The Nigerian Army says it has arrested “a group of hoodlums causing mayhem, extorting money and threatening the lives of innocent citizens” in Sokoto.
Maj. Clement Abiade, the Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, told newsmen on Saturday in Sokoto that the seven suspects were apprehended at the Kalambaina and Federal Government College junction in Sokoto on Wednesday.
Abiade said that the suspects, who were in two vehicles, were intercepted and found to be in possession of dangerous weapons.
He added that the suspects were allegedly seen throwing stones indiscriminately while chanting political slogans.
According to him, they obstructed the free flow of vehicular traffic and attempted to cause a breakdown of law and order.
He said that although soldiers arrested some of the suspects, many others fled the scene of the incident.
The spokesman gave the names of the suspects as “A group of miscreants and thugs along Kalambaina area blocked roads throwing stones and harassing passerby.
“The troops on routine patrol for the safety and serenity of the metropolitan ran into a groups of hoodlums causing mayhem, extorting and threatening the lives of innocent citizens,” Abiade said.
According to him, the exercise is part of Egwu Eke III, Python Dance inaugurated by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai to strengthen internal security.
He said that developments in the area made it imperative for the army to activate Operation Python Dance in the states that make up the North West zone of the country with the deployment of troops in all areas of operation.
Abiade stated that the effort has begun to yield positive dividends.
He said the items recovered from the suspected hoodlums were five machetes, two knives, two catapults, two long sticks, one tyre ream, three bottles of codeine and stones.
He added that the army would hand over the arrested suspects to the police for appropriate action.
He appealed to people in the area to live in peace with one another and abide by the stipulated rules enshrine by constitution.