For the umpteenth time, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered security chiefs to end selective abductions and killings, particularly in the North Central and North West.
The president specifically directed the security chiefs to redouble their efforts to restore security across the country to enable citizens to go about their normal businesses.
Buhari, it was learnt, asked the security chiefs to find ways, tactics, and style to end the killings and the completion of their mission, especially when equipment and other logistics were now available to support the course of tactical maneuvers.
The minister of Defense, Bashir Magashi, and the Inspector-general of police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday after a meeting between the president and the security chiefs.
According to the IGP, the president praised them for their efforts so far which he said are yielding positive results in the North East and South East.
Baba said, “Yes, we had a brief security meeting. Service chiefs and the intelligence chiefs have been able to brief the President on the security situation of the country.
“The president has also observed and made a remark that the constitutional responsibility of government is the provision of security, is one and is foremost and he is ready to provide such.
“We should reinvigorate our efforts, which are yielding results in the northeast, southeast, but there is more to be done in the north central, northwest, where people are worried and he has intelligence and information that schoolchildren and students are abducted, selective abductions and killings are done. This narrative must change.
“We have assured him and promised him that we’ll make efforts to do more. He also thanked and praised us for what has been done so far, that we should improve much so that people can go about their lawful businesses within the quickest possible means.
“The new marching order is that all the service chiefs and intelligence chiefs have been warned to go and reinvigorate efforts and to do more so that the north-central and Nigeria at large should enjoy better security.”
On his part, minister of Defense, Magashi, said the security chiefs discussed the urgency in ending banditry.
According to him, the bandits are becoming a nuisance, killing people and making careless statements.
He stated: “This meeting was called to keep the C-in-C abreast of the current happening in the North West and North Central in respect of the improvements, problems and any other thing associated with insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and the rest of it.
“From the meeting, we believe that the spate at which these things are happening in Zamfara State and North Central is a source of concern to the government and to all agencies that are responsible for the execution of the operations in the North Central.
“We discussed the need for urgency in our dealing with the bandits. We believe they’re becoming a nuisance – killing people. They are doing what they like, they make careless statements and they say what they think they should say to solicit the kind of audience they want from society.
“We believe that we have gone a long way in keeping this country together. If one looks back, before our coming, you’ll find that there’s a lot of improvement, but people are not seeing it anymore. They believe probably we are incapable or there is something which we don’t know, but we are trying to find out why people are not appreciating the efforts of the government.
“We have appraised our position, we’ve found that we are capable, we can do this thing, but we need the cooperation of every Nigerian to ensure a free society.”
The Defence minister reiterated that security is the paramount important thing in this country, adding that without security, nothing will happen.
Noting that President Buhari also emphasised at the meeting that without security, nothing can go, he said, “So, he has directed us to find ways, tactics, and style with which we can get out of this and we assured him that we’ll do our best to ensure the mission is successful and we’ll do all we can to ensure the completion of this mission, especially when equipment and other things are available to support the course of our tactical maneuvers and that we’ll do very well from now.
Asked if the military have started using the new Super Tucano jets, he said “We are just testing them; six are still coming by the end of… maybe next week. So, when the twelve of them are here, I think the Chief of Air Staff will brief you on the operations that they are to undertake as soon as possible.”
Bandits Abduct 18 In Kaduna
Again, 18 persons have been abducted by suspected bandits in Keke community of chikun local government area of Kaduna State.
According to sources in the area, the bandits on Monday night came through a neighbouring community and started shooting sporadically to scare away people before whisking away their victims.
One of the inhabitants of the community said, “As soon as they stormed our community, they blocked the major road and started shooting sporadically, thereby preventing residents from escaping and security agents from coming to assist us”.
“They started moving from house to house chasing the people out of their houses. At the end of it, 18 people were abducted and taken to an unknown destination.”
He also disclosed that most of the victims kidnapped were women and children, adding that “we have lodged a formal complaint at the Police station and they have come to survey the area.”
He recalled that the abduction was coming two years ago when some people in the same community suffered a similar experience.
Chikun local government area was among the four local governments where local government elections were suspended for security reasons.
When contacted to confirm the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the State Police Command, ASP Mohammed Jalige, could not pick his calls and did not return missed calls as of the time of filing the report.
Northern Youths Laud FG, States Over New Offensive Against Bandits
Also yesterday, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) commended the federal government and state governments over the new measures they have taken to curb the lingering insecurity in the northern region.
CNG said it has noted with sincere optimism the renewed fighting spirit of the federal troops and improved cooperation from other security services and the awakened sense of responsibility in the hitherto frightened northern communities.
A statement signed by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, stated: “We particularly note that the combined effects of the initiatives for the blockade of internet access, closure of weekly community markets, ban on movement of cattle and restriction of access to fuel in some frontline states are already yielding results.
“These measures however, expectedly come with a cost which we urge affected communities to bear with patience and fortitude hoping they will be temporary hardships necessary for the final restoration of security, and return of peace and enduring public safety”.
CNG called on the state governments involved to design emergency measures for easing the pains that would naturally result from the new security steps on communities and call for more cooperation and prayer from the public.
The group called for dedicated prayer sessions across all northern communities tomorrow and Friday to seek God’s intervention for a definite end to banditry and kidnappings that have ravaged the region and for all captives to regain freedom.
It tasked state governments and the wealthy in all northern states to work together to ease the temporary hardships on the affected populations resulting from the new measures taken by authorities.
“While commending the efforts of our gallant troops on the frontline, we particularly call on all northern governors, especially those of states immediately neighbouring the current operational areas to take immediate steps to check the movement of people across their borders”, the coalition added.
33 Suspected Kidnappers, Others Arrested In Abuja, Jigawa
Meanwhile, 19 suspected kidnappers and 10 others have been arrested in Jigawa State and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCT).
The 14 suspected criminals were paraded by the police alongside the dangerous weapons recovered from by the police in Abuja.
The FCTA also destroyed their shanties through the Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation which stormed some of the flashpoints within the city centre.
Hard hit by the manhunt operations were the areas around Bolingo hotels, Church Gate Towers, all located in the Central Business, Wuse, and Jahi districts.
The chairman, FCT ministerial Committee on City Sanitation, Ikharo Attah, who led the operation during which several suspects were arrested, revealed that most of the undeveloped plots of land, within the city center, have been turned into criminal habitations.
Attah decried the rate at which criminal elements were illegally converting all available spaces to hiding places, thereby warning owners of the undeveloped plots to rid their lands of criminal activities and also commence development.
He noted that the discoveries made at some of the places raided were frightening and demanded that the exercise be intensified with all commitment.
According to him, the FCT minister has reiterated his resolve to muster enough political will and ensure that the illegalities and criminalities were ended.
“We discovered there have been so much intra-city robbery, so from our check, we found that the criminals live among the people in shanties, so today we have to commence intensive operations around the Central Business, Wuse, and Jahi Districts.
“Most people in Abuja have experienced robbery and these places are where the criminals live. We found fresh Indian hem growing and suspected drug addicts.”
Similarly, the Jigawa State police command has arrested 19 suspected kidnappers in connection with the recent abduction incident that happened in Taura local government area of the state.
The spokesperson of the state police command, SP Lawan Shisu Adam, revealed this while fielding questions from journalists.
He said following the report of the abduction of Alhaji Kabiru Ahmad of Taura local government on September 4, 2021 the police had intensified efforts to rescue the victim and also arrest the suspects.
“The police has raised a joint team of policemen, Vigilante groups, Yan bulalaliya (local hunters) and conducted an operation around the hideout of the suspended kidnappers at Galaga village of Ringim and three suspects were arrested .
“Similar operation was also conducted around Fagen Gawo forest and 16 suspected kidnappers were arrested there”.
He explained that the police are currently interrogating the suspects to get more information that can lead to the arrest of other fleeing suspects.