By Abubakar Ahmed
Gusau – The Force Commander, Operation Hadarin Daji, Maj.-Gen. Jide Ogunlade on Tuesday issued a 24-hour ultimatum to bandits in Zamfara state to either surrender or face “unprecedented fire-fight”.
Ogunlade issued the warning at a news conference at the command headquarters of the force in Gusau.
He noted with disappointment how the bandits refused to surrender and denounce their unacceptable ways in May when the state’s governor, Alh. Bello Matawalle offered to give amnesty to those, who surrendered.
“It is disheartening that when the state governor offered them amnesty, within few hours we recorded 20 separate attacks on communities.
“This showed that the criminals were not ready to surrender; that is why I am now giving them the next 24 hours.
“The only option left for them is to immediately cease fire, drop their arms, and surrender or have themselves to blame,” he said.
The force commander said that the bandits had always taken advantage of the cover offered by the terrain of the community whenever the operatives, who he said conducted themselves professionally chased them, but warned that “this time around we will go to their enclaves and hideouts where there will be collateral damage and neutralise them.
“l want to assure the people of the state that banditry will very soon be history in Zamfara after this operation that will come up in the next 24 hours.
“We will ensure that farmers carry out their farming activities and displaced villagers return home under conducive atmosphere.”
He expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for establishing the operation and praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his support.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Operation Hadarin Daji, which is now focused on Zamfara alone was inaugurated on May 10, thus replacing the expanded Operation Sharan Daji.