The two customs officers kidnapped last Wednesday by bandits in Katsina State were unconditionally released on Sunday morning.
The Commander of the 17 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Katsina- Brig. Gen. Wara Idris reveals.
Idris, in a statement, said apart from releasing the customs officers unconditionally, the bandits also demanded negotiation with the military on how to end banditry.
The statement read in part, “The ongoing intensive operations of the OPHD and 8 Division Nigerian Army, which commenced in the past few days with attacks on the hideouts of bandits, have led to the neutralisation of several bandits and forced many of their leaders to sue for peace.
“The bandits, who earlier kidnapped two customs officers on January 8, 2020, at Mallammawa town in the Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State have called for peace. The bandits after testing the might of the Nigerian military have unconditionally released the two customs officers to the HQ 17 Brigade in the wee hours of Sunday, January 12, 2020.
“Some leaders of the bandits, who sent messages through emissaries to the acting General Officer Commanding 8 Division Nigerian Army, have indicated readiness to unconditionally embrace peace.
“The military will continue to remain resolute to ensure the complete disarming of bandits before considering the peace deal, as earlier announced by the various states in the North-West.”
The Brigade spokesman- Captain Kayode Owolabi, who also spoke on the incident, said the troops would not rest until Katsina and other states with similar challenges were rid of banditry and similar crimes.