia state among others.”

He said several arrests were made from the raids with those found to be culpable still in detention. 

 “Surely, there is intelligence value to the raids and arrest that were made. Those in detention are assisting troops to locate other camps, sleeper cells and high profile individuals involved in the activities of the terrorists group,” he said.

…Crude theft

He disclosed that in the South South, troops denied the oil thieves crude estimated to be worth Seven Hundred and Sixty Five Million Six Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand One Hundred Naira (N765,654,100.00) only.

 On the breakdown of 180 assorted weapons and 5,123 assorted ammunition recovered, he said:  “2 PKT guns, one fabricated Arty gun, one G3 rifle, 73 AK47 rifles, 17 locally fabricated gun, 21 dane guns, 2 pump action guns, 2 revolver rifles, one short dane gun, 3 double barrel guns, 3 single barrel guns, one pistol, 4 locally fabricated pistols, 5 fabricated beretta pistols, one beretta pistol, one Jojef magnum pump action gun, one Exp 64 semi auto rifle, 10 hand grenades, 3 60mm mortar bombs, bandoliers and 10 fabricated Arty bombs.

 “Others are 3,207 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 1,022 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 13 rounds of 9mm ammo, 243 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm, 240 rounds of 7.62 x 51mm, 132 rounds of 5.56 x 54mm ammo, 143 live cartridges, 59 magazines, one pistol magazine, one ECOME HH radio, 4 Baofeng radios, 4 vehicles, 47 motorcycles, 21 mobile phones and the sum of N1,236,200.00 as well as CFA 608,000.00 only amongst other items.”

 …Terrorists’ kingpin Buharin Yadi, 35 others killed  

 In a related development, troops of Operation Whirl Punch have killed one of the deadliest and most notorious terrorists’ kingpins in Northern Nigeria, Kachalla Alhaji Buharin Yadi along with 35 of his fighters.

The development, according to Blueprint, led to wild jubilation in Kaduna-Katsina border communities.

A statement by the overseeing Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Kaduna state, Mr Samuel Aruwan said: “The infamous terrorist, Buharin Yadi, one of the deadliest bandits’ leaders terrorizing Northern Nigeria in the last decade, has met his bitter end at the hands of security forces. 

 “The troops of Sector 6 Operation Whirl Punch rained down fire on the kingpin known as Kachalla Buhari Alhaji Halidu (alias Buharin Yadi) and his cohorts, abruptly terminating their ignominious spell of terror. Halidu was neutralized in a fierce battle with the troops (under the coordination of their Commander, also the General Officer Commanding One Division Nigerian Army, Major General MLD Saraso) which took place around Idasu Forest at the boundaries between Giwa LGA of Kaduna state and Sabuwa LGA of Katsina state. 

“The troops began the covert operation in response to intelligence reports on terrorists’ movement from Samunaka, Saulawa area of Katsina state. On advancing to Samunaka, the troops found the settlement destroyed and cattle killed, evidence of recent criminal activity by the bandits. 

“A ferocious battle quickly followed, as approaching terrorists were pounded with artillery rounds at Hayin Almajiri. The troops then fought bravely through an ambush, to attain their objective. Initial assessments indicate that at least 36 bandits were eliminated in the engagement. It was eventually verified that one of those neutralized was Kachalla Buharin Yadi. 

“Kachalla Buhari Alhaji Halidu (also known as Buharin Yadi or Buhari Janar) and the brigands under his command had been unleashing terror on citizens in Kidandan/Galadimawa general areas of Giwa LGA, Sabon Birni/Kerawa general areas of Igabi LGA, other locations in nearby Sabuwa LGA of Katsina state, and indeed some parts of Niger and Zamfara states.

“Buharin Yadi was involved in large-scale cattle rustling, arms trading and drug trafficking. He had led his gang in the pillaging of communities and the slaughter and kidnapping of thousands of citizens in Kaduna and neighboring states. The merciless bandit was also known to have links with other deadly terrorist groups in the Northeast and Northwest. 

“The breakthrough brings to an end a manhunt by security forces for this terrorist, which stretched more than five years. The news of his demise spread like wildfire, triggering massive relief and widespread celebrations among locals spanning Kaduna and Katsina states. 

Receiving the report, Governor of Kaduna state, Senator Uba Sani expressed his elation at the development, which he described as a pointer to the bravery, pro-activeness and sheer efficiency of the troops involved. The Governor commended the GOC, Major General Saraso for his sterling leadership, and lauded the troops for the comprehensive victory. Governor Sani reassured security forces in Kaduna state of his unflinching support and the continued collaborative stance of government. 

“Members of the public are hereby informed that some of the terrorists sustained gunshot injuries during the encounter. Citizens in the general area and beyond are therefore enjoined not to render assistance (medical or otherwise) to individuals carrying suspicious injuries, but to immediately report such to security agencies. 

“The Kaduna State Security Operations Room is available 24 hours a day to receive reports of this nature on the phone lines 09034000060 and 08170189999. Special operations against bandits continue in the general area. Citizens are urged to continue to volunteer supportive information to the security forces and the government,” he said.

About Benjamin Samson, Abuja and AbdulRaheem Aodu, Kaduna 

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