From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has disclosed that 250 bandits have, so far, been neutralised in the quest to address the problem of insecurity in the North West zone of the country.
He made the disclosure, yesterday, at the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team.
He said: “The primary objective of the government is to ensure the peace and wellbeing of every citizen; so, we undertake our operations and activities to ensure there is peace, development and the provision of amenities that aggregate to governance.
“We are responsible for the security content in that regard, so, to that extent, looking at the numbers, from the last report that I got on Monday, we have neutralised over 250 of the bandits. We have equally arrested well over 600, and because it is a continuous thing, the figures might also change.
“I would like to also indicate that the rescue operations have led to the rescue of many of those who were recruited, which is also part and parcel of that action and is not limited to Zamfara State, but it also extends to Sokoto and Katsina.”
Irabor restated the resolve of the armed forces to continue the fight against bandits and other criminals troubling some parts of the country.
Irabor also called on journalists to assist in monitoring the activities of aid agencies working in the North East.
Commenting on the recent surrender of Boko Haram fighters, the chief of defence staff said over 1,800 have, so far, downed their tools and he called on stakeholders and all citizens to cooperate with security agencies, in order to win the fight against insurgency.
On the huge sum of money spent by the government on the armed forces, the defence chief said that should be sustained.
He also said the military strictly ensures that the provisions of the nation’s procurement act are followed to ensure transparency, adding that all hardware so procured are handled with care and well maintained, to justify government’s spending.