Soldiers from the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army and Operation Whirl Punch successfully neutralized three bandits and recovered weapons in Kaduna State. In a separate operation, the State Police Command rescued two abducted clerics.
The Acting Deputy Director of Army Public Relations for the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Musa Yahaya, reported, “On November 5, 2023, during a clearance operation in the general area of Maidaro, Ngade, Ahla, and Rikau Villages in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area, troops made contact with terrorist and criminal elements. On sighting the troops, the terrorists fled, and the troops pursued and neutralized two of them, while others escaped with gunshot wounds, abandoning a motorcycle.”
Major General VU Okoro, the General Officer Commanding the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army and Force Commander of Operation Whirl Punch, commended the troops for their exceptional determination and urged them to maintain their efforts until all terrorists and criminals within the Division’s Area of Responsibility are eliminated. He also appealed to the people of Kaduna State to continue providing credible and actionable intelligence to the Nigerian Army and other security agencies.
In a separate incident, officers from the Kaduna Police Command, attached to the Kafanchan Divisional Headquarters, responded to a distress call from the Godo-Godo Police Outstation. The call reported the abduction of Reverend Father Andrew Amana from St. Francis Catholic Church in Godo-Godo, Jema’a Local Government Area, on November 3, 2023, by unidentified gunmen who took him to an unknown location.
The police, in collaboration with local vigilantes, tracked the gunmen to their hideout in the vast Dogon Kurmi forest, leading to a gunfight. The operatives successfully dislodged the criminals and rescued the clergyman unharmed.
Two suspects, Lawal Muhammad (27 years) and Ya’u Hussain (30 years), both males from Datti and Dogon Kurmi villages, were arrested. An AK-47 rifle loaded with two rounds of live 7.62 X 39mm ammunition was recovered from the suspects.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the motive behind the abduction was primarily financial, as a four million naira ransom had been negotiated with the victim’s family before the police intervened. The gunmen, numbering four, had two at large, strongly suspected to be nursing gunshot wounds from the combat. The police are urging the public in the area to be vigilant and report any individuals with suspected bullet injuries to the nearest police station or security outfit.
The Commissioner of Police for Kaduna State Command, CP Musa Yusuf Garba, commended the operatives for their success and encouraged them to continue denying criminals operating space in the state. He also urged the public to be vigilant and report suspicious characters in their area to the nearest security agency.