Over 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have returned to their villages in Zamfara following clearance operation conducted by the military against bandits terrorising communities in the state.
The Army had launched Operation Sharan Daji to dislodge the bandits and secure communities that had come under attacks in recent months from bandits hitherto operating freely in the area.
The operation, which began on July 1, 2018, is being conducted across troubled spots in the Northwest and North Central parts of the country.
The outgoing Force Commander of the operation, Muhammad Muhammad, made the disclosure while speaking with journalists shortly after handing over the command to his successor, Stevenson Olabanji, in Gusau on Wednesday.
Mr Muhammad, a major-general, said residents displaced by armed bandits especially around Galadi, Kwaddi and Katuru villages in Zurmi and Shinkafi Local Government Areas of the state were back home safely.
According to him, the operation has stabilized the affected area and neutralized several bandits while others on the run are being pursued by troops.
The outgoing commander also said that farming activities have gradually resumed in other villages affected by the bandits attacks in Maradun Local Government Area.
He expressed full confidence that the new commander would sustain the operation until all bandits are neutralised and the communities made safe for normal activities.
Earlier, Mr Olabanji, the new commander of Operation Sharan Daji, pledged to pursue the operation with renewed vigour.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olabanji, recently reassigned from Monguno in Borno, will also serve as the Officer Commanding of the newly established 8 Division, Nigeria Army, Sokoto.
The division will oversee army formations in Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Katsina states.