Troops capture 10 Boko Haram commanders, neutralise 39 bandits, arrest key logistics suppliers
The Nigerian Army has captured 10 suspected Boko Haram commanders at Bitta in Gwoza LGA of Borno State, trying to escape the troops’ sustained onslaught on them.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
He said that a successful sting operation conducted on October 9 by troops of the 26 Task Force Brigade led to the arrest of the suspects.
According to him, many of those arrested have been identified to have operated combat vehicles during the infamous Boko Haram attack on Gwoza in 2014.
“The arrested suspects include Shettima Mustapha Umar, Abba Buji, Alhaji Bukar Madu-(KAHID – a Boko Haram Terrorists’ equivalent of a Brigadier General), Ali Hassan (Boko Haram Terrorist Imam) and Alkali Laminu.
“ Others are Bukur Mustapha, Buba Umaru (Alias Black Uhuru) also a KAHID, Madu Nosobe, Mustapha Hussaine and Umar Jeddum all from Bama LGA of Borno State.
“It is gratifying to note that one of the arrested suspects, Alhaji Bukar Modu is Serial 89 on the high profile Boko Haram leaders wanted list published by the authorities of the Nigerian Army,’’ he said.
Iliyasu said that the troops of the Nigerian Army had stepped up operations nationwide to checkmate the activities of criminal, adding that various operations had yielded results.
He also said that troops of 1 Division Garrison Tactical Headquarters, Kaduna, intercepted suspected cattle rustlers and recovered 23 rustled cows in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area.
According to him, efforts are on to identify the owners of the stolen livestock for eventual release to them.
Iliyasu further said that five herdsmen complicit in the murder of one Haliru Yahaya on his farm in Birniwa in Jigawa, were arrested in a joint operation by the army and police.
The operations spokesman said that the arrested suspects were currently in the custody of the Nigeria Police in Birniwa while troops maintain vigilance in the area to forestall any escalation.
According to him, notorious armed robbers and kidnappers, vandals and oil bunkers were also arrested in Edo, Ondo, Ogun, Plateau, Delta and Rivers states in various operations of the army.
“In the light of the above, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai, wishes to thank all patriotic citizens for availing the Nigerian Army with useful information leading to the successes so far recorded.
“He also congratulated the troops for the unprecedented successes in the arrest of the 10 Boko Haram criminals and admonished them to keep the pressure on the insurgents and their collaborators,” Iliyasu said.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 39 bandits were neutralised by soldiers in two operations in Zamfara State.
Captain Oni Orisan, Operation Hadarin Daji spokesman, who disclosed this on Saturday, said the operations were carried out in Bakura and Anka axis of the state.
According to him, 19 of the bandits were killed in an encounter with the army in the bushes of Anka while the 20 were killed in Bakura.
Orisan reiterated that the soldiers would not attack any repentant bandit.
He, however, said that those unrepentant ones who carry guns and move around in large numbers would be treated as hostile.
He advised the unrepentant bandits to surrender their arms to constituted authorities and embrace the peace initiative of the state government.
Since the beginning of the peace and reconciliation initiative about five months ago, peace has returned to many communities.