250 bandits have so far been neutralized – DHQ

The Nigerian Defence Headquarters said Thursday that 250 bandits have so far been neutralized to address the problem of insecurity in the North-West zone of the country.

Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor disclosed this on at the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team.

“The Primary objective of government is to ensure the peace and wellbeing of every citizen so, we undertake our operations and activities to ensure there is peace, development and the provision of amenities that aggregate to governance.

“We are responsible for the security content in that regard so to that extent, looking at the numbers, from the last report that I got on Monday, we have neutralized over 250 of the bandits, we have equally arrested well over 600 and because it is a continuous thing, the figures might also change.

“Ï will like to also indicate that the rescue operations has led to the rescue of many of those who were recruited, which is also part and parcel of that action and is not limited to Zamfaara State but it also extends to Sokoto and Katsina,” he said.

He said the armed forces would continue the fight against bandits and other criminals troubling some parts of the country.

Commenting on the recent surrender of boko haram fighters, the Chief of Defence Staff said over 1800 have so far downed their tools and he called on stakeholders and all citizens to cooperate with security agencies in order to win the fight against insurgency.

“The massive surrendering of boko haram terrorist is as a result of the actions we have taken in the North-East and we believe that that is some achievement. But I also believe that issues surrounding defence and security are not just military-centric but it has to involve all stakeholders and all citizens,” he said.

On the huge sum of money spent by government on the armed forces, General Irabo said the military strictly ensures that the provisions of the nation’s procurement act are followed to ensure transparency, adding that all hardware so procured are handled with care and well maintained, to justify government’s spending.

“We will continue to do what we are meant to do, that is why we are still there although not all share the fact that we have done very well but many who understand the issues applaud the actions we have taken both in the North-east and North-West and we have had many compliments with regards to that.

“So for me, we will not be distracted, we will remain resolute and undaunted in while engaging the criminals, to see that we scale up our operations not just in the Nort-East or South-West, but across the country,” he said.

The Chief of Defence Staff also called on journalists to assist in monitoring the activities of aid agencies working in the North-East.

“I want to applaud the actions of the various aid agencies but of course you have some bad elements among them that have been working in opposite direction with the intent of the aid agencies and that is the reason why we equally deployed some form of intelligence oversight on the aid agencies that work within the theatres of interest to us.

“We believe that this should also attract your attention such that you will help us to police the police as it were. If you do so, then of course you will be contributing to the overall peace and security of our country. So Journalists should help us to also keep an eye on them,” he said.

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