Insecurity: Security Operatives Move To Clear Nigerian Forests Of Bandits, Insurgents As Fear Grip Sponsors

 By Suleiman Umaru, Lateef Adegbite and Elizabeth Chukwuma

Lt.Gen.  Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff, CoAS,  and other security agencies  Chiefs  , who are acting out a Presidential script  to clear Nigerian forests of Bandits  and make the country a safe place to live  and do business appears to be making ah headway .

This is evident going by the  reports coming from  Zamfara, described as home state of the Bandits and Katsina, home state of former President Muhammadu Buhari, where  troops deployed  for Counter Terrorism  operations  have taken the bold initiative to take the battle to the Bandits Group fighters  who thrives by scamps in the forest resulting in the elimination of the scores of the criminal elements who thrives by smoking Cannabis Sativa, popular, Indian Hemp,’’ to remain high and strong to fight’’.

The West African country of Ghana, growers of the popular Cannabis Sativa drugs, may have had a god number of customers among the Bandits ho smuggle these drugs into the Nigerian markets which eventually fall into the waiting hands of these hoodlums in the north western states of Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi, including the north central states of Niger and Plateau, particular, to make life unbearable for residents of these states.

The resident operation of the troops in the notorious Hassan Yantagwaye, camp, in the Tsaye local government area dreaded by security operatives in the past years appears to have make mockery of the Bandits that they are mere feather weights.

The notorious  Yantawaye Bandits gang, according to residents of  Communities inthe Tsaye Local government area have been responsible  for the several high profile kidnapping cases  and acts of banditry  of ‘’operation kill and go’’  in some of the flashpoint  north western states of the Nigerian”


The troops, acting on information , were said to have taken the battle  to the kingpins camp  in the Zamfara forest  where a large  cache  of arms and ammunition  were recovered, forcing the criminal who are used to smuggling Indian Hemp  and other dangerous drugs to take to their heels to avoid playing into the waiting hands of the soldiers.. The Bandits were said to have put up a feeble resistance by engaging the soldiers in a gun battle but were overpowered, sending a message to them that the game is over.

While the soldiers are giving the Zamfara based Bandits a battle they would never forget in a hurry because of the monumental loss of arms and ammunitions and scores of their fighters, the Operation Hadin Daji  troops deployed to Shaw Kuka, Shida, Tafki,  Gidan Surjo, Citkushi in Kabai I and II within the  the Faskari Local government  area of Katsina state were said to be giving the Bandits  operating  in the area  a run for their money.

The recent release  of 30 Children , mostly young girls who had gone into the forest to fetch cooking fire wood   at Kasai village  I the Batsari Local government of the Buhari home state of Katina  gives an  insight that the state has become too hot for the Bandits turned kidnappers and smuggles to operate and escape.

Abubakar Sadiq, an Assistant Superintendent of Police and the Katsina state Police Command , spokesperson,  had corroborated information making the rounds that  the girls were abducted o Monday,  April 1, 2024,  while fetching  firewood in the bush.

The Katsina Command Police spokesperson ha said that that Command had swung into action and launched an investigation to rescue the kidnapped victims as well as arrest the perpetrators of the dastard acts. The Bandit turned kidnappers may have known there was no escape route with their victims to their hideout where they could relax and make demand for ransom that they were forced to abandon the abducted girls and run into the forest.  It was bad news to the Bandits who may have read the handwriting on the wall that the Nigerian security agencies has all that it takes to crush them.

Dauda Lawal: Gov. of Zamfara state

Aware that the only way the security agencies personnel could effectively deal decisively with the Bandits   is to initiate and implement tougher security measures may have encouraged   Dauda  Lawal, the north western Zamfara state  governor and the state Executive Council, to have ordered immediate restriction of movement  along  the state’s borders with Katsina   and Sokoto states.

Manir Haidara, the state Commissioner for Information and Culture had confirmed that Wednesday, April 3, 2024, the government had made a bold statement restricting movement along Yankara border of  Zamfara  with former President Buhari home state of Katsina and Bimasa  ,Zamfara Border with Sokoto, the Caliphate state, from 7:00 pm to 6: am daily, till further notice.        

Indeed, the safe return  of residents of some 30 Communities located at  the heart of Sarkin Pawa forest which were under the control  of different  Bandits Leaders in Munya Local  government  area of Niger state speaks volume.The Commissioner had aid that the Zamfara state government took the bold decision to tackle  the incessant  kidnapping  of travelers  along  the Sokoto- Gusau- Funtua highway.

Enogh of the Banditry situation in Zamfara and Katsina states. We now turn to the most recent development in Niger, home state of Gen. Ibrahim Baangoda, rtd, a former Nigerian military President  

Where residents of the   30 Communities sacked by the various Bandits Groups some six years ago have staged a comeback to their ancestoral home.

Gen. Christopher Musa: CDS

  Gen. Christopher Musa, the Chief of Defense Staff,, CDS, who has the backing of Tinubu, and  service Chiefs were said to have made that possible as they went back  to the drawing board to restrategise   on how to kick out the Bandits from the occupied  Niger state villages. They had their way. 

The military joint security  team that was said to have been  established to oversee the military  operations in the 30 Niger state villages   were said to have sustained their presence in the area through regular shelling of the  enclaves of the Bandits   which was a popular  haven  for the various Bandits’ Group  Leaders operating along  the Niger-Kaduna corridor.

Many see the sacking of the various Bandits’ groups that had occupied the 30 Communities in Niger state during the Administration of former President Buhari which had killed socio-economic activities in the Communities and its environs was a major achievement for the over seven months old  Tinubu’s government  and his security agencies chiefs.

A resident of one of the sacked Niger state villages had reported that the Bandits took advantage of their six years occupation of their accessorial home to destroy their houses and public facilities, including hospitasl and schools. This is where Umar Mohammed Bago, he state governor, has to seek the support of President Tinubu to replace such damaged public facilities in order to give the people a sense of belonging.

Gov. Bago of Niger state has a big task at hand to resettle residents of returnees freed Bandits occupied villages

Channels Television had reported that on both sides of Sarkin Pawa, headquarters of Munya LGA, of the north central state, and even some of the deserted villages, there were abandoned telecommunication masts which could not be carted away by the hoodlums.

The Bandits were said to have used the abandoned telecommunication equipment as hideouts and shelter for their kidnapped victims anytime they struck around the state and Kaduna, in the north western geopolitical region. There are indications that Bandit kingpins like one Bello Turji Dogo Gede had made the Niger state occupied villages’ forest home before the Nigerian troops sacked him and his gang unexpectedly.

A security source who spoke to The Value News on condition of anonymity had aid that the Bandits will never dare to sack and occupy any terror in Nigeria because of their bitter experience in the hands of Nigerian troops in the once occupied 30 Communities Niger state which had been liberated.

According to the security source, the soldiers have succeeded in calming the re-occurrence of insecurity in these Niger state Communities because of the tight security that had been mounted in the area.

While the troops are making all the necessary efforts to block the Bandits source of getting drugs in the forest in some northern parts of the north, to sustain the Banditry in the region, Lt. Gen. Lagbaja, the CoAS, was said to have also extended the anti-banditry war to the south western part of the country.

On Thursday, March 28, 2024, the troops were said to have intercepted   441 wraps of cSSannabis Sativa at Molegede Village I the Odededa LGA, of the south western Ogun state. The ever vigilant Nigerian troops were said to have uncovered the Ghana grown drug substances being conveyed in a Mazda Salon car after the smugglers had sighted the security operative and flee into the forest.

Lt. Gen. Lagabaja: CoAS

An elated Gen. Lagbaja, may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he said that the troops will remain committed ’’to ensuring the safety and security of the populace as’’ he and his troops will ‘’leave no stone unturned to rid the country of Bandits and insurgents’’   the as fear grip the sponsors of the various  Bandits and Terrorists  Groups operating in different parts of the  country.

The pressure may have become too much on the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, operating around the Lake Chad region, bordering between Nigeria and Republic of Chad, following the intensified Kinetic and non-kinetic operations by troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, forcing some high ranking terrorists Commanders to surrender and pledge their loyalty to the Task Force. 

  The names of the two terrorists Commanders who were said to have surrendered were Ibrahim Muhammed and Auwal Mohammed, popular, Wanka and who belonged the Bakura Baduma faction of BokoHaram responsible for the several attacks on various locations around the Lake Chad region over the last 15 years.

The United Areab Emirates, UAE,  had said that the counter- terrorists  war in the north western, north central, and north eastern geopolitical regions , may have dragged on  for this long because  of the many sponsors  of the terrorists  both within and outside the country. 

The Middle East country had named Abdurahaman Ado Musa, Salihu Yusufu  Adamu, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammad Ibrahim Isa, Ibrahim Ali Alhasan and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad 47 other persons and Organizations as funding terrorism and B.anditry in Nigeria and the Sahel region

The Nigerian Government may have taken a cue from the UAE Authorities to name the Terrorists sponsors which include Tukur Manu, a Kaduna based publisher and an ally of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, A bdulsamat ohida, Abdulrrahaman Abdurrahaman, Fatima Ishaq, Yusu Ghazali, Muhammed Sani, Abubakar Muhammad, and Sallamudeen Hassan.

Other terrorists and Bandits   Groups sponsors list released by the Nigerian government include Adamu Ishaq,  Hassana Isah,  Abdulkareen  Musa, Umar Abdullahi  Abdurrahaman Ado,  Bashi Yusuf and Ibrahim Hasan. This is in addition to   Muammad Isah,  Salihu Adamu, Surajo Mohammad,  Fannami Bukar and Muhammed Musa. 

The  Six Bureau De’Change, BDCs, operators  that were said to have also been list by the Tinubu’s Administration of allegedly  funding terrorists organizations in Nigeria include West  and Eat Africa General  Trading Company ltd,  Settings Bureau De’ Change  ltd, G. Side General Enterprises,  Desert Exchange Ventures ltd, Eagle Square  General Trading Company  ltd and Alfa  Exchange BDC.  

Nigerians had expected the Yusuf Magaji Bichi, Director General, Department of State Service, DSS, and his crack team and the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, to a go A to name the promoters of these BDCs but it remains a closely guided secret.

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