Buhari to Service Chiefs: Fish out bandits, their sponsors | Dailytrust

Buhari to Service Chiefs: Fish out bandits, their sponsors

President Muhammadu Buhari has told the newly appointed service chiefs to deliver on their mandate to guarantee security

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the security chiefs to fish out bandits, kidnappers and their sponsors.

The National Security Adviser retired Major-General Babagana Monguno, who briefed State House reporters at the end of the meeting with security chiefs, said President Buhari had warned that a situation whereby bandits and kidnappers continued to dictate the pace in the fight against insecurity would no longer be tolerated.

Monguno said the President expects the armed forces to be proactive instead of being reactionary.

He said President Buhari also insisted that all the decisions approved at last month’s National Security Council meeting, including a ban on mining activities in Zamfara as well as a no-fly zone, remained enforced until further notice to curb the rising insecurity in the state.

Munguno said: “After meetings with governors of the Northwest and North-central zones, Mr President decided to call for an emergency meeting with heads of defence and security organisations.

“Prior to this meeting, he had also met with the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum on issues directly linked to the state of insecurity in the nation.

“Today’s meeting was not a very long meeting, but the President looks at certain issues that were presented to him in the last one week.

“Mr President, in particular, emphasised that the comprehensive reports he has received from the Chief of Defense Staff and the service chiefs, following their recent appointment, has illuminated the need for him to look deeper into certain aspects that need to be taken care of.

“He is particularly inspired and impressed by the way the new service chiefs have started their assignment, with all the operational visits they’ve made to the theatre, where they’ve been able to address the troops, look into their immediate needs and come up with immediate, medium and long term proposals.

“Mr President is going to look into these things with the urgency they require, but he is particularly delighted that from what he has received from the Chief of Defence Staff, there is now a renewed vigour, there is now a willingness on the part of all the operational elements to work together, as well as also working hand in hand with the intelligence organisations.”

The NSA added that: “On the issue of kidnapping and banditry, this menace still persists, especially in the Northwest and the North-Central zones.

“Mr President has been very emphatic, he has stated very clearly that this problem must be brought to an end but using the traditional methods that the armed forces have been trained to deploy.

“Mr President has made it very clear to both the intelligence and operational elements that the first assignment will be to identify the leaders of these bandits, 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 whereby bandits and kidnappers are the ones dictating the pace and setting the tone and he will not also condone a situation in which our own operations are reactionary rather than being proactive.

“He has also indicated his willingness to provide all the resources required by our own troops in order to put down these criminals.

“They must be brought down with all the ruthlessness that is required and whoever is working in collaboration with them will be brought to book.

“He has also declared that there will be no adjustment in whatever the National Security Council has already laid out until normalcy is restored.

The ban

“He’s also aware of attempts by certain elements, working in cahoots with all kinds of people in and out of the country to continue with exploiting the minefields, especially in Zamfara State.

“A ban has been placed on mining and that ban has to be enforced, people have to comply with whatever the President has laid out.

“Of course, we, in the intelligence domain, are aware that there are individuals and groups who are planning to link up with all kinds of non-state actors in order to frustrate the efforts of government in implementing the ban on mining, as well as enforcing the no-fly-zone so that no rotary aircraft will land, drop whatever and pick up whatever. That has to be enforced.

“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, those people will be brought down to their knees.

“It is extremely important for these people, I’m sending out a message to them, anybody who thinks he can continue to pool whatever resources he has at his disposal, to frustrate the efforts of the central government in bringing about peace and security will have himself to blame.

“The new service chiefs, as well as the intelligence community, and the constabulary forces have been given clear directives by the President to target those people who are the ones leading in creating chaos, disunity, and disharmony.”

The meeting held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Minister of Defense, retired Major-General, Bashir Salihi Magashi; Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; and the National Security Adviser.

Others were the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Awwal Zubairu; the Chief of Air Staff, Air-Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amoo; the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.