Defence Minister Reacts to Activities of Armed Bandits, Illegal Miners in North-West
The Ministry of Defence is very concern about the security challenges in the North West particularly, in states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Birnin Gwari axis of Kaduna state.
Due to the recent prevailing security situation in the states the Ministry through the Nigerian Army is now conducting Exercise HARBIN KUNAMA IV simultaneously in Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto States.
The purpose of the exercise is to effectively flush out the activities of criminal elements in the North West.
The Nigerian Air Force has also intensified air strikes against the bandits in Zamfara.
So far, the combined efforts have yielded to lot of successes leading to the killing of many bandits, rescue of many innocent persons including the renowned Islamic scholar Sheik Ahmad Suleiman.
The Government is also addressing the remote and immediate causes that gave room to high spate of armed banditry in the states.
Recently the government acted on the advice of the Ministry of Defence to suspend all mining activities in Zamfara State and environs following intelligence report that suggest close collaboration between the activities of the bandits and illegal miners.
It is instructive to mention here that insurgency and terrorism are global phenomena that cannot be addressed through military actions only.
The whole society has to rise in unison to support the government’s efforts to address the problem. However, in spite of the concerted efforts of the Armed Forces and other security some unpatriotic persons including highly placed traditional rulers in the areas were identified as helping the bandits with intelligence to perpetuate their nefarious actions or to compromise military operations. In the last three years, the Ministry of Defence had carried out several reforms geared towards the reorganisation and expansion of the Armed Forces in order to meet up with contemporary security challenges across the nation and the sub region.
In line with this the Nigerian Army established 8 Division with headquarters in Sokoto to cover Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara states while the Headquarters of 1 Brigade was relocated from Sokoto to Gusau. Presently the tactical headquarters of 8 Division has since located to Gusau. Similarly, the Nigerian Air Force also established Quick Response Force in Gusau and landing areas in Gusau and Birnin Magaji respectively.
The Ministry of Defence therefore, wish to warn any person or group of persons who choose to connive or sympathies with the bandits to perpetuate crime against the law abiding citizens to hence force retract there steps or face the full wrath of the law. The Armed Forces of Nigeria have been directed to deal decisively with anybody identified helping the bandits under whatever guise no matter how highly placed the person or persons may be.
The Ministry of Defence want to once again use this medium to assure Nigerians that the Armed Forces of Nigeria in conjunction with other security agencies will continue to protect lives and properties of law abiding citizens of this country. The general public is also requested to cooperate with the Armed Forces to discharge of its constitutional responsibilities effectively.
Public Relations Officer to the Honourable Minister of Defence
Police Boss Takes Battle to Bandits’ Den
As the Nigeria Police Force and other Security Forces intensify their offensive against armed bandits currently terrorizing parts of the country, the Inspector General of Police, Ag. IGP MA Adamu, NPM, mni today, Tuesday, 9th April, 2019 accompanied by the DIG Operations, DIG ABDULMAJID ALI visited Sokoto and Zamfara States, two of the States in the North West currently experiencing the challenges of armed banditry and other associated crimes.
The visit, which is to enable the IGP conduct an on- the – spot evaluation of operational and deployment strategies currently in place in both States, readily affords the IGP ample opportunity to have a “one-on-one” interaction with officers and men on the ground. This will, in addition to being a morale boosting undertaking, help to galvanize local support for the Police and other Security Forces currently engaged in the Operation Puff Adder.
While addressing the officers and men of both Commands, the IGP charged them to be on the offensive and take the battle to the bandits’ camp and ensure total reclamation and domination of all the public spaces occupied by them and bring them to justice.
In a Town Hall Meeting held in Gusau, capital of Zamfara State which drew participants from relevant stakeholders, including; top government officials – Secretary to Zamfara State Government Prof. Abdullahi Muhammad, Chief of Staff of Zamfara State Government, Engr Abdullahi Abulkarim – Traditional Rulers, Local Government Chairmen, Farmers Association, Mityetti Allah, Religious Leaders amongst others, the IGP commiserated with the community members particularly those who lost their loved ones or incurred one loss or another as a result of the activities of the bandits. The IGP however, called on the people to support the security agencies with human intelligence and any relevant information that could aid the success of the operation.
On their part, the stakeholders commended the Federal Government for banning mining activities in their area. They equally requested for increased deployment of Policemen to their communities, even as they prayed that the members of the Civilian Joint Task Force be allowed to join the Police in tackling the menace of armed bandits in their communities.
The IGP has since departed Zamfara to Sokoto in continuation of his mission.
DCP FRANK MBA
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER