President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the country’s security chiefs to identify and crush bandits, kidnappers, their local collaborators and sponsors to restore confidence in the society.
The directive came during a meeting of the president with the security chiefs at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, before his departure to the UK for a routine medical checkup.
This was disclosed by the National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno, while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.
What the National Security Adviser is saying
Monguno pointed out that the president warned that his administration would no longer accept a situation where bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements are dictating the pace in the fight against insecurity in the country while the security agencies remained reactionary.
The NSA in his statement said, “Mr President has made it very clear to both the intelligence and operational elements that their first assignment will be to identify the leaders of these bandits and kidnappers and take them out in order to restore confidence in those areas.
Mr President has said that he will no longer tolerate a situation where bandits and kidnappers are the ones dictating the pace and setting the tones and he will not also condone a situation in which our own operations are reaction rather than being proactive,” he said.
The NSA also revealed that the president insisted that all those agents of disunity and chaos among peace-loving Nigerians must be targeted in his directive to the service chiefs and intelligence community.
He said: “I’m also to send out a warning to those people who think they can continue to behave in a manner that undermines national security. Those people engaging in all kinds of underhanded, unscrupulous, mischievous and deceitful practices, people who are working with those that are in government, in particular, critical agencies of government.
We have been able to identify certain areas that are weak and these areas have to be strengthened so that these characters who are engaging in acts that you can describe as outright acts of brigandage, people who are behaving in a manner that portends a lot of danger to innocent lives, have to be fished out.
This is the directive from the President, I am to send a warning to those people who think they’re in close proximity with those who have the instruments to make the space easy for criminals, those people who think they have some kind of authority, who are engaging in all kinds of Hocus Pocus in all kinds of jiggery-pokery or skullduggery. These people will be brought down to their knees.’’
What you should know
It can be recalled that while issuing an earlier warning, President Buhari had said the government is reluctant to deploy excessive force against the bandits because of the fear of heavy casualties among the innocent.
He had also ruled out the possibility of granting amnesty to bandits, kidnappers and insurgents in the country as the government will continue to decisively deal with them.