The leadership of the Concerned Northern Forum (CNF) has kicked against Gov. Bello Mattawalle of Zamfara’s advice on residents to take up arms in self-defence against bandits.
The Forum made the call in a statement issued to pressmen on Tuesday in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Matawalle on Sunday directed the Commissioner of Police in the state to issue licences to residents willing and fit to bear arms, to protect themselves against the armed criminals.
Spokesperson of the Forum, Mr Abdulsalam Kazeem:”the forum sympathises with the Government and people of Zamfara over the current spate of insecurity and the untold hardship the insecurity caused them despite their loyalty to constituted authorities.
”The forum is not against self denfence but against bearing arm. We are all witness to the inabilities of developed countries with accurate data at all levels with such policies and their inabilities to stop the consequences of gun violence.”
He said under the Fire Arm Act, private citizens are only licenced to acquire Pump Actions and short guns.
”How can a farmer in Zamfara defend himself against a terrorists with GPMG, Anti- Aircraft and AK 47?, who will train the farmers after acquiring such Arms?.
“What is the capacity of our training ranges nation wide and who will be responsible for the training?, at what point will Zamfara state Government retrieve back all the said guns licenced to them? These are too many questions begging for answers,” Kazeem said.
He further said that states do not have rights to direct commissioners of Police to give interested citizens gun licence.
”The police being a Federal agent are not answerable to Governors under the provisions of Section 214 of the 1999 Constitution,” he said.
He lauded the decisive actions of the Zamfara Government on the closure of some markets, ban and sale of petroleum products in jerrycans and total ban of motor cycles.
He appealed to the Federal Government to deploy more security personnel to Zamfara state, to empower local vigilant group to aid intelligence gathering. .
Defence Headquarters says its troops in various theatres of operations in the North West have eliminated scores of bandits and recovered large cache of arms and ammunition in two weeks.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, said this at the Defence Headquarters bi-weekly briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said a total of 706 assorted arms and ammunition recovered had been handed over to the National Centre for Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) in North West.
Onyeuko said the arms were captured from the terrorists and other criminal elements within the theatre in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi in different operations since 2018.
He said the recovered weapons comprised of 203 AK 47 rifles, 44 automated fabricated rifles, seven G3 rifles, one GPMG, theee submachine guns, one light machine gun and four FN rifles.
They also included 410 dane guns, 71 locally fabricated pistols, one Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) empty canister and one pump action gun.
Onyeuko said the troops had in recent offensives against terrorists and other criminals, arrested a high profile Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) Commander, one Abba Yunus (aka Mallam Abba) and his accomplice at Samegu community in Kano State.
He said five AK47 rifles, one AK74 rifle, two PKM squad machine gun, nine 85mm shoulder fired RPG bomb and 16 M67 fragmentation grenades were recovered.
Other recovered items, according to him are 10 50mm mortar rounds, 200 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 18 boxes of ammunition, one RPG7 model tubes, one RPG7 and seven AK 47 magazines.
“This high profile arrest has nipped in the bud their planned mayhem in the area which will have claimed lots of lives.
“In another operation on June 13, troops received intelligence on movement of terrorists with intent to cross road Dogon Awo and Sokoto in Bakura Local Government Area of Zamfara.
“Troops engaged the bandits and neutralised scores of the bandits while others escaped with gun shot wounds, after the engagement, troops recovered 718 cattle, 10 camels, and 5 motorcycles.
“In addition, the troops recovered five motorcycles, 718 sheep, 10 camels and neutralised scores of bandits.
“Accordingly, all arrest and recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action,” he said.
In Operation Whirl Punch, Onyeuko said the air component in a coordinated strike, engaged terrorists around Ckikun in Kaduna State, neutralised key leaders and destroyed their warehouse.
He said the troops had on June 5, engaged terrorists on convoy of 30 motorcycles carrying three persons each and fleeing to nearby clusters of trees after attack on Dogon Noma in Kajuru local government area.
According to him, the terrorists are engaged by NAF platform with scores of the terrorists neutralised and the motorcycles engulfed in flames after the strike.
The Defense Headquarters says that a notable commander of Boko Haram terrorists, Saleh Mustapha, has surrendered to Operation Hadin Kai troops in the northeast, as 51,114 terrorists have surrendered so far.
The Director, Defense Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko said this as he addressed reporters about the military's operations between March 25 and April 7 on Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said the handover of Mustapha, popularly known as Inn Kathir, who was the Qaid of Garin Ba-Abba, to the troops in Bama was significant.
It added that a total of 51,114 terrorists and families consisting of 11,398 men, 15,381 women, 24,335 children had surrendered to the troops as of April 5.
According to him, all the terrorists handed over have been documented, while the civilians arrested, rescued and the recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.
He said that in the past two weeks, troops have recovered a battle tank, five artillery guns, two GTSs and three AA guns.
Others are: a mine resistance ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle, three armored trucks, a MOWAG armored personnel carrier and two RPG tubes.
“Other items recovered include three RPG rockets, three RPG bombs, one NSVT pistol, two GPMGs, one light MG, one PKM, three GPMG belts and four PKT rounds belts.
“Also recovered were 600 7.62mm NATO rounds, 16 AK 47 rifles, a dane pistol, 270 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, a Toyota Buffalo vehicle, a Golf sedan, four motorcycles, six chargers, two pairs of camouflage, two terrorist flags. , a trike and an active drone,” he said.
Onyeuko said the troops also neutralized scores of terrorists, while 22 terrorist spies, 11 terrorists and three logistics providers were arrested and 30 civilians rescued during the period.
He said that the air component carried out aerial interdictions that brought out a large number of ISWAP weapons in their depots between March 28 and 31 in Bukar Meiram and 2 km south of Kollaram.
“The ground component with the support of the air component carried out offensive operations in different places in the theater, such as Ukuba/Camp Zairo, Sabil Huda, Ba Masaa, Wulgo, Marta, Fulatari village, Uraha crossing point, Mbalala, city of Gamboru, all in Borno.
“In particular, among the exploits of our troops was the capture of the terrorists' stronghold by Ukba/Camp Zairo in the Sambisa forest, where some artillery guns, armored personnel carriers, trailers and a large stash of weapons and ammunition.
"The troops also destroyed terrorist enclaves, captured some terrorists, destroyed the terrorists' improvised explosives factory," he added.
Operation Hadin Kai troops, OPHK, eliminated 950 Boko Haram / ISWAP terrorists in the northeast between May 20, 2021 and January 6, 2022, according to Defense Headquarters, DHQ.
The acting director, Defense Media Operations, Major General. Bernard Onyeuko made this known when reviewing the progress of operations on Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said troops eliminated several high-profile commanders and amir (leaders) of the terror groups during the period.
It said 24,059 terrorists and their families, comprising 5,326 adult men, 7,550 adult women and 11,183 children, had so far surrendered to troops in the region.
The spokesperson said that all the items delivered had been duly profiled and handed over to the corresponding authorities for the necessary actions.
Onyeuko further revealed that 79 terrorists were arrested while 113 abducted civilians were rescued by troops within the period.
“Along the same lines, a total of 195 assorted weapons, including AK-47 rifles, GPMGs, PKT weapons and locally manufactured weapons, were recovered from the terrorists in the course of operations.
“In addition, a total of 2,385 cartridges of different ammunition calibers and 253 cross cattle were recovered.
"In addition, a total of 14 armed trucks of the terrorists were destroyed in the course of operations, while 16 armed trucks were captured by troops within the period," he said.
The Police Command in Katsina state said it recovered no less than 109 anti-aircraft rounds, AA and other items from bandits between January and December 2021 in the state.
The Command's spokesman, SP Gambo Isa, revealed this in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency on Monday in Katsina.
It said 999 suspects were arrested statewide, while 109 anti-aircraft munitions and four GPMGs were recovered during the period under review.
In addition, 44 AK-47 rifles, one LAR rifle, one G3 rifle, 20 locally made pistols and 689 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition used by AK-47 rifle, 1,243 domestic animals consisting of 867 cows, 352 sheep, 24 goats and a donkey were also recovered from the bullies.
“A total of 999 suspects were arrested in connection with 608 reported cases, of which 874 arrested suspects are being prosecuted in various competent courts in the state.
Furthermore, a total of 157 suspected armed robbers were arrested, 145 suspects charged in court, while 12 suspects are being investigated.
Likewise, 65 alleged kidnappers were arrested, 63 accused in court while two are still under investigation.
"We managed to arrest 244 suspected cattle thieves, of which 230 suspects had been charged in court, while 14 are under investigation," he said.
Isa pointed out that in the course of the campaign, 38 bandits were neutralized in several shootings while five policemen lost their lives.
According to him, 246 suspects were arrested in 195 reported cases of rape and unnatural crimes, with 63 victims rescued in four reported cases of human trafficking and transferred to the NAPTIP office in Kano state.
The spokesperson explained that the command rescued 215 kidnapped victims, while during the period analyzed, 20 allegedly stolen vehicles and 18 stolen / bandit motorcycles were recovered.