Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), the military spike operation in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states have arrested, Leggi Jibrin, a notorious kingpin of a major bandit group that have been terrorising Nasarawa State and its environs.
An intelligent source at OPWS Headquarters in Makurdi, said Jibrin was arrested on Wednesday, at Agam/Gidan Bawa Village in Nasarawa Local Government Area (LGA) of the State.
The source added that troops deployed in Ugya in Toto LGA of the state, also rescued five kidnap victims from their abductors on Thursday last week.
It was, however, gathered that when the kidnappers sighted the troops, they abandoned their victims and fled the area.
The sources said the increase in crackdown on bandits in the operational area of Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, was informed by the directive of the Force Commander, Major General Kevin Aligbe, following the surge in the activities of bandits.
“Troops of OPWS deployed to Ugya in Toto LGA of Nasarawa State received credible Intel and responded swiftly to a distress call of a kidnap incident at Zaure forest.
“On arrival at the forest, our troops saw three trucks loaded with illegal timber that were abandoned in the forest. Accordingly, the troops combed the forest, stumbled on the kidnappers camp and rescued five of the kidnap victims”, the sources said.
The victims rescued included Abdulkafar Nuhu, Adamu Dagana, Emmanuel Osasede, Jacob Amaku and Danladi Amaku.
Similarly, OPWS troops arrested a notorious kingpin at Agam/Gidan Bawa village in Nasarawa LGA of Nasarawa State.
According to the source, “The bandits were raiding the community when OPWS troops swooped on them. The troops engaged the bandits in a gun duel, which resulted in the arrest of Jibrin and the killing of one of the bandits.
“When the troops came to the location of the raid, some of the bandits who were carrying high caliber weapons fled the area, immediately they sighted the troops.
“Our troops then engaged the bandits in hot pursuit and engaged them in a gun battle. They shot the kingpin on his leg, before he was arrested and killed the other bandit.
“The success of the attack on the bandits was made possible based on credible intelligence we got that the kingpin and other armed bandits were raiding some settlements in the area.
“The troops pounced on the bandits, based on confirmatory intelligence missions that revealed the presence of the bandits and several other armed bandit groups in the area.”
He explained that the troops also recovered an AK-47 rifle, one AK-49 rifle and 106 rounds of 7.62mm rounds of ammunition, as well as a mobile phone from the bandits.