Nigerian Army Seek Governors’ Support to Eradicate Terrorists and Others Criminal elements across the Nation
The Nigerian Army yesterday talked tough on the menace of terrorists and other criminals ravaging some areas of the country
Newera News learnt that the Army had intensified its operations against bandits, kidnappers and other criminal groups terrorising the North Central and North West zones of the county, particularly.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, made this known when he received Governors of Zamfara and Plateau State, Dauda Lawal and Caleb Muftwang at the army headquarters in Abuja.
The army chief who decried the killings in the zones which is becoming a daily occurrence, said the military would no longer fold its hands to watch criminals slaughter innocent citizens and warned the criminals to flee the country or have themselves to blame.
Lagbaja, who said the criminals who have been placed on close marking to ensure they do not escape from the zones to their parts of the country, said they have been blocked from gaining entry into other parts of the country if they are attempt to flee North West.
This is Army Headquarters in Abuja said soldiers on internal security operations in Plateau State have killed bandits and recovered weapons from them.
The soldiers from 3 Division of the Nigerian Army deployed to quell the crisis in Mangu Local Government Area of of the state came in contact with the bandits while responding to a distress call in Mangu general area and fought through an ambush staged by the bandits.
Director Army public relations Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said: “Troops of 3 Division of the Nigerian Army deployed to quell the crisis in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau state have neutralized 3 Bandits today Wednesday 12 July 2023.
The troops obliterated the criminals when they gallantly fought through an ambush staged by the bandits, while responding to a distress call in Mangu general area. After successfully clearing the ambush, the troops recovered 3 x AK 47 Rifles,14 rounds of 7.62 mm Special rounds, 1 x Motorcycle and a Constabulary Police Identity card.
“Troops are currently on the trail of bandits who escaped with gunshot wounds during the fire fight.”
In what watchers of military operations in troubled zones termed new approach to freeing the country from criminal elements, the new army boss told state governors to give the military free hand to eliminate terrorists just as he said the army is opposed to granting amnesty again to bandits.
He said the amnesty programme had failed to achieve its purpose in the past, as it only gave criminals the opportunity to regroup, reorganise and attack defenceless citizens.
The COAS also noted that the amnesty programme in the state and other parts of the North West was a failure.
“We also have the issue of the amnesty programme that has been instituted, and which has failed not only in Zamfara, but so many other states of the North West.
“So, I think we need to look at this issue of the amnesty programme because the criminal elements have proven to be incorrigible.
“The issue of amnesty has created avenue for them to regroup and reorganise to launch attack on our defenceless citizens. So I think we need to look at that.”
The COAS thanked the governor for feedback on the activities of troops deployed to restore peace in the state.
Lagbaja said he had directed the deployment of more platforms and release of funds to reactivate unserviceable platforms to boost troops operations in the state.
According to him, the Zamfara crisis is a mix of farmer-herder clashes, ethnic confrontations and the quest for economic empowerment driven by mining activities.
He assured that the Army was determined to tackle the security challenges in the state.
“We will not have a situation where some people constitute themselves into outlaws and just go into communities and kill children and defenceless women.
“By working on this with the state government and other critical stakeholders we can eliminate these outlaws and reduce the insecurities by a significant percentage.
“So I want to appeal to you Your Excellency that as we come up with this strategy to address the issue of the “Yan Sakai and other regional groups, the state government should be disposed to the implementation of the measures that we will recommend.
“So that together we will address the activities of these criminal elements.”
Earlier, Gov. Lawal said Zamfara has been facing very challenging security threat and appealed for the support of the Nigerian army to address it.
He, however, commended the efforts of the troops in restoring peace in the state and called for the deployment of more military wares to support military operations.
He said at the moment, only few operational vehicles in the state were serviceable, while cases of kidnapping and killing of innocent people were rampant on daily basis.
In fact, I will say without mincing words, that Zamfara is the state that is facing the most challenge in the area of insecurity today.
“Therefore, for me, being the number one citizen, part of my responsibility is protecting lives and properties, but I cannot do this alone.
“I therefore need the support of the Chief of Army Staff and his entire team in bringing peace to Zamfara, as well as Nigeria in general.”
The governor said though the troops were doing very well to secure the state, there was need for serious intervention in terms of the level of manpower.
“We need to have more people, especially the military to be deployed to Zamfara and complement the efforts security officers are making in combating crime.”
The governor lamented that insecurity had grounded development in the state, including education, farming and other economic activities.
He said children have been unable to go to school, thereby causing serious setback for the state.