In recent military operations conducted by the air component of Operation Whirl Punch, a notorious kidnap kingpin known as Janari, along with several of his accomplices, was killed in Kaduna State. Janari had been the mastermind behind numerous kidnappings in Kaduna, particularly along the Abuja-Kaduna highway.
The Nigerian Air Force confirmed this development in a statement released on Sunday by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Edward Gabkwet.
The airstrikes were initiated after intelligence reports indicated that Janari and his gang were assembling to launch an attack on civilians. The strikes, carried out on January 18, 2024, targeted the location near Gadar Katako in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where Janari and his associates were spotted.
The statement from Gabkwet mentioned, ‘Further exploitation revealed that they were massing up for a likely attack or kidnapping of vulnerable civilians, hence the need to immediately attack the location. Intelligence received after the strike revealed that Janari was indeed eliminated alongside several other terrorists/kidnappers.’
Additionally, similar successful operations were conducted in Niger State against confirmed terrorists and kidnappers’ hideouts near Chukuba on January 20, 2024. The feedback from these strikes confirmed the neutralization of the targets and the destruction of their mobility.
Kidnapping has become an epidemic in Nigeria, with criminals targeting citizens for ransom. In response to the surge in abductions, security agencies, including the military, have intensified efforts to curb these criminal activities. The elimination of Janari and his gang is seen as a significant victory in the ongoing battle against kidnapping and terrorism in the country.”