President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the military to respond “robustly” through the use of sustained massive operations to stop killings, kidnappings and destruction by terrorists and other criminal elements in Niger State.
According to a statement on Sunday titled “President Buhari Sets the Ball Rolling for a Big Military Operation in Niger State”, by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Buhari’s directive to achieving this strategic objective was given to Defence Headquarters, the tri-Service headquarters of the Nigerian military.
Shehu said the President, as Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s Armed Forces, had set the ball rolling for a major military operation in Niger State which had faced continued attacks on its communities by bandits and remnants of Boko Haram terrorists fleeing theaters of war in the Northwestern and Northeastern parts of the country.
President Buhari, in his message to the government and people of Niger State said, “I would like to express sincere sympathies to the government and people of the State following recent security incidents.”
He restated that security was a responsibility of every member of the community and only through solidarity and cooperation with law enforcement agencies “can we defeat the problems finally”.
“The Federal Government is willing to strengthen support and cooperation with all the states. I believe that with the full cooperation of the citizens, we will surely overcome this problem,” he said.
Last Tuesday, bandits invaded communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger, killing no fewer than 13 people in an attack that took place during the day at Nakundna and Wurukuchi.
Tuesday’s attack came less than two weeks after bandits attacked workers on Zungeru Dam, killing two persons and kidnapping three Chinese expatriates.
The Niger State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, also confirmed that suspected bandits/terrorists attacked some villagers who were harvesting crops on their farm at Nakundna village near Kaure in Shiroro LGA.
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, had said the worrisome part of the security challenges was the inability of the farmers to harvest their farm produce, which might likely trigger food scarcity in the state.
The governor said that a coordinated and simultaneous attack on the terrorists by security agents in the affected states would go a long way towards achieving success.