Army launches op­er­a­tion in Zam­fara

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - From Shehu Umar, Gusau

Se­cond from right: Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari; Chief of De­fence Staff, Gen. Abay­omi Olonisakin; Min­is­ter of De­fence, Mansur Dan Ali; Chief of Air Staff, Air Mar­shal Sadique Abubakar; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Bu­ratai and oth­ers dur­ing Pres­i­dent Buhari’s in­ter­ac­tion with troops in Dansadau, Zam­fara State as part of the 2016 Nige­rian Army Day cel­e­bra­tion yes­ter­day.

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari has of­fi­cially launched Op­er­a­tion Harbin Ku­nama in Dansadau for­est, Zam­fara State, say­ing se­cur­ing the coun­try re­mains a top pri­or­ity of his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The ex­er­cise is aimed at flush­ing out armed ban­dits and cat­tle rustlers who have been ter­ror­iz­ing farm­ing and herd­ing com­mu­ni­ties in the state.

Dansadau Emi­rate in Maru lo­cal gov­ern­ment area of the state is one of the ar­eas hit hard by the ac­tiv­i­ties of armed ban­dits and cat­tle rustlers.

In April 2014 more than 100 per­sons were killed by the ban­dits in Yar­gal­adima, a vil­lage lo­cated 20 kilo­me­tres north of Dansadau town.

Buhari, who ar­rived at the venue of the event on board NAF he­li­copter along­side Gover­nor Ab­dul Aziz Yari and other top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials around 5pm, held a meet­ing with the ser­vice chiefs be­fore he ad­dressed the spe­cial forces de­ployed for the ex­er­cise.

In his brief ad­dress to the spe­cial forces de­ployed to the for­est, Pres­i­dent Buhari said it was a long time since he saw a field ex­er­cise man­aged so well like the one in Dansadau.

He said even be­fore elec­tions, they iden­ti­fied se­cu­rity, econ­omy and war against cor­rup­tion as three im­por­tant things for the coun­try which are rel­e­vant and no­body had been able to dis­prove their ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the sit­u­a­tion.

Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen­eral Tukur Yusuf Bu­ratai, said the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try de­te­ri­o­rated in the past for lack of po­lit­i­cal will to tame the men­ace.

Gover­nor Ab­du­laziz Yari Abubakar said the troops would re­main in the for­est un­til all crim­i­nal el­e­ments were cleared.

Speak­ing to Daily Trust, Gover­nor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, said the op­er­a­tion was also very im­por­tant to his state as the for­est har­bour­ing the crim­i­nals ex­tended to eight lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas of Katsina state di­rectly.

He said the crim­i­nals had started flee­ing the pos­si­ble on­slaught by the troops and se­cu­rity agents in his state had suc­ceeded in ar­rest­ing some of them.

Photo: State House

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari flanked by (from left) gov­er­nors Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Ab­du­laziz Yari (Zam­fara) and Aminu Waziri Tam­buwal (Sokoto) dur­ing the com­mis­sion road project in Zam­fara yes­ter­day.

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