On Tuesday, 25 June 2019, the force Commander Operation Hadari Daji, Major General Jide Ogunlade at a press briefing reeled out the achievement of the army in Zamfara state.
1. I am delighted to welcome you to Headquarters Operation HADARI DAJI for my maiden Press Briefing aimed at intimating the public on activities of our operation. Once again, thanks for coming.
2. To effectively consolidate on the gains and operational successes recorded by Joint Troops under the auspices of Operation SHARAN DAJI in curtailing armed banditry, kidnapping and other sundry crimes within Zamfara state and environs, the Defence Headquarters recently, on 10 May 2019, reorganized the ongoing military operation in the state and officially changed its nomenclature from Operation SHARAN DAJI to Operation HADARI DAJI.
This reorganization is already yielding results as troops of Operation HADARI DAJI have recorded significant achievements in the theatre of operations and are making steady but assured progress in degrading the capabilities of armed bandits and other criminals operating within the state.
3. It is pertinent to state that in 6 weeks since inception, troops of Operation HADARI DAJI (OPHD) have recorded strings of successes against criminal elements in the state, including a daring rescue of 14 persons from Dumburum forest. Notable amongst the achievements recorded are as follows:
4. On 10 May 2019, troops in collaboration with vigilantes, rescued 6 civilians earlier kidnapped by armed bandits at Tamaski village under Kawaye district of Anka Local Government Area.
The aggressive troops equally neutralized 6 of the kidnappers in the process while other escaped with gunshot wounds. Additionally, 3 bandits’ camps were destroyed while 4 motorbikes were burnt.
Similarly, on the same day,troops of OPHD in conjunction with local vigilantes, arrested a notorious bandits’ logistics supplier at GurbiBaure Village in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara state along Kwashabawa village in Jibia LGA.
The notorious supplier identified as ‘MarwarnuAbubakar’ was responsible for supplying several logistics including arms and food items to various bandits’ camps across the state.
5. Similarly on12 May 2019, troops of OPHD conducted aggressive clearance operations within SabonMadada forest to destroy identified bandits enclaves.
The gallant troops overran the heavily fortified camps and overwhelmed the well-armed bandits, neutralized 4 of them and injured several others who fled in disarray with gunshot wounds, abandoning their camps and logistics in the process.
The troops burnt all the camps along with 17 motorcycles used by bandits for their heinous crimes and further cleared Katoge, AngwanSariki, DanDala and Madada villages all along that axis.
Unfortunately, 1 vigilante died and another was injured during the encounter.
6. In a related development, on same 12 May 2019, vigilant troops, during a fighting patrol conducted to Bawa-Ganga, Kwaren-Ganuwa, Keta and Matoshi villages, apprehended suspected bandits who were disguised as local vigilantes with the intention to sneak into the villages and unleash mayhem on unsuspecting villagers.
The troops duly recovered the following from the bandits:
a. 2 X locally-made rifles
b. 1 X Motorcycle (which was destroyed)
c. 20 X rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition
7. On 21 May, 2019 troops of OPHD engaged heavily armed bandits in a firefight at Bagabuzu village. The gallant troops forced the bandits to flee in disarray, many of them with gunshot wounds.
8. Similarly, on 25 May 2019, Special Forces Elements of Operation HADARI DAJI while on clearance operations in Sububu forest, made contact with heavily armed bandits at their well-fortified camps.
Adopting an aggressive posture, the troops engaged the bandits in a firefight and subsequently neutralized 2 of the criminals. Others fled with gunshot wounds, abandoning their camps and logistics which were destroyed by the troops.
9. Furthermore, on Sunday, 2 June, 2019, the Special Forces component of Operation HADARI DAJI again neutralized 4 suspected jihadists and inflicted heavy injuries on several others in coordinated ambushes at 3 notorious bandits’ camps within Magami- Dangulbi axis of Gusau Local Government Area in Zamfara state.
During that encounter, our gallant troops engaged the heavily armed terrorists in a firefight and eventually overwhelmed them with superior fire power, resulting in the death of 4 bandits.
Others escaped into surrounding bushes with various degrees of injuries while their camps and logistics were equally destroyed by the troops.
Accordingly, there was no casualty recorded on the part of troops involved in the operation. Of note among the items recovered from the suspected jihadists were head warmers with the inscription ‘JAHADI’. After the engagement, the following statistics were recorded:
a. 4 X AK47 rifles recovered
b. 4 X Head Warmers with inscription, “JAHADI”
10. On 18 June 2019, troops of OPHD deployed in KauraNamoda, while conducting aggressive patrols on KauraNamoda- Gusau road, intercepted a Canter truck which was offloading logistics such as fuel, food and drinks into another vehicle.
It was discovered during inspection that the vehicle had bullet holes in it and as such all the occupants of the vehicle were promptly arrested.
11. Furthermore, still on 18 June 2019, troops deployed in Anka Local Government Area, busted a notorious bandits’ logistics ring within the locality.
Acting on credible intelligence that suspected armed bandits were transporting logistics from Riba in Kebbi state into Zamfara state, troops of OPHD conducted a snap roadblock along Bagega- Kawaye road in Anka LGA.
The 2-man gang was trailed from Kebbi to Zamfara were they were intercepted by troops at the roadblock. Items recovered from them include:
a. 1 X Light Machine Gun (LMG)
b. 1 X LMG magazine
12. Between 20 and 21 June 19, OPHD troops on Clearance Operations across various Local Governments in the state, rescued not less than 35 people from armed bandits and kidnappers.
The rescued persons were kidnapped from various locations including BawanDaji-Kawaye area, TunganDuna village, Matankari village, Sunbulu village and along Zurmi-Mashema road.
Notable among these, was the daring night-time rescue of 14 persons from armed bandits’ camps at Dumburum forest.
The victims comprising 9 women, 3 children and 2 men were earlier kidnapped by armed bandits along Zurmi-Mashema road.
The bandits initially escaped with their captives into Dumburum forest but were aggressively pursued by the gallant troops into the forest where they rescued all the kidnapped persons.
It is worthy of note to mention that all of the kidnapped victims were rescued unhurt during the operation. They have since been reunited with their families.
13. Similarly, troops while on aggressive patrols same day in GidanAiki and Gidan Ago communities responded to distress calls from locals that bandits were rustling some herds of cattle at Zonai village.
On sighting troops, the bandits fled the area and abandoned the rustled cows. The troops however pursued the bandits, inflicting various degrees of injuries on them in the process.
Same was recorded at Jaddawa villages where troops engaged armed bandits; killed 2 of them and rescued an earlier kidnapped woman, Miss BariraAudu, who was subsequently reunited with her family.
The recovered rustled cattle were equally handed over to their respective owners.
14. Furthermore, still on 21 June 2019, ground troops in conjunction with the Air component of OPHD responded to a distress call that several armed bandits were attacking Yanbuki village in retaliation for the killing of 11 of their cohorts by troops of OPHD earlier.
The aggressive posture maintained by troops in the ensuing firefight was too much for the overwhelmed bandits who subsequently fled into the surrounding bushes.
15. At about 7pm on 22 June, 2019, troops of OPHD deployed at Bakura LGA, acting on credible information that bandits kidnapped 2 civilians from Rumbar village in Dakko district, deployed swiftly to the locality and engaged the bandits.
Troops pursued them into Kuzi forest where 5 of the bandits were neutralized. Others fled in disarray with various degrees of gunshot wounds. The kidnapped victims were equally rescued unhurt and reunited with their families.
16. Again on 23 June 2019, troops of Operation HADARI DAJI neutralized 4 bandits with jihadi attires and injured several others in a fierce encounter at Dumburum forest. This feat was achieved when troops of OPHD, while on aggressive patrols within KauranNamoda General Area, responded to a distress call from locals at Jaddawa village, that bandits were attacking them and were rustling their cattle.
Troops raced to the scene and engaged the bandits who bore striking resemblance to jihadi-fighters. The undeterred and unfazed troops engaged the criminals in a gun duel, overpowered them and forced them to flee into Dumburum forest, abandoning their mission in the process. The gallant troops pursued the bandits into the forest and continued engaging them with heavy fire.
17. These and many more other successes have been achieved by troops of Operation HADARII DAJI since inception. In summary, troops of OPHD have recorded the following:
a. 11 X AK 47 rifles recovered
b. 14 X Local Dane guns recovered
c. 2437 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition recovered
d. 2 X Pump action rifles recovered
e. 2 X locally made pistols recovered
f. 1 Catridge belt with 10 catridges
f. 20 X armed bandits neutralized
g. 15 X suspected armed bandits (including collaborators) arrested
h. 49X kidnapped victims rescued
i. 2164 X Cows recovered and returned to their owners
18. Presently, troops are dominating all flashpoints with aggressive patrols, amongst others to deny the bandits freedom of action.
Additionally, OPHD is shaping the environment to make the state conducive for farming and other economic activities. This has so far contributed immensely to the gradual restoration of economic progress of the state.
The Air Component of OPHD has equally been conducting both Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance operations across the theatre.
Many of the bandits hiding in the forests have been taken out in the process while their camps have been destroyed. They have always applied caution to avoid collateral damage.
19. I want to use this opportunity to reassure good and law-abiding people of Zamfara state and environs of their safety.
I equally wish to encourage them to continue reporting suspicious movements and activities in their localities to the nearest security agency for prompt action.
We have established communication centre with services of all the major telephone service providers. The centre is open 24 hours. Please report security issues through the telephone numbers and you will get swift responses in your distress periods.
These numbers have been circulated to all of you. I will not conclude this brief without appreciating the wonderful media in this state for their support in the fight against crime.
My deep gratitude also goes to other sister security agencies as well as the state government for their support. Together we shall make Zamfara state safe again.