Charles Nwoke, Gusau, Nigeria.
The combat jet was shotdown by men of Kachalla’s gang near Kabaru village, located some 15 km west of Dansadau town.
A notorious criminal bigwig operating around the Dansadau part of the large Kuyambana Forest, Ali Kachalla, is the one responsible for the recent shooting down of a Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet.
The forest caught across Zamfara, Kebbi Kaduna and Niger states.
During the time that the military jet was downed through the use of heavy artillery power on June 18, no details were provided about the ugly incident from both official and unofficial sources and nothing much came out after then.
Therefore, the brain behind the shooting down of the war jet was not known to the public.
Discussing with the locales, security agencies and other persons with the understanding of occurrence in the areas troubled by rural banditry, The Daily Trust gathered that Ali Kachalla, a shrewd terrorist with hideout in Kuyambana carried out the operation.
Kachalla, originally a chieftaincy title in the Kanuri language, is generally used when referring to a high profile bandit leaders in the North-West.
The fighter jet was brought down by Kachalla’s gang near Kabaru village, located some 15 km west of Dansadau axis of the state.
According to the report, Ali Kachalla allegedly controls over 200 armed men in Kuyambana Forest and has masterminded series of brutal attacks on villages in the area.
He is also popular because of his specialty in ambushing military personnel.
Those who know him said he was born in Madada, a hamlet near Dansadau to a family of Fulani herders. He is said to be in his early 30s.
Kachalla is presently located and lives along a river bank called River Goron Dutse, which is about 25 km south of Dansadau town.
Goron Dutse River is situated across the Kaduna – Zamfara boundary, with parts of it in Kaduna State and the other part in Zamfara State.
A source who spoke with The Daily Trust said, “His settlement consisting of several strings of thatched huts is on Birnin Gwari side of the river. But, his large herd of cattle being manned by his heavily armed boys is based in Zamfara State.
“As I’m talking to you, his boys can be found in Dandalla, Madada and Gobirawa Kwacha communities. The villages are all situated southeast of Dansadau town. They are all being controlled by the armed men.”
Kachalla’s men are described as “fearless fighters” and have been laying ambush for security operatives for quite a long time. His gang members are said to outnumber most of those in other gangs in the area.
Recently, Kachalla has stepped up attacks on Dansadau town to protest the blocking of supplies to him from the town and the villagers’ help in the escape of the military pilot who he wanted to capture alive. In one of the attacks, his men set an Armoured Personnel Carrier ablaze, after chasing security forces deployed to the town.
“Dansadau community has drawn the ire of Kachalla and his boys after local traders were blocked from selling food to him,” one source said.
“There are some unscrupulous elements among the local traders who still take bread, soft drinks and other groceries to the bandits in the forest.”
Despite his rise to prominence as a result of the men and arms cache he controls, Ali Kachalla remains a shadowy figure, making it difficult to get any picture or video clip of him.