By Daniels Nwokike, The Sight News
The Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General John Agim, has categorically stated that Zamfara State which was once bedevilled with insecurity and incessant killings due to banditry activities, cattle rustling, kidnappings and armed robbery, is now assured of safety of lives and properties.
Agim who made this known on Friday at the maiden briefing on the activities of Operation SHARAN DAJI in Gusau, Zamfara State, assured that the momentum will be sustained, while increasing the tempo of the fight to degrade criminalities in the State.
According to him, “The reconstituted Operation SHARAN DAJI was operationalized on 1 July 2018 with the merging of erstwhile Operation WHIRL STROKE II and Operation IDON RAINI. The area of operation covers Zamfara and Birni Gwari in Kaduna States before Birni Gwari became Operation WHIRL PUNCH. The security situation in Zamfara state was characterized by wanton killings, kidnappings for ransom, cattle rustling and armed robberies, which made life difficult for the citizens.
“Other security threats were imposition of levies on villages by bandits, harassment of farmers from their farmlands and disruption of weekly markets activities across the state. The deployment of troops in all the vulnerable areas, hitherto devastated by bandits greatly reduced their criminal activities”.
He further noted that the mandate of the Operation SHARAN DAJI is to combat armed banditry, kidnappings and cattle rustling in order to restore peace and security for the citizens to engage in their legitimate activities.
Agim explained that, “So far in the operation, many heinous and notorious armed bandits were neutralized, among them were Danboko and Danbuzuwa and over 50 bandits were arrested. Likewise over 20 sophisticated arms and assorted ammunition, along with some dangerous local weapons were recovered from bandits.
“It is on record that activities of our troops had led to the recovery of over 1000 rustled cows which were returned to the owners. The return of peace and security in Maradun, Shinkafi and Zurmi LGAs led to the massive returns of more than 6,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) to their homes where economic and farming activities had commenced in earnest” he said.
While stating that there is the need to provide succor to the victims of the banditry in addition to physical security, he announced that the OPSD has concluded plans to execute programmes and projects that will have positive impacts on the locals.
These projects which include town hall meetings, medical outreaches, sinking of boreholes and renovations of schools and clinic will be concluded soon, Agim added.
He further invited every law abiding citizen in the State to join hands with Operation SHARAN DAJI by giving timely and useful information about these criminals.
“This is the least we can all do to return the State back to the path of socio-political and economic development where investors will feel safe to come and invest” he concluded.
Operation SHARAN DAJI comprises of Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police, Department of State Security and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and other security elements.