Troops of the Nigerian Army attached to Operation Harbin Kunama 3 have arrested the traditional heads of Doka and Mutu villages in the Gusau Local Government Area of the state for serving as informants to bandits.
The troops also shot dead six bandits in Kirsa and Sunke villages in the Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State during a gun battle.
The arrest of the traditional heads comes two weeks after the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said some traditional rulers in Zamfara and the North-West region helped bandits to perpetuate criminal activities.
Although the Zamfara State Council of Chiefs denied the allegations, the minister insisted in another statement by his Public Relations Officer, Col Tukur Gusau, a week later that the Federal Government had some security reports from the region indicting some traditional rulers of complicity in banditry and killings in the state.
According to the army on Monday, apart from the arrests of the leaders of Doka and Mutu villages, whose names were not disclosed, the troops nabbed 16 other suspected informants and errand men to the bandits.
Our correspondent learnt that the troops were on a clearance operation in Kirsa and Sunke villages in the Anka Local Government Area when they ambushed the bandits and engaged them in a shoot-out for about two hours.
The soldiers thereafter killed six of the bandits, recovered two AK-47 rifles and two motorcycles.
Our correspondent learnt that the bandits were armed with “sophisticated automatic weapons” but were forced to flee, abandon their camps and logistics, which were subsequently destroyed by the troops.
The Director, Army Public Relations, in a statement on Monday, confirmed the arrests of the village leaders and the deaths, of the bandits, saying three motorcycles, two dane guns, two machetes, among others were recovered from the bandits in Gusau Local Government Area.
He said, “Troops on Operation Harbin Kunama 3, based on credible intelligence about bandits’ movements in Kirsa and Sunke in the Anka LGA, continued with a clearance operation into the hinterland to clear the brigands.
“Consequently, the troops engaged the bandits in a shoot-out at the bushes of Kirsa and Sunke villages which resulted in the extermination of six criminals, the recovery of two AK-47 rifles and two motorcycles.
“In Doka and Mutu villages in the Gusau LGA, troops also had a serious encounter on Saturday with a group of bandits which lasted for about two hours. The brigands were armed with sophisticated automatic weapons, but they were overpowered by the troops, forcing them to flee from their hideouts. Eighteen suspected informants to the bandits were arrested, including the village heads of Doka and Mutu villages.”
He added, “The Force Commander, Maj.-Gen Hakeem Otiki, said the troops would continue to go after bandits in Zamfara and the contiguous states of Kebbi, Katsina and Sokoto.”
Meanwhile, the Zamfara State Council of Chiefs has denied apologising to the Nigerian Air Force over its allegations that innocent villagers were victims of air strikes targeted at bandits and kidnappers terrorising the state.
Chairman of the state Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad, the Emir of Anja, while speaking to newsmen on Monday, described the report that the emirs apologised as baseless.
Recalling what transpired when the Chief of Air Staff delegation visited him, Alhaji Ahmad said, “I received an entourage led by Air Vice Marshall Idi Lubo, who was in the state to condole and sympathised with the entire people of the state over a mistake made by NAF that consumed innocent lives.
“In my remarks, there was no where I apologised that NAF mistakenly killed innocent lives during its bombardments on targeted camps operated by bandits across some villages in the state recently but, I rather used words of respect as did by the August visitor which had been our tradition when receiving guests.
“Our council meeting had, based on credible reports, believed that the killings of innocent people had occurred and we stand by our position. If later, I would come back to make a U-turn on that matter then, I should not remain as Emir,” he said.
Attahiru further said that NAF had accepted that the action was a mistake.
But NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said, “We will not take issue with esteemed royal fathers and traditional rulers. We follow the due process to ensure that it is only the criminals that are taken out by the air strikes. We remain resolute and we will continue our operations.”
Army Chief Commissions Multiple Projects in Janguza Barracks, Commends Troops of 3 Brigade
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, has commissioned multiple projects in Janguza Barracks, Kano.
The newly completed projects, according to a statement signed by the Director Army Public, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, which include 72 units of Corporals and Below Quarters (CBQ), 30 units of Single Officers’ Quarters (SOQ) and 5 blocks of Company Offices and training shades were officially inaugurated today 26 January 2022 during COAS’ maiden working tour of 3 Brigade area of responsibility.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, General Yahaya stated that the visit is in tandem with his command philosophy, to enable him interact with troops and obtain first hand information that will enhance his command and administration of the Nigerian Army (NA).
Gen Yahaya disclosed that the dearth of personnel accommodation in the NA is receiving adequate and prompt attention with the construction of befitting accomodations across formations and units of the NA, adding that the welfare of personnel is paramount to his command.
During the working tour, the Commander 3 Brigade, Brigadier General Sinyinah Nicodemus gave the COAS a brief on the Operational engagements and security situation in the Brigade’s <a href=”https://metrotimesng.com” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>area</a> of responsibility.
The COAS in his appraisal, commended troops of the Brigade for discharging their duties with diligence.
The COAS was accompanied during the visit by principal staff officers from Army Headquarters and the General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Kabiru Muhktar.
NIWA Poised to Change Safety Narratives on Waterways – Moghalu
The Managing Director, National Inland waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu, has said the apex regulatory agency on brown water economy will leave no stone unturned in the quest to ensure accident free water transportation in the country.
He also informed that safety on waterways as a major mandate of NIWA will be pursued with vigour under his watch as a process to engender confidence among water transportation operators and users, and also to attract local and foreign investment.
Speaking after inspecting navigational buoys facilitated by NIWA on Lagos waterways from Marina to Ikorodu, with an ongoing phase two from same Marina, navigating iworo to Badagry,. Dr Moghalu noted that the Lagos template, geared towards activating a national water transportation safety architecture, will further help in emergency rescue operations and provide distressed boats an anchor before help arrives, thus eliminating incidences of crafts drifting on mid waters.
Accompanied by Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Engineer Sarat Lara Braimah and President, Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), Ganiyu Tarzan Balogun, Dr Moghalu assured that NIWA will not fail in its responsibilities to enthrone enduring accident free water transportation signature across littoral states in Nigeria.
Mr Gani Balogun thumped up the niwa initiative, saying that Dr moghalu is a man of his words and should be trusted to make water transportation safe and attractive for all end users.
“At the last stakeholders meeting last year in Lagos, Dr moghalu promised to ensure a navigable Lagos waterways through provision of buoys which would not only serve as an anchor point for distressed boat operators but will help provide access and geographical location to rescue efforts and today, we have seen that promised fulfilled and we say more grease to his elbows,” an excited Mr Balogun stated.
Lagos Govt Suspends Activities of NURTW
The Lagos State Government has placed indefinite suspension on activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) at Eyin Eyo, Church Street and Idumota Bridge on Lagos Island.
This was as a result of the mayhem that engulfed the areas last week where union members freely used dangerous weapons to attack themselves and commercial paralysed activities in the areas.
At a stakeholders meeting comprising the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Central Business District (CBD) and Lagos State Market Women Association (Iya Oloja General and Iya Oloja of Lagos Island) at the Bagauda Kaltho Press center to tackle crisis often caused by the activities of the union, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka meted out the ban to prevent further acts of violence at idumota, adding that the Lagos State Parks Monitoring Authority will resume at Eyin Eyo.
Fayinka stated that the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) would station an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) on Idumota Bridge to deter motorists from driving against traffic in compliance with traffic rules and regulations and to enforce the suspension of the NURTW within the axis and simultaneously flush out the Oju Opake boys lurking along Plaza around Church Street axis.
Also suspended are the activities of the transport union at Church Street and John Street, particularly Keke Marwa and Mini Buses (Korope).
The Transport Special Adviser added that the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in collaboration with the State Police Command would ensure safety of lives in the area.