- I welcome you to this maiden briefing on the activities of Operation SHARAN DAJI. 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. 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. The deployment of troops in all the vulnerable areas, hitherto devastated by bandits greatly reduced their criminal activities.
- 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. With support of the State Government, cooperation of citizens and community leaders by providing useful and credible information on the bandits’ hideouts camps were received andtroops promptly acted. The troops of OPSD were equally assisted by local vigilante groups, who are conversant with the environment and modus operandi of the bandits and other criminal elements.
- In the pursuit of these mandates, series of raids, ambushes, fighting patrols, snaps road blocks and air strikes are being conducted. This has enabled the troops to dominate their respective areas of responsibilities and create safe and conducive atmosphere for the civilian populace to live their normal lives. So far in this 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 ammunitions, along with some dangerous local weapons were recovered from bandits.
- Other recoveries include 2 cars, 36 motorcycles, over 30 mobile phones and3 kidnapped victims were rescued with over N500, 000 recovered from kidnappers. Some arms dealers and cattle rustlers including 2 female bandits were also arrested. A point of emphasis is the arrest of chief logistics suppliers identified as Mr Amos Ugwuozor, Nura Mukhtari and Sani Yaro.
- Robust patrols and armed escorts around vulnerable villages and weekly local markets have built confidence in the community, so that bandits no longer have freedom of action, where they impose levies and harass traders.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.
- The Air Task Force (ATF) in support of OPSD recently launched series of air strikes against the bandits’ hideouts and camps in SUBUBU and RUGU forests. The attacks successfully neutralized large number of armed bandits and destroyed their camps. These thick forests and other ungoverned areas serve as sanctuary and safe haven for the bandits, from where they planned and launched attack on innocent people. The troops make use of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform to gain real time information on the movement and locations of bandits thereby denying them freedom of action.
- I want to state categorically 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. The OPSD assured you that the momentum will be sustained, while increasing the tempo of the fight to degrade criminalities in the State.
- Gentlemen of the Press, we are aware of the absolute need to provide succour to the victims of the banditry in addition to physical security. In line with this, the OPSD has concluded plans to execute programmes and projects that will have positive impacts on the locals. These projects include town hall meetings, medical outreaches, sinking of boreholes and renovations of schools and clinic will be concluded soon.
- Let me use this medium to invite 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.