“The troops who embarked on a long-range fighting patrol to Tukurua general area of Chikun LGA, engaged and overpowered the outlaws, neutralizing one, with others fleeing in disarray.

“The troops during the operation rescued 14 kidnapped victims, comprising nine men and five women. The victims were moved to a secure location for debriefing and examination before being reunited with their families.

“In the course of the battle, the troops destroyed several camps. Two motorcycles were recovered during the operation.”

According to the commissioner, the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, commended the troops for their bravery in battling the bandits, and praised the leadership of Major General TA Lagbaja, who serves as the GOC of One Division and Force Commander of Operation Whirl Punch.

Meanwhile, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) respectively, have refused to concede defeat in the February 25 presidential election.

They vow to recover their mandate in court.

President-elect, Bola Tinubu, had asked them to support him in the task of building the nation. However, Atiku and Obi rebuffed the gesture of conciliation made by Tinubu and spoke at separate news conferences in Abuja on Thursday.

Obi insisted that he won the election and he was ready to prove it. He noted that the election in which Tinubu was declared victorious was controversial and programmed to deliver pre-determined results. He pointed out that the election did not meet the requirements and could not be deemed credible. Obi vowed to pursue and recover his mandate, saying, “We won the election and I will prove it to Nigerians.’’