Ishaya Peter, Kaduna
Notorious bandit, Rufai Maikaji, and some of his gang members were said to have been neutralised in air raid around the fringes of Malul Forest in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Intelligence sources said Maikaji and dozens of his fighters were killed in late February.
It was gathered that the notorious bandit and his gang were responsible for the attack on Anaba Village in Igabi LG where dozens of residents were killed, houses razed and some villagers kidnapped.
Maikaji and his gang struck at Anaba Village and Birnin Yero town, all in Igabi LG in January on the same day Prof. Aliyu Mohammed was kidnapped and his son, Abdullaziz, killed.
In February, Maikaji and his gang again invaded the same Anaba Village where seven people were killed, houses razed and 20 cows rustled.
Other villages terrorised by Maikaji and his gang are Iyatawa, Garke, Kumfa, Bakali, Karau-karau and Galadimawa, Kerawa, Hashimawa, Sabon Birni, Buruku General Area and parts of Chikun LGA axis of Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road, covering three LGs of Giwa, Igabi and Chikun.
The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the killing of the gang leader, Maikaji and others to newsmen via a statement on Thursday.
The Commissioner said, “After painstaking checks with security agencies and careful exploitation of numerous human intelligence sources, the Kaduna State Government can authoritatively confirm that one ‘Rufai Maikaji’ a deadly bandit who commanded over a hundred fighters has been neutralized.
“‘Rufai Maikaji and dozens of his fighters were neutralized during air interdictions around the fringes of Malul Forest in Igabi LGA of Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
“The aerial missions in which Rufai Maikaji and his gang were neutralized were conducted in late February when he (Rufai Maikaji) and the bandits under his command, on sighting ground troops, escaped from Anaba Village of Igabi LGA where they killed some citizens, burnt houses and kidnapped some locals.
“The prompt response by the air platforms ended the reign of terror maintained by ‘Rufai Maikaji’ and his bloodsucking accomplices.
“From further checks, Rufai Maikaji and his group were confirmed to be responsible for the killing, kidnapping and cattle rustling in many communities in Giwa, Igabi and Chikun LGAs, especially in the following locations: Iyatawa, Garke, Kumfa, Bakali, Karau-karau and Galadimawa, Anaba, Kerawa, Hashimawa, Sabon Birni, Buruku General Area and parts of Chikun LGA axis of Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road.
“Rufai Maikaji is said to have begun his ignoble career as an errand boy to some deadly bandits in and around Sabon Birni General Area of Igabi LGA. From this position, he grew to become a household name in banditry.
“The Kaduna State Government, military, police, DSS and all agencies have assured residents of the communities that suffered the brutality of ‘Rufai Maikaji’, that aggressive pursuit of other accomplices who escaped the onslaught is in full swing, and they will be caught sooner rather than later.”
The Commissioner said Governor Nasir El-Rufai hailed the military for taking down the bandit leader and his accomplices.
“The Governor further assured them of the firm commitment of the government and people of Kaduna State in the ongoing operations against the bandits throughout the state,” he added.