Operatives of Operation Thunder Strike, on Tuesday handed over no fewer than 371 livestock recovered from rustlers to the Kaduna State Government.
Three suspects arrested in the course of the operation were also handed over to the government for further investigation and prosecution.
The event was held in Rijana, Kachia Local Government Area of the state.
The joint operation commenced on May 10, 2019, and comprised of the Nigerian Army, Air Force, Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, DSS and National Intelligence Agency.
The Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 1 Division Nigerian Army Kaduna, Col. Ezindu Idimah, who performed the handing over ceremony, said the main objective of the operation was to contain and clear Abuja-Kaduna highway of cattle rustlers, bandits and kidnappers.
“So far, the operation has been able to frustrate the activities of the criminals in the area of operation, many arrests and recoveries of weapons have been made.
“One such achievement recorded is the recovery of 116 cattle and arrest of three suspected cattle rustlers and bandits.” Idimah added that on June 18, the operatives also intercepted a cattle rustler who narrowly escaped with gun shot wounds, but “our forces recovered 247 cattle and eight sheep, recovered one AK 47 rifle and a motorcycle.”
The Special Adviser on Security to Gov. Nasiru El-Rufa’i and Coordinator of the state security outfit, Operation Yaki, AIG Murtala Abbas (rtd), while receiving the livestock on behalf of the state government, commended the troops for their efforts at safeguarding lives and property of the people.
He assured that the livestock would be handed back to their owners, adding that the yardstick to identify the genuine owners would be publicized.
“Only owners with genuine means of identification, including when and where the livestock was stolen and whether report of the theft was made, would be considered,” he said.