From Scholastica Hir Makurdi

Men of Operation Zenda, a special Joint Task Force (JTF), headed by the police in Benue State, has dislodged members of a dreaded kidnap gang in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.


Daily Sun gathered that the operation was carried out yesterday, by men of Operation Zenda, headed by the commander, SP Felix Nomiyugh.

A reliable source, who didn’t want to be named, said the police bursted the bandits’ hideout at De-Mtsa, Michihe Council Ward of Katsina-Ala LGA, in the early hours of yesterday. The operation, the source said, followed weeks of trail of the bandits believed to be remnants of the late gang leader, Terwase Akwaza, a.k.a Gana.

It was gathered that during the operation, two of the bandits were killed while one was arrested. The gang was said to be among the bandits terrorising areas around Abaji, Tor Donga and other adjoining villages in Katsina Ala LGA.

A local from Katsina Ala LGA told newsmen in Makurdi that the breakthrough by the Zenda JTF elicited jubilation at Takum Junction, Katsina-Ala, headquarters of Katsina-Ala, yesterday, when the bodies of the killed bandits were being transported to the police headquarters in Makurdi.

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The Sankara axis of the state, comprising Katsina-Ala, Logo and Ukum LGAs, have been under the claws of bandits for years despite several measures employed by the state government and security agencies to nip crime in the bud.

When he assumed headship of the operation, the commander had pledged that his men would carry out their duty diligently in ensuring that the state command flushed out criminal elements operating in Benue State. He, however, declined comments on the incident.

The state Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Adesina, who confirmed the incident in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Catherine Anene, said the Benue police command dislodged bandits/kidnappers at Katsina-Ala.

He said: “Following information gathered about regrouping of bandits at Mba-Mtsar village, Katsina-Ala Local Government Area for their nefarious activities, a team of Operation Zenda JTF was deployed for an operation in the area. Upon arrival at the scene, on 27/3/2024, at about 0515hrs, the bandits engaged the police in a gun duel, but a superior fire power from the operatives dislodged them.

“Consequently, two of the bandits sustained gunshot injuries and were confirmed dead at the hospital, one was arrested while others escaped with wounds and are being trailed by the operatives.”

She said exhibits recovered from the scene include; one type 06 rifle, three AK-47 magazines loaded with 7.6mm ammunition, 80 other ammunition and assorted phones.

The commissioner, who commended the team for bravery, urged them to keep up the good work as taking the war to criminals is a better approach to fighting crime. He called on the people of the state to support the police with useful and timely information, to enable them to achieve desired results.