Incoming reports indicate that Fulani herdsmen rebranded “bandits” have taken control of the hometown of Nigeria’s minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, Tsamari, Birnin Magaji, Zamfara State.
The herdsmen have been on rampage through out the country but most recently wrecked untold damage in the state of Zamfara where they hacked hundreds of people to death.
There were reports of the Fulani herdsmen erecting buildings and camps in the minster’s hometown.
This report was corroborated by the Nigeria Air force intelligence, surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft.
This prompted the Air Force to call in a strike to the position of the camp while reinstating its dedication to rooting out criminal elements in the region.
These AK-47 wielding herdsmen who previously claimed all the lands in Nigeria belonged to them, have been known to attack military encampments, one of which accounted for the deaths of several soldiers in Zurmi LGA, a few days ago.
The Air Force Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, in disclosing operational details, said the the air strike took place at dawn on Friday.
In his statement to the press, he said:
“The Air Task Force of Operation Diran Mikiya has neutralised a bandits’ hideout at a compound west of Tsamari in the Birnin Magaji LGA of the state.
“The attack was conducted at dawn on December 28, following intelligence reports indicating that the compound was being used by the bandits as a camp from where they launch attacks against innocent civilians.
“Accordingly, the ATF detailed an ISR aircraft, which confirmed the presence of bandits, armed with high-calibre weapons at the location.
“Consequently, an Alpha Jet aircraft was dispatched to strike the compound, recording direct hits on the target area and resulting in significant damage to the structures and neutralisation of some bandits.
“The ATF, working in concert with surface forces and other security agencies, will continue to conduct reconnaissance and air interdiction missions with a view to restoring normalcy to the affected states in the North-West.”
There are on-going efforts to address the recent attacks in Zamfara State this is according to Col Tukur Gusau, the Public Relations Officer to the Minister of Defence.
“The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, left that place about two days ago. It is part of the measures taken.
“He went there to intensify the efforts and strategies put in place, particularly as it concerned the air component. A lot has been achieved.
“The problem in Birnin Magaji has been since 2011. The fact that the honorable minister is from there is not the reason why there is crisis there.”
Human rights body such as Amnesty International has criticized the Nigeria Army for human rights violations in its recent reports and the army responded saying the rights organization was only fabricating reports against the government which threatens the country’s unity.