This is not the best of times for Commanders and fightersof the Banditry Group in the north western states of Zamfara, Sokoto , Kaduna, Katsina, home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, and Niger, home state of General Ibrhim Babangida, a former Nigerian President and including Borno and Yobe states, in the north eastern geopolitical region, , which is still under the siege of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP.
Barely six months to the end of the Katsina state born Nigerian President second term in office, the military which had intensified efforts to curb banditry and terrorism , across the country, appears to be dealing ruthlessly with the criminal elements which have somewhat weakened the Groups.
.Only recently, the army which had laid an ambush in a forest at the Gengere-Kaso general area, around the Chikun and Kajuru boundaries, in Kaduna state, had killed one Dogo Maikasuwa, popular, Dogo Maimillion, described as one of the notorious Commanders of the Bandits Group.
Maikasuwa, was said to have led several attacks and involved in several kidnapping attempts along the Kaduna –Kachia road and in Communities within Chikun and Kajuru, Local Government Areas, and taking his victims to their forest base to ask for ransom which runs into millions of naira.
The Bandits Group notorious Commander in launching his several attacks in different parts of Kaduna until he met his untimely death in the hands of the Troops, in the state, was said to have always ‘’dressed in green camouflage military fatigues and wielding his AK 47 rifle’’ to disguise himself.
An eyewitness account had said that such was his appearance during the recent fierce encounter with the Troops in the north western state that caught shot his life. The bad side of the deceased Bandits Group Commander was that he usually led his gang to engage in operations with ‘’cruelty and often killing kidnapped victims when payment of ransoms demanded were delayed or the deal agreed was considered to be small by hardliners in the gang.
The Troops were aid to have recovered one AK.47 rifle, one Magazine, five rounds of ammunition , two motorcycles, takes him around for operations and one set of military camouflage fatigues, from the routed Maikasuwa gang
Some of the gang members, who could not stand the superior fire power of the soldiers were said to have escaped with bullet wounds into their forest hideouts while some may have died from injuries sustained in the fierce gun battle. The Nigeria military may have made a mockery of the Bandits Group Commander, by taking his remains to to teir Kaduna Operational Base but they had allowed the fleeing bandits to carry his remains away to their forest hideout.
Samuel Aruwan, the state Commissioner for Internal security, and Home Affairs, had aid that the death of Maikasuwa, the Bandits Group Commander, marked the beginning of the collapse of the Group operations in the state.
Recall that over the last couple of months, the Bandits Group, had found it difficult to strike at any Kaduna in the north western state of Kaduna, because Major General Tarreed Lagbaja, the General Officer Commanding, GOC, I Division, Kaduna, who was aid to have deployed Infantry soldiers, everywhere in the state, who are moving towards in the forests to smoke out the criminal elements.
Dogo Maikasuwa and his gang members, may not have read the handwriting on the wall that the times have changed where they could easily come out from the forest, attack a community, kill, kidnap and go.
Also, the Bandits Group gang Leader at Kankomi village, in Chikun Local government Area, who may have attempted to do what Maikasawa has been doing in Kaduna state over the years, on Sunday, November 13, 2022, tried to infiltrate the ranks of the soldiers, but were repelled as two of the fleeing bandits were netralised while some were said to have escaped with gun shots like the loyalists of the deceased Commander, Maimillion.
Aruman, the Kaduna state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, had reconfirmed that the Bandits Group, gang, had attempted ‘’to infiltrate the location housing the troops but the Troops who were said to have been on the red alert in response had engaged them in a fierce gun duel which was said to have lasted for about an hour, with the Bandits losing one of their AK 47 ,rifle, seven AK Magazines, seven rounds of ammunition and five locally made grenades to the Nigeria troops, who were said to haven armed to the teeth.
Just as Dogo Maikasuwa, the BokoHaram Commander was killed in a green military camouflage fatigue, one of the fleeing Banditry Group fighters in Kankomi village last Sunday was said to have been shot down wearing military camouflage combat gear.
Given the determination of Troops of I Division in Kaduna to rid the state of Banditry, Troops of Operation Forest Security, were said ‘’to have conducted clearance patrols along the Gagwalada –Chikun –Sakin Pawa axis , stretching from Chikun LGA, to nearby interstate boundary areas’’.
The impressive performance of the troops waging war against the Bandits Group in the north western geopolitical region and the insurgency Groups operating from the Lake Chad Basin in Borno state and extending their operations to Yobe, may have given Lt. General Yahaya Farouk, the Chief of Army Staff, CoAS, the Confidence, that the days of the criminal elements are numbered.
The Army Chief had assured Nigerians that the Army under his leadership, ‘’will not fail Nigerians in ‘’delivering on its Constitutional mandate to defend the sovereignty and its territorial integrity as well as provide support to the civil Authority in mitigating threats to national security’’.
Speaking on Friday, November 11, 2022, at Kontagora, Niger state, at the fire power demonstration phase of exercise, tagged MUGUN BUGU, he noted that ‘’the exercise was the first of its kind where all combatant arms of the Army come together for a final joint training exercise before going out for operations in any location where the Bandits or terrorist are giving trouble’’. The CoAS, had said that the training is key ‘’to professionalism’’, which is one of the pillars, of his philosophy of Command.
He noted that through such trainings, Troops could be able intrnalise , practice and perfect the employment of skills and competencies along with requisite equipment , communication and other enablers for the effective conduct of operations and discharge of its Constitutional mandate.
Lt. General Yahaya, who could not hide his feelings had said that the combined exercise would ensure effective and result-oriented training that would incorporate multi-modal training activities aimed at tackling contemporary security challenges, as well as eclipsing threats that may arise in any part of the country in the future.
Appealing to the soldiers to put the lesson s learnt in the joint exercise into practice in their respective formations and units across the country, he noted that ‘’it is the only way to clip the wings of the Bandits and terrorists giving the country troubles in the north western, north central and and north eastern geopolitical regions.