Promises to unleash greater fury on criminals
By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
The Federal Government has vowed to hunt down bandits and cattle rustlers in the Northwest, saying it will bare its fangs, cut off their supplies and ensure that they are exterminated.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made the pledge on Thursday in Katsina during a town hall meeting with stakeholders on internal security and conflict resolution.
At the meeting, Aregbesola stated that the activities of armed bandits in the North West has heightened in the past decade and is a major concern and challenge of governance to the Federal Government.
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In his address titled “You have government’s ears”, Aregbesola said the federal government delegation was in Katsina to seek the cooperation of the state government and people of the State on how to bring an immediate end to the menace, so as to restore normal life, especially to the rural areas and the farming community.
“Our pledge to you here today is that we are ready and committed to this mission. As we all know, no military campaign can succeed without the cooperation and support of the people. Our mission here, therefore, is to meet with the Stakeholders, listen to you and work out how we can best work together to succeed in this endeavour”, Aregbesola said.
According to him, banditry had been defeated in the past and President Muhammadu Buhari administration is bent on repeating the feat.
He said, “the Nigerian security architecture will isolate them, cut off their links and supplies, hunt them down and, except they repent and turn from their evil ways, they will be crushed and exterminated”.
The Minister who reiterated that the President and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) are in great pains over the wanton killings, theft, and destruction being perpetrated by these criminals, assured that “the total, brutal and ferocious might of the Federal Government will soon be brought on them.
“I am assuring you that all the total, brutal and ferocious might of the Federal Government will be brought on them. The Nigerian security machinery will be unleashed in its fury, the way we have never seen before. The sickening criminal acts of these evil people will be brought to an end and all citizens will have the assurance of peace and safety once again”, he emphasized.
Aregbesola noted that the security services have done a great job going after the bandits and halting them in their tracks. He commended them for their doggedness as well as the efforts of the local vigilantes who have put their lives at great risks out of uncommon patriotism and concern for their homeland, communities, and people.
Responding, the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari assured that the State will give total support to the Federal Government in its bid to stamp out crime and criminalities from the State.
He commended the President Muhammadu Buhari led Administration for this bold initiative, noting that it will go a long way in stamping out the menace from the country, once and for all.
Also speaking, the Minister of Police Affairs, Alh. Mohammed Dingyadi extended the Federal Government’s condolences to the families of those that lost their lives and properties and assured them that Government is determined to stem the hazard out of the country
Director, Press and Public Relations in the Interior Ministry, Mohammed Manga noted that after an exhaustive deliberation, the meeting requested more of the Federal Government’s presence in the State.
The stakeholders also called for the engagement of local vigilantes who are closer to the people and ready to respond at a short notice, while they urged the Police, Civil Defence, and other security agencies to take new community-based actions in order to identify all bandits.
They further asked the government to utilize the forests harbouring the bandits as well as deployment of more Agro Rangers personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to enable people to access their farms, among others.