Suspected Boko Haram terrorists yesterday abducted scores of passengers and drivers along Maiduguri- Damaturu road, setting ablaze some trucks loaded with food items as well as a petrol tanker.
This came as Nigerian Army said it had recovered no fewer than 706 small arms and light weapons from bandits and other criminals in areas of operation in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi states.
Similarly, Zamfara State Government called on emirs to redouble their efforts in tackling security challenges in the state.
The terrorist attack took place between Mainok and Lawan Mainari village, less than 50 kilometers drive to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
According to a motorist who escaped from the scene, Mohammed Abdullahi, “the incident took place at about 9 am, where a convoy of terrorists was sighted at their crossing point leading to Sambisa forest. Although, I had to make a quick u-turn back to Maiduguri when a noticed that the insurgents opened fire on some trucks loaded with food items, including a petrol tanker which was also set ablaze. Unfortunately, I suspected that some passengers and motorists were abducted by the insurgents.”
While there was no official confirmation of the attack at the time of this report, security personnel who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, said troops responded promptly and pursued the terrorists.
According to him, three vehicles belonging to the fleeing terrorists were recovered by troops of ‘Operation Hadin Kai’.
Recovery of weapons
Meanwhile, Nigerian Army yesterday said it had recovered no fewer than 706 small arms and light weapons from bandits and criminal elements within areas of operation in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi States.
The Force Commander, Operation Hadarin Daji, Major General Uwem Bassey, gave the figure at the handing over of the weapons to the North West National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, NCCSALW, in Sokoto.
Bassey, the General Officer Commanding, 8 Division of the Nigerian Army, Sokoto, said the weapons were recovered from different clearance operations in the four states.
He explained that the operations were meant to get rid of bandits and other criminal elements across the North-Western states.
“The weapons comprised 203 AK-47, four automated fabricated rifles, seven G3 rifles, one GPMG and three sub machine guns. Others are one light machine gun, four FN rifles, 410 Dane guns, 71 locally made pistols, one Rocket Propelled Grenade, RPG, an empty canister and one pump action,” he said.
The operation commander thanked citizens who always provided credible information that led to the success of the recovery of the weapon and solicited more information to enable troops to bring the menace to an end, adding that “security is the business of all citizens”.
Receiving the items, the Zonal Coordinator, NCCSALW, retired AVM Haruna Mohammed, appreciated the troops and urged them to sustain the tempo to decisively curtail the activities of criminal elements.
Meantime, in Zamfara State, the Deputy Governor, Senator Hassan Nasiha, who urged emirs to redouble their efforts in tackling security challenges in the state, spoke during the formal presentation of appointment letters to the newly enthroned emirs of Zurmi and Dansadau.
Nasiha said leaders of traditional institutions, as custodians of revered societal norms and values had a greater role to play in ensuring a sustainable security atmosphere in their various Emirates.
He said the two royal fathers, Sarkin Zamfaran Zurmi, Alhaji Muhammad Bello and Sarkin Kudun Dansadau, Alhaji Garba Muhammad’s appointments were on merit, explaining that their appointments were based on positive recommendations from their respective kingmakers and reports from other concerned institutions on their good moral behaviours and track records of service to humanity.
The deputy governor advised them to carry their subjects along with all sincerity of purpose and justice.
He also urged them to utilise all possible strategies in addressing lingering security issues and report promptly to the state government any security breach for necessary action.