…As Army recovers body of a soldier earlier declared missing
By Kingsley Omonobi, Wole Masadomi &John Nkom
Minna—THE death toll of military personnel killed by suspected gunrunners and bandits in Kopa, Dagma and Gagaw villages of Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State, has risen to 12 following the recovery of the dead body of a soldier earlier declared missing.
This came as the General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade vowed that the military would not rest until all those involved in the killings were arrested and brought to justice.
It will be recalled that one officer, eight soldiers and two Airmen were killed by gun runners and bandits after they were ambushed when troops of 31 Artillery Brigade, under 1 Division Nigerian Army, in conjunction with Nigeria Air Force detachment on Internal Security Operation, MESA went on quick cordon and search in the affected areas to recover suspected arms and ammunition .
In a statement, General Officer Commanding, GOC, 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade who noted that the situation had been brought under control, insisted on the need to contain the nefarious activities of the gun runners and the armed bandits in the area as “it has direct bearing with the influx of weapons and general insecurity in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory and the North West geo-political zone of the country.
“The same gun runners have been confirmed to be the suppliers of arms to armed robbery gangs that were involved in series of armed robbery attacks along Minna-Bida road and the general environment. The military will continue to deal with any violent threat to our national security. All law abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their lawful duties as the cordon and search operation continues in the general area and if necessary expand to other identified areas to keep our people safe.”
Justifying the invasion of the villages, the GOC said: “If the weapons recovered in the communities had found its way outside the state, a lot of lives would have been lost. Those who are busy criticising and condemning us unjustly don’t even realise how we have saved millions of lives.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of persons mostly women, children and old men from Benue State, have taken refuge at Gawa village of Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State following perceived invasion of their village by Nigerian Army.
Some elders from Gbishe village in Katsina-Ala local government area of Benue State taking refuge at Gawa village, claimed their village was attacked by Joint Tax-force involving the Army, Police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp) in the early hours of Saturday.