Joint Security Task Force Raids Kidnappers’ Camps in Kogi State Forests

A joint security task force comprising the Army, Police, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), vigilantes, and local hunters has conducted raids on kidnappers’ camps in the forests of Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State. These forests share borders with Kwara, Ekiti, and parts of Niger states.

This operation, now in its second week, aims to flush out criminals through a combination of land and air offensives. Forests in border towns with Kwara, Ekiti, and Niger states, suspected to have served as negotiation camps for kidnappers, have faced intense bombardment by the joint forces, resulting in several arrests.

The decision to engage the criminals comes in response to escalating cases of kidnapping, banditry, and robbery across Kogi State. Notably, on May 9, gunmen attacked the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara in Kogi Central, kidnapping several students. While 21 students have been rescued, the killing of a hostage prompted Governor Usman Ododo and Commissioner of Police Bertrand Onuoha to take action against the perpetrators.

The governments of Kogi, Kwara, and Ekiti states, in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), mobilized the joint troops for this operation. Senator Sunday Karimi of Kogi West supported the action by providing meals to the troops, a gesture appreciated by Kogi’s Security Adviser, Commodore Jerry Omodara (rtd).

The Emla of Ilemla, Second Class Chief Oba Rotimi Victor Dada, commended the deployment of troops, describing it as a successful operation. He expressed relief that the intervention has enabled farmers to return to their farms and traders to resume their activities without fear of kidnappers who had previously dominated the forests.

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