NAF Fighter Jets

On the Ongoing Military Assaults on Bandits and kidnappers in Northwest

By MUKHTAR Ya’u Madobi

The fact is sacred. Nigeria has been facing unprecedented security challenges from different quarters as a result of persistent activities by the non-state actors across the length and breadth of the country.

These include kidnappers and bandits, insurgents, armed robbers, ethnic militias, militants, separatists/agitators, cultists, rituals, Yahoo boys and a host of other criminal elements.

Their activities have undoubtedly continued to drag the nation’s image in the mud, thereby hindering national development and nation building.

In particular, kidnapping and banditry in addition to insurgency have continued to pose a serious threat to the national security of Nigeria. This gruesome acts are more pronounced in the Northern part of the country where their (bandits) rampaging activities have infested almost every state in the region with the exception of a very few.

It is on record that states like Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger , Kebbi and Sokoto have been at the receiving end due to the devilish activities of bandits and kidnappers. A large number of Residents have been sacked from their ancestral communities and forced to take shelter in IDPs camps and makeshift tents.

However, in the past few years, the Armed Forces of Nigeria, AFN, comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force have been relentless in their efforts towards containing these challenges aimed at safeguarding the lives and properties of the citizens.

Various theaters of wars alongside coded military operations have been established in order to fight these enemies of the state who are unleashing violence on the law-abiding citizens.

Recently, the nationwide crackdown of non-state actors by the military has been yielding desired results as the terrorists are being forced to retreat while the security forces have since taken their fight to the criminals’ door steps.

Many terrorist commanders and their followers have been wiped out and their enclaves got ransacked by the gallant and highly spirited troops.

For example, in Kaduna, many bandits warlords terrorizing communities have been successfully liquidated and their captives set free and reunited with their families and relatives.

On December 08, it was reported how Troops and Special Forces of the Nigerian Army made further gains in ongoing offensives as they neutralized a total of nine bandits during fierce battles in some locations in Giwa LGA of Kaduna State.

During the operation, the troops cleared a bandit camp at a river line around Rafin Sarki and neutralized five bandits in the vicinity, while many others took to their heels.

Still, in another leg of the fierce encounter, the troops and Special Forces cleared a hideout around Galadimawa forest, where four bandits were engaged and neutralized. More than a dozen kidnapped women and children were rescued by the troops, having been abandoned by their captors.

Also, on December 02, the military struck bandit locations in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi, Chiku and rescued hostages.

The onslaught was carried out by the air component of Operation Whirl Punch at various locations of interest in frontline areas. This was following credible intelligence that bandits had gathered around Ukambo, Chikun LGA, and air platforms targeted the location and struck it successfully. Similarly, the hideouts of bandits identified as Alhaji Ishiaka (in Igabi LGA) and Dan Rani (in Birnin Gwari LGA) were targeted and destroyed with rockets.

Furthermore, terrorist camps in Janbirni as well as Takaura, Kuyanbana forest, Birnin Gwari LGA were targeted and destroyed.

Notwithstanding, Nigerian military fighter jets have also eliminated seven wanted Zamfara terrorists’ kingpins. According to PRNigeria, the notorious bandits were eliminated in Kaduna State by airstrikes of two Nigerian Air Force, NAF, attack jets.

It was learnt that those killed included Jibrin Gurgu, Isah Jauro and Tambowal from Zamfara State. Other kingpins eliminated are Noti, Bala, Yunusa and Burti who was a well-known associate of another sought-after terrorist, Haladu Buharin Yadi.

Just like that of Kaduna offensiveness, the operation which resulted in the killing of these wanted terrorists was also undertaken by the Air Component of Operation Whirl Punch at identified Terrorists hideouts in Alhaji Ganai location, Buhari New location and Dogon Maikaji all in Giwa Local Government Area (LGA).

Nevertheless, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has continued with assaults on identified bandit camps and enclaves around Kaduna State. Because, recent feedback to the Kaduna State Government revealed that a camp in Riyawa, Igabi LGA, was targeted and destroyed. A terrorist location at Tofa general area of Birnin Gwari LGA was similarly engaged and struck.

For every operation, close air support was provided to ground troops as armed reconnaissance was sustained along the Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road, Buruku, Kurmin Dande, Damba, Ungwan Yako, Udawa, Manini, Kuriga, Gagafada, Kushaka, Polewire and Kamfanin Doka areas spanning Chikun and Birnin Gwari LGAs.

Not too long ago, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao revealed that the Military is winning the war against terrorism especially with the provision of new and modern platforms and NAF’s ability to effectively operationalize their usage in the battlefield against terrorists and insurgents.

Thus, it is evident that with this high level of morale and spirit among troops, Nigeria’s security challenges are bound to soon become a thing of the past.

MUKHTAR is a Staff Writer with the Emergency Digest

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