Buhari Urges Nigerian Troops To Attack Bandits Seriously

By Omololu Ogunmade

 President Muhammadu Buhari said Saturday in Katsina that the spate of insecurity in some areas of military operation was disgraceful. He asked Nigerian troops to be “ruthless” in the battle against bandits, criminals and kidnappers.

Mohammadu Buhari. Photographer: Sunday Aghaeze/AFP via Getty Images
Mohammadu Buhari.
Photographer: Sunday Aghaeze/AFP via Getty Images

Buhari, who returned to Abuja Saturday after spending five days in his hometown of Daura, where he had celebrated the Eid-el-Filtri, interacted with troops deployed to curb the activities of bandits and criminals in Zamfara and neighbouring states under the auspices of Operation Sharan Daji and Operation Diran Mikiya.

Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said in a statement that the president’s unannounced visit to the troops was intended to appreciate the commitment of the Nigerian Armed Forces to the security of the country and the citizens.

According to the statement, the president applauded officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Army over the counter-offensive they launched against bandits in Zamfara State and its environs and assured them of his support as “a worthy Commander-in-Chief.”

It also said the president urged the troops to sustain their good work by effectively dealing with banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling in the affected states within the periods of the operations.

The statement quoted Buhari as saying, “I am here and pleased at this opportunity to address you and express my pleasure and happiness as your Commander-in-Chief on your performance on the two respective operations.

“Nigerians are looking up to you and us to secure the country. What is happening in the areas of operations is disgraceful. I’m very pleased with the way officers and men are firmly putting it down and I want you to be as ruthless as humanly possible. Nigerians deserve some peace.”

According to the statement, the president reminded the troops that when he came to power in 2015, he promised to ensure security, improve the economy and fight corruption. He said he relied on the troops to crush anyone who thought he was above the law.

The statement also said the president, who donated five bulls to the troops in the spirit of Sallah, commended and thanked them for their labour for the peace and stability of Nigeria.

“The country has to be secured to be managed… we have been doing our best and we depend a lot on you to do what is needed in the field. I do not want you to spare any cattle rustler, armed robber or any person who thinks he is above the law.

“I commend you for the job you have been doing so far and I assure you that I will continue to be a worthy Commander-in-Chief. Thank you very much and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the president said in the release.

The statement added that the Air Officer Commanding, Special Operations Command of the Nigeria Air Force, Air Vice Marshall Sampson Akpasa, in his brief remarks, told the president that locations, such as Mashema, Shinkafi, Ajia, Rafi, Shamashalle, Zurmi and Galadi in Zamfara State, previously used as staging and trading bases by bandits, had been made untenable through sustained air interdiction and armed reconnaissance.

The statement quoted Akpasa as saying, “The air efforts in the last couple of weeks also provided close air support to ground troops on various occasions. The Air Task Force (ATF) responded to several distress calls from sister security forces and locals by neutralising the identified massed bandits and preventing imminent attacks on villages/towns such as Yanwari and Hayin Alhaj.”

Source: allafrica.com

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