Troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, saddled with the responsibility of ridding the North Central region of the country, Operation WHIRL STROKE, have yesterday rescued 34 victims from kidnap kingpins and bandits in remote villages of Logo, Ukum, and Katsina Local Government Areas of the State of Benue, killing a ring leader by the name Zwa Ikyegh and arresting a handful of kidnappers including Orduem and Sealemun both associates of Terungwa Igbagwa aka Orjondu who was killed in a sting operation two months ago. The raids, which took place in Igbom village within Nenzev Ward; Tomayin village; Gbise; and Mbanewa Ward, had the troops engaging the bandits in exchange of fire, overpowering them and rescuing kidnapped citizens while recovering various arms and ammunitions.
Major General John Enenche, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, this afternoon, released a press statement to announce the success of the gallant soldiers. Below is excerpts:
In continuation of the aggressive clearance operation to rid criminal elements out of the North-Central region of the country, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE recorded tremendous successes against Kidnap kingpins.
Following credible intelligence on the activities of a notorious kidnap syndicate operating in the general area of Igbom village in Nenzev council ward of Logo LGA, troops of Sector 2 and 4, on 16 July 2020 carried out a raid operation on a suspected kidnappers den location at Tomayin village in Logo LGA of Benue State.
The troops had contact with the bandits leading to exchange of fire as troops closed in on the hideout .The gallant troops responded with superior fire forcing the armed bandits to flee in disarray into the bushes. The determined troops engaged the criminal elements in hot pursuit leading to the killing of one Zwa Ikyegh identified as the ring leader and others escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds.
The successful encounter led to the rescue of 32 kidnapped victims some of whom have been in captivity for over a month.
All the rescued kidnapped victims have been reunited with their families in different communities in Logo LGA. Troops also recovered one AK 47 rifle, one AK 47 magazine, 6 locally made rifle, one locally made pistol and a magazine. Others include 22 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 2 cartridges, 2 motorcycles and some Charms. The hideout has been equally destroyed.
In another development, troops of Sector 2 deployed at Gbise in Katsina Ala LGA and Zaki Biam in Ukum LGA of Benue State responded to a distress call on another kidnapping incident at Austoma in Mbanema Council ward of Ukum LGA. Troops promptly mobilized to the scene leading to the arrest of 2 suspects. The suspects are Mr Sealemun and Orduem both of whom are linked to late Terugwa Igbagwa aka Orjondu.
Troops recovered one motorcycle which the kidnappers were using for their heinous crimes. The suspects are currently undergoing investigation after which they will be handed over to the Nigeria Police for further necessary action. Troops have continued to dominate the area with patrols and ambushes. Normalcy has since been restored in the general area.
The Military High Command congratulates the gallant troops for their professionalism and encourages them to intensify the onslaught against the enemies of our country.
Source: Defence Headquarters, Abuja