Troops of the special Operation Hadari Daji (OPHD), put together to confront bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements in Zamfara and Katsina states have exterminated no fewer than 100 bandits, and recovered various arms and ammunition at different hideouts in both states.
A statement by the Acting Force Information Officer, Operation Hadarin DaJI (OPHD), Captain Ayobami Oni-Orisan, at the weekend, explained that the success of the operation was the result of support and cooperation of the people of both states to the military’s effort to crush criminal gangs in the North-West.
The statement read, “Following the recent upsurge in activities of unrepentant bandits in Zamfara state who have refused to key into the ongoing Peace Initiatives of the Zamfara State Government, Operation Hadari Daji (OPHD) commenced intensive kinetic operations in December 2019 against these criminal elements.
“From December 16, 2019 to January 9, 2020, OPHD troops comprising personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services and other security agencies, conducted several clearance operations to smoke out and neutralize these recalcitrant bandits from their enclaves.
“So far, OPHD troops have flushed out bandits hibernating around Tashar Kuturu, Dankalgo, Gobirawa junction, Bagega, Kawaye, Duhuwa, Sabon-Birni, Dankurmi, Dangulbi, Hayin Bawa, Zango, Unguwar Shanu, Tundu Mali, Magazu, Mayanchi and Gando forest, in Anka, Talata Mafara, Tsafe, Maru and Bukkuyum local government areas of Zamfara state.
“Additionally, OPHD ground troops backed by the fighter jets of the Air Component also cleared Shinfida in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, neutralizing several bandits in the process.
“During these operations, OPHD troops successfully neutralized about 100 bandits, including 6 key commanders, and rescued no less than 10 kidnapped persons.
“Furthermore, troops recovered 500 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 23 motorbikes, 15 AK-47 rifles, four General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), one PKM Machine Gun, one Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) bomb, one Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) tube, 11 fully-loaded magazines, 600 rustled cows, and 300 rustled sheep.
“It is worthy of mention that during the clearance operations, OPHD troops in collaboration with the Defence Forces of Niger Republic apprehended a high-profile gunrunner named “Kunene”, responsible for the inflow of arms, ammunition and other dangerous weapons to the region.
“In addition, troops also apprehended three suspected bandits; Abubakar Kiri Koloma, Abubakar Ibrahim and Haruna Alhaji Yaro, and two notorious drug dealers; Kabiru Abubakar Isah and Hamisu Dan-kwanba at various locations in Zamfara State during the period. As it is, all the suspects have been profiled and handed over to the relevant security agencies for further interrogation and prosecution.
“It is also worthy of mention that OPHD has succeeded in ensuring that roads Gusau-Sokoto, Katsina-Jibia-Zamfara, Gusau-Shinkafi-Sokoto, Kajiji-Gummi-Anka-Gusau, and many others are safe for travellers, as in the last two months, no incident of kidnapping or highway robbery has taken place.
“It is to be noted that this onslaught against unrepentant and recalcitrant armed bandits will continue until banditry is completely crushed and peace is restored in Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto states. Troops of OPHD remain highly motivated, determined, disciplined and professional in executing this mission in line with extant Rules Of Engagement (ROE) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“Consequently, the Force Commander (FC) OPHD and Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division, Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Aminu Bande duly uses this medium to reassure the good and peace-loving people of Zamfara and all other neighbouring states of their safety.
“He equally encourages them to support the operation by providing timely and credible information to OPHD troops through the dedicated emergency telephone numbers, earlier provided to the general public, to ensure prompt and efficient action.
“The FC hereby uses this medium to warn all recalcitrant bandits and their cohorts to immediately lay down their arms and embrace the on-going peace process or face full military action”, the statement added.
Diri Dangles Olive Branch On Sylva, Lyon
The new Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has called on the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate in the last election, Chief David Lyon and other aggrieved members of the opposition parties to support his administration to move the state forward.
Speaking during a thanksgiving service, yesterday, Diri promised to run an all-inclusive government.
He insisted that he needed the cooperation and support of all leaders of the state, including former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to succeed.
While thanking God for giving him the mandate, the governor urged all his supporters to be magnanimous in victory.
He said: “I will be governor of all, be it PDP, APC and others. We must remain united and ensure peace in our land.
“That is the only time we can be talking of development. Let us work together.”
The governor said his priority was to bring development to every part of Bayelsa, adding that he was willing to consider even members of the opposition parties for appointments.
He, however, warned against crimes saying his administration would go tough on criminals.
“Our administration will not condone crimes and criminalities. No development can take place in the atmosphere devoid of peace,” he said.
In his sermon, the guest preacher, Apostle Zilly Aggrey of Royal House of Grace International Church, said no man should take the glory for the declaration of Diri by the Supreme Court.
Aggrey cautioned against frivolities in governance, and warned the governor against bootlickers, sycophants and praise singers who would run down other people for personal gains.
He noted that Bayelsa was too rich in resources to be poor, and urged the governor to initiate projects that would have direct bearings on the people.
He said: “Every community in Bayelsa should have good water to drink. You should work with the Koreans, Chinese, Germans and other good nations to bring development. Our youths need jobs”.
Aggrey called on the people of Bayelsa to continue to pray for the governor and the deputy governor, to provide them effective leadership.
You’re Jittery Of Protests, PDP Mocks Buhari …You Lack Power To Stop Peaceful Protests, Falana Tells FG …As Nigerians Rally Against Buhari, Service Chiefs, Today
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the Muhammadu Buhari-led Presidency was jittery of a massive protest against the All Progressives Congress (APC) government and the clueless service chiefs.
It advised the Presidency to face its ordeal and address the consensus concern of Nigerians over poor handling of security issues instead of seeking to blame the opposition and the media.
The PDP said this in reaction to a presidential statement, yesterday, that the opposition was sponsoring protests against President Muhammadu Buhari and the service chiefs.
In a statement, National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, told Nigerians that the Presidency was trying to divert attention from its failures and stop the people from marching against insurgency, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and general insecurity.
“It is clear to all, including the Buhari Presidency, that Nigerians across board, have been in protest against the Buhari-led APC administration and need nobody to mobilize them to publicly exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights any day to register their discontentment against a failed administration that has continued to live on propaganda”, it said.
“PDP restates its demand that the security high command should be rejigged to inject new blood to effectively tackle our security challenges; a position that have become a consensus opinion of all other patriotic individuals and groups, including the two chambers of the National Assembly, are well known within and outside our country.
“Accusing the opposition and threatening the media are, therefore, diversionary and apparently aimed to validate alleged plots by agents of governments to clamp down on innocent Nigerians, the media and members of the civil society to suppress and foist a siege mentality on Nigerians.”
The PDP said it was awarded that the accusation is part of the ploy by the Buhari Presidency to intimidate the party and stop it from demanding that the Buhari administration be alive to its responsibility to secure the nation or step aside.
The party warned the Nigerian government to stop threatening citizens, abandon the usual denials and excuses and work on the country’s security architecture and end the escalated bloodletting.
Similarly, a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), yesterday, said the Presidency lacked the power to stop people from protesting against service chiefs for alleged poor handling of the war against terrorism in the country.
The senior lawyer, therefore, cautioned the police authorities against harassing any protester.
He was responding to a statement by a presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, who had alleged that about 2,000 persons had been hired to stage a protest against the service chiefs to embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari.
Shehu had said, “The Presidency wishes to caution a section of the political class against misleading the public and inciting protests against the heads of military institutions.
“This has become necessary in view of received reports that about 2,000 men and women have been hired to demonstrate against Nigeria’s service chiefs on Monday.”
Reacting to the statement, Falana recalled how Buhari, and other leaders of the APC, including the immediate-past national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and the incumbent Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, protested against insecurity on November 14, 2014.
He added that a group of protesters, last week, staged a procession in Abuja in support of the prosecution of the counter-insurgency operations by the service chiefs and demanded the expulsion of Amnesty International from Nigeria without any hindrance.
He said Nigerians had the right to protest for and against the Federal Government without requiring permission from the Presidency.
Falana stated, “The authorities of the Nigeria Police Force are urged not to harass aggrieved Nigerians for protesting against perceived injustice in the country.
“After all, a group of citizens were allowed to demonstrate in Abuja, last week, in support of the prosecution of the counter-insurgency operations by the service chiefs.
“On that occasion, the group called on the Federal Government to expel Amnesty International from Nigeria for criticising the service chiefs.
“Without any evidence whatsoever the Presidency has alleged that those who are calling for the replacement of the service chiefs are working for the Boko Haram sect!
“However, since Nigerians have the fundamental right to demonstrate for or against the Federal Government without official fiat the Presidency has no power to stop any peaceful protest in the country.”
Falana recalled that the court had affirmed Nigerians’ right to assemble and protest peacefully in the case of All Nigerian People’s Party V. Inspector-General of Police (2008).
He added, “It was in exercise of the right of freedom of expression that APC leaders, including Muhammadu Buhari, Chief John Oyegun, Dr. Sylvester Onu and Rotimi Amaechi had participated in the protest held at Abuja on November 20, 2014, against insecurity under the erstwhile Jonathan administration”.
Bayelsa: Resign Now, APC Chieftain Tells Oshiomhole
The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Edo State and former president of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), Comrade Peter Esele, says recent happenings in the party, including the Supreme Court judgement on Bayelsa State, were clear reminders that it was time for the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to go.
Esele told newsmen in Benin, yesterday, that Oshiomhole cannot claim ignorance that the deputy governorship candidate of the party in Bayelsa was ineligible to contest the election.
“In life, there comes a time when you must make a clear distinction between individual and institutional interests”, the APC governorship aspirant in 2016 said.
The stalwart noted that Oshiomhole’s utterances about national issues had become a huge embarrassment to APC and Nigeria.
Esele said that as the ruling party must defend the institutions no matter the pain or interest, adding that, “Failure to do so is a recipe for anarchy”.
He alleged that “The incompetence and corrupt practices at the national secretariat has resulted in the weakening of various important internal processes for the selection of party candidates.
“States like Bayelsa and Zamfara now have to contend with governors the people never voted for,” he said.
Esele insisted that APC has been factionalised in Edo with the alleged support of Oshiomhole.
“Neither faction will be able to fulfil the required provision of our party’s processes and protocol.
“APC has outgrown the kind of theatrics displayed by Oshiomole who, ironically, was also a product of court processes. The time is now to thank him for his services to the party and move on.
“Or, are we going to wail again, when the courts intervene to sack our candidate in Edo? There comes a time when you must choose sides.
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