Kaduna State government disclosed yesterday that 11 hostages escaped from bandits‘ camps on the outskirts of Sabon Birni town, Igabi local government area.
The commissioner for internal security and home affairs, Samuel Aruwan, in a statement, quoted security reports as saying ongoing security operations in the state had dislodged many of the bandits from their camps, leaving them in disarray and enabling the escape of the hostages being held.
The commissioner further stated that the 11 hostages were a mix of those kidnapped from Dumbin Rauga, Zaria local government area, and also along the Kaduna-Zaria highway.
The statement noted: “The escaped hostages were identified as follows: From Dumbin Rauga (all children between ages 7 and 10): Fatima Sani, Aisha Falalu, Amina Aliyu, Hadizatu Sani Bashar Falalu.
“From the Kaduna-Zaria Road (abducted while traveling from Maiduguri to Ilorin): Fatima Umar, Zara Umar (and her infant) Hadiza Madu Sharif, Hauwa Ali, Zara Madu Sharif, Maryam Madu.”
Aruwan further said it was reported that the families of those kidnapped at Dumbin Rauga had collectively paid a ransom of N3million but the bandits reneged on the agreement to release the captives, insisting that two motorcycles must be included in the ransom deal.
He added that the escapees were recovered by the troops and have since been reunited with their families.
In another development, troops of Operation Safe Haven reported the rescue of two kidnapped victims, Barira Sulaiman Inusa and Isah Musa, around Kirti village of Jema’a local government area.
“They have also been reunited with their families”, the statement said.
Aruwan said troops also rescued one Mrs Chioma Amanda Silver in Ungwan Sarki Goza village, Mariri, Lere local government area.
“She had been abducted by bandits who abandoned her on sighting the troops,” he said.
He noted that Governor Nasir el-Rufai expressed his satisfaction with the developments, praising the military’s efforts and the degrading effect of the onslaught on bandit hideouts across the state.
He also commended the swift response of the troops to rescue the kidnapped citizens in Jema’a and Lere.
Notorious Boko Haram Commander Surrenders With Family In Gwoza
A notorious Boko Haram/ISWAP Commander, Adamu Rugurugu, who was in charge of Gwoza and Sambisa general area, yesterday surrendered to troops along with his family members in Gwoza local area of Borno State.
A youth leader from Gwoza who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent in Maiduguri that Adamu Rugurugu surrendered with his three wives, four children and Ak47 rifle to troops in Gwoza.
The youth leader added that Adamu Rugurugu had been the commander blocking the road linking Gwoza to Sambisa which had witnessed abductions and attacks on civilians plying the Maiduguri-Bama – Gwoza road.
He added that the terrorists in recent days had been surrendering to troops in their numbers in both Bama and Gwoza local government areas, adding that their yielding to authority could not be unconnected with the heavy military fire power on the sambisa forest and proximity of the deadly forest to the local government areas.
He said with the surrendering of Adamu Rugurugu, there is no doubt that very soon his followers will also throw in the towel since their boss has surrendered.
He further said that the terrorists sometimes front someone to surrender and negotiate their general surrender, hence there might be others waiting behind to come out from the forest.
“Adamu Rugurugu surrendered with his three wives, four children and Ak47 to troops in Gwoza on Thursday. He is an Ameer (leader) on Gwoza road that links Sambisa forest. In the recent days, the terrorists have been surrendering in their numbers to troops in Bama and Gwoza,” the Gwoza youth leader said.
Our correspondent reports that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, had while flagging off welfare flight for troops of Operation Hadin Kai at the Air Force Base Maiduguri recently called on terrorists and bandits still waging war against the country to use the window of opportunity created by their other members who are surrendering en mass to troops to come out from the bush and surrender or face the wrath of the raging Nigerian military.
156 Bandits Killed, 64 Arrested, 1000 Surrender In 2 Week – DHQ
Also, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday said its troops have killed 156 terrorists and bandits, arrested 64.
It added that over 1000 Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) surrendered in Borno State.
The acting director, Defence Media Operations, Brig Gen Benard Onyeuko, stated this during the biweekly update on the Armed Forces of Nigeria operations across the country covering July 29 to August 12, 2021.
He said among those arrested include two notorious cattle rustlers named, Mallam Buda Umar from Niger Republic and Mai Hatsi Ibrahim from Gada local government area of Sokoto State as well as four armed bandits and drug peddlers.
He disclosed that the troops also arrested three terrorists’ collaborators and recovered large quantity of arms and ammunitions from various offensives.
In his breakdown, he said troops killed 27 killed terrorists, arrested 54 and rescued 29 captives in the North East theatre of Operation Hadin Kai.
“Cumulatively, the operations led to the neutralisation of 27 BHT/ISWAP fighters, arrest of 51 BHT/ISWAP terrorists, three terrorists’ collaborators as well as recovery of 35 assorted arms and 1,051 round of ammunition including AK-47 and FN rifles, Dushka anti-aircraft guns, GPMG, PKT guns, 60mm mortar tubes, Makarov pistol and other machine guns, amongst other items.
“In addition, 29 abducted civilians were rescued within the period under review. Gentlemen no fewer than 1,000 terrorists and their families comprising adult females and children surrendered to own troops at different locations in the North East.
“Notable among them are the notorious BHT bomb expert named, Musa Adamu aka Mala Musa Abuja and his deputy, Usman Adamu aka Abu Darda. This has in no small measure depleted the BHT fighting force,” he said
Meanwhile, in the North West, the air component of operation killed 123 armed bandits and destroyed hideouts and rescued four captives.
The director noted that the troops on July 31, 2021, responded to a distress call from locals on cattle rustling and kidnapping incidents and armed bandits’ attacks on farmers at Bagida village in Sokoto State, Shinkafi in Zamfara State and Maigora, Falale and Ungwan Dudu villages as well as Kankara – Katsina road in Katsina State.
He added that in all incidents, troops repelled the criminals, rescued farmers and kidnapped victims as well as recovered arms, ammunition and some livestock, while some criminal elements were arrested.
He said, “Cumulatively, a total of 89 livestock, five AK-47 rifles, three rounds of 9mm ball and 48 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition were recovered and 4 kidnap victims rescued.”
“Also, two notorious cattle rustlers named, Mallam Buda Umar from Niger Republic and Mai Hatsi Ibrahim from Gada LGA of Sokoto State as well as 4 armed bandits and drug peddlers were arrested.”
The Director stated that between August 2 and 6 2021, the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI, carried out intensive air strikes on bandits’ hideouts at the South of Dansadau Town; North of Kwiambana Forest Reserves as well as North of Sububu Forest and Dudufi village under Faru District in Maradun local government area, all in Zamfara State.
He said the air strikes resulted in the destruction of bandits’ structures, including the residence of one of their leaders, Halilu Tubali, in which the armed bandits converged for a meeting.
“The air strikes in conjunction with ground troops’ assaults resulted in the neutralisation of no fewer than 123 armed bandits and destruction of their logistics facilities in the process,” he said
In a related development, he said troops of Operation Safe Haven rescued two Fulani herdsmen at Mararaban Tifa Town and two kidnapped victims at Ungwan Ayaba District in Nasarawa State and one along Tahoss -Sopp Road in Plateau State. He was said to be in his 60s.
He further said troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE raided bandits’ hideouts in Benue and Taraba where eight armed bandits were arrested and victims rescued.
According to him, items recovered in the course of the operations include, six AK-47 rifles, one SMG, two pistols, 66 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition among other items.
Also in the period under review, he said troops of Operation DELTA SAFE conducted series of anti-illegal oil operations in the South-South Zone of the Country leading to the discovery and deactivation of several illegal refining sites with a total of 21 ovens, 12 dugout pits and 58 metal storage tanks laden with a total of 2.329 million litres of illegally refined AGO and 2.19 million litres of stolen crude oils as well as 2 boilers and 750 bags of illegally refined oil products.
He added that during the operations, troops also recovered one speed boat, one AK-47 rifle, one FN rifle, three Smoke gun rifles, 12 fabricated RPGs, 263 live cartridges, 20 rounds of 7.62mm NATO and 7.62mm special ammunition among other items.
Meanwhile in the South-East, he said security forces ambushed and killed six IPOB/ESN members, who were involved in the killing of a District Police Officer (DPO) at Omuma Town in Orlu East local government area of Imo State and arrested three and 13 others arrested.
“The troops also recovered 19 AK-47 rifles, single single barrel Dane guns, one G3 assault rifle and three locally-made pistols, 30 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, three daggers, and one locally-made double barrel pistol loaded with 10 rounds of cartridges,” he noted.
Abducted Ijebu-Ode Chief Imam Found Dead In Car
Meanwhile, The Chief Imam of Atiba community, a suburb of Ijebu – Ode, Sheikh Mushafau Bakare, who was kidnapped by gunmen on Wednesday, has been found dead in his newly acquired SUV Highlander Toyota Jeep.
The corpse of Bakare was discovered in the Toyota Highlander around Ikangba area in Odogbolu local government area by police operatives attached to Obalende Divisional headquarters, Ijebu Ode.
Before the body of the deceased was discovered, children and relatives of the cleric as well as some Muslim faithful had mounted a search party for him since he was declared missing on Wednesday.
His phone was said to have continued ringing when he was being searched without pick-up.
Ogun Police spokesman, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, did not pick his call or respond to a text message for reaction on the incident.
The cleric was laid to rest yesterday at the community according to Islamic injunctions.