President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the military to pursue armed bandits terrorising the North-West geopolitical zone and eliminate them.
The president gave the order while addressing 15 officers and 160 soldiers of the 17th Army Brigade and Nigerian Air Force 213 Operational Base in Katsina, under the “Operation Hadarin Daji’’, at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua airport, Katsina.
The president, who was on his way to Abuja, after the Sallah break, also asked the military to be more committed in restoring peace to the country, particularly states troubled by bandits, ordering them “not to spare bandits’’ who have been killing, maiming and extorting innocent citizens.
“This group was formed by the military to secure the geo-political zone from the activities of bandits. Fundamentally, it is your responsibility to secure the country.
“As the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, I believe you are capable of doing it. I don’t think you should spare any bandit. Identify and eliminate them. Pursue them anywhere you can find them and eliminate them,’’ he said.
“Nigeria deserves peace. The rainy season is good and we are already achieving food security, but we need peace. The money saved from food importation will be used to purchase arms for operations,’’ he said.
The President, flanked by Governor Aminu Bello Masari, assured the troops that the federal government will provide all the necessary support for restoration of peace in the country.
“We will give you all the right equipment so that you can deal with them with despatch. I appreciate all your efforts but you can do more. I don’t want any bandit spared,’’ he said.
He said the government and all officials were being sustained in office by the ordinary people, and they owe the people a duty to protect their lives and property.
“Please give my regards to your families. The earlier you finish with the bandits, the earlier you will return and stay with your families,’’ he said.
Our correspondent reports that the president, during his stay in Daura, hosted many dignitaries including the Guinean President, Alpha Conde, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, 12 governors, among others.
Also, the president paid sympathy visit to victims of armed bandits in seven frontline local government areas of Katsina State. He met the victims in Batsari Local Government Headquarters.
President Buhari, also during his stay commissioned three road projects constructed by the Katsina State government and the Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital in Daura.