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.”
NSCDC Vows to Investigate Alleged Involvement of Officer in Banditry, Maintains Zero Tolerance to Criminality
By Eric Elezuo
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has vowed to investigate the alleged involvement of one of its officers in banditry as a supposed video which has gone viral is suggesting.
Speaking through a statement, the Corps’ Director of Public Relations, DCC Olusola Odumosu, noted that there’s a possibility that the culprit is telling lies as most criminals are fond of impersonating security personnel.
He added that the Corps is disciplined, and will not condone criminality from anyone, especially a staff.
Odumosu further promised that a thorough investigation will be conducted, and members of the public will be informed of the outcome.
Read the full details:
The attention of the management of the Nigera Security and Civil Defence Corps has been drawn to a video clip already gone viral in relation to one Abdullah Saidu, an acclaimed Civil Defence personnel arrested in connection with a group of armed bandits terrorizing some parts of Koton Karfe Local Government Area of Kogi state.
It is pertinent to point out that the Nigera Security and Civil Defence Corps is a Federal security agency saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property amongst others, hence, would not in anyway condone any saboteur of National Security or sponsors of criminalities.
Based on the aforementioned, the Corps wishes to inform the public that the purported video where the alleged suspect openly confessed to the crime did not in anyway give credence to or affirm his membership of the Corps as experience has shown that criminals are fond of impersonating security operatives in order to divert attention, subvert investigation or get away with the crime.
However, due to the high premium placed on integrity, discipline and professionalism by management of the Corps, an intelligence based team has been set up to carry out thorough investigation on the matter and check available records to confirm the authenticity of his claim. Thereafter, the general public shall be adequately briefed on subsequent findings
We wish to reiterate that the Corps will continue to discharge it’s statutory mandates without compromise but with humility and integrity, while also synergizing with other sister agencies in combating all forms of criminalities in the Nation.
DCC OLUSOLA ODUMOSU
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
NSCDC NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS
Security Alert: Ogun Police Warn Against Praying in Forests at Night
The Police in Ogun on Sunday warned the public against organising prayer sessions at night, especially at forest area, to avoid being victims of kidnappers.
Police spokesman in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, gave the warning in a statement made available to journalists, in Ota, Ogun.
Mr Oyeyemi noted that the Ogun police command has observed “with great concern that, despite the series of warnings and security tips from the command, some members of public are still in the habit of organising prayer sessions in the forest, thereby making themselves easy prey for kidnappers”.
“However, in as much as the command is not oblivious of right to freedom of religion, it is worthy of note that the present security situation in the country does not favorably disposed to organizing prayer sessions in isolated places,” the PPRO said.
He appealed to the public to refrain from creating opportunities for kidnappers to operate as the command was working assiduously to get rid of the criminal elements, “who turned kidnapping into business”.
Mr Oyeyemi explained that security should be seen everybody’s business and “we should all play our part in securing ourselves and our property, adding that after all the scriptures even enjoined us to watch and pray.”
Safeguard the Nation or Be Removed, NSCDC Boss Tells Zonal Commanders, State Commandants
In view of the prevailing security situation in the country which has made it imperative to redouble effort towards ensuring effective delivery of the Corps mandate in the enforcement of peace and development of Nigeria, the Commandant General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ahmed Audi, PhD, mni, has charged all Zonal and State Commandants to function optimally by stepping up their operational activities in securing the nation and safeguarding critical assets and infrastructure.
A statement signed by the Director of Public Relations, DCC Olusola Odumosu, noted that the CG made this known during the Commandant General’s Conference at the Corps National Headquarters, Abuja, where he emphasized the need to justify the confidence reposed in the Corps by the Government through concerted effort and by making significant impact in the protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure, Disaster Management, supervision of Private Guard Companies and the protection of farmers and farmlands.
According to the CG, the wave, dynamics and sophistication of crisis such as terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, militancy, ethnic agitation, kidnapping, oil bunkering and so on has led to very serious devastation particularly on the economy, hence, the need for the corps to develop strategies that could best address this social menace.
Speaking further, Dr Audi decried the spate of Insecurity in Nigeria which has recently assumed an alarming Asymmetric dimension and affected every facet of Nigerian life, thus, leading to severe unimaginable social consequences across the six geographical regions but particularly the North-East, North Central and South-South.
He gave a stern warning to all zonal and state commandants to resist any attempt by criminals or any group of individuals to unleash terror and destroy the peace of Nigeria. ‘’The only way to justify your existence is to carry out your duties beyond reasonable doubt; our mandates are very clear, so, we must resist any attempt by criminal elements to subvert our peaceful coexistence and be able to show to Nigerians that we are collecting government salaries’’ Audi said.
He directed all the state Commandants to renew and strengthen their anti-vandalism drive by closing down more illegal refineries, arrest and prosecute oil thieves, illegal bunkering suspects and tankers loading, reloading and transloading crude oil across borders. Reiterating that, safeguarding the nation’s critical infrastructure is a task that must be done as it impacts directly on national prosperity, human capital development and survival of the people.
Therefore, any state commandant that perform below expectation would be removed immediately without delay.
The CG reminded the Corps formations of his vision to rejig, reinvigorate, revitalize, reengineer, refocus and reposition the Corps towards building a strong, virile and proactive organization that is knowledge driven, bearing in mind the need to improve on quality of service, productivity, professionalism and operational efficiency.
That one of the focuses of his administration is training and manpower development, bearing in mind the need to enhance the capacity of personnel to effectively deliver on its mandate and every State Command have been mandated to key into this policy.
He promised to introduce career development progression courses for each category of officers which will be the main determinant for their promotion and progression in service. In his words, the CG said ‘’What this means in essence and as a matter of policy is that you must have passed a prescribed career development course before you can be considered for promotion to the next rank.’’
Dr Audi encouraged the managers of affairs of the Corps to continue to sensitize the public on security consciousness and to seek their cooperation in getting credible information that could help in nipping crime in the bud.