*Bandits becoming a nuisance, Nigerians believe we’re incapable- Defence minister
President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the service chiefs to find methods to deal with the country’s security challenges.
He gave the directive on Tuesday after meeting with the service chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Usman Alkali Baba, inspector-general of police (IGP); Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF); Rauf Aregbesola, interior minister, and Geoffery Onyeama, foreign affairs minister, were also in attendance.
Speaking after the meeting, Bashir Magashi, defence minister said the president called for urgent steps towards securing the country.
The minister said the security situation in Zamfara State and the north-central was the main agenda of the meeting.
“Security, as far as this country is concerned, is the paramount important thing in this country, without security, nothing will happen and the commander-in-chief has emphasised this today that without security, nothing can go.
“So, he has directed us to find ways, tactics and style with which we can get out of this and we assured him that we’ll do our best to ensure the mission is successful and we’ll do all we can to ensure the completion of this mission, especially when equipment and other things are available to support the course of our tactical manoeuvres and that we’ll do very well from now,” he said.
Magashi said another batch of six A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets will arrive in the country next week, while the six that have already been inducted by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) are being tested.
The Defence minister also said the bandits wreaking havoc on the north-west and north-central are becoming a nuisance, adding that President Buhari expressed the need for urgency in dealing with them.
He said: “This meeting was called in order to keep the C-in-C abreast of the current happening in the north-west and north-central, in respect of the improvements, problems and any other thing associated with the insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and the rest of it.
“From the meeting, we believe that the spate at which these things are happening in Zamfara state and north-central is a source of concern to the government and to all agencies that are responsible for the execution of the operations in the north-central.
“We discussed the need for urgency in our dealing with the bandits. We believe they’re becoming a nuisance; killing people, they are doing what they like, they make careless statements, they say what they think they should say in order to solicit the kind of audience they want from the society.
“We believe that we have gone a long way in keeping this country together. If one looks back, prior to our coming, 2014, you’ll find that there’s a lot of improvement, but people are not seeing it anymore.
“They believe probably we are incapable or there is something which we don’t know, but we are trying to find out why people are not appreciating the efforts of the government.
“We have appraised our position, we’ve found that we are capable, we can do this thing, but we need the cooperation of every Nigerian in order to ensure a free society.”