Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin, Monday assured that banditry which is currently ravaging some states in the North-West and North-Central region of the country would end soon.
This is just as the CDS has commended the Nigerian Army for its newly launched Exercise Sahel Sanity (ExSS) to wipe out banditry in the affected zones. He said that the exercise is a real-time exercise that would in the coming days translate into operation to rid banditry in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Niger states.
Olonisakin made this known when he visited troops of Exercise Sahel Sanity (ExSS) at the Special Army Super Camp 4, Faskari in Katsina State.
The CDS, while noting that the launch of ExSS was a testimony of the commitment of the Nigerian army to address the security challenges bedevilling the country, commended the army authorities and urged the soldiers to do everything in their powers to chase the bandits and other criminals out of the country.
He also called for synergy between the military and other security and intelligence agencies in the country so as to prevent criminals group from having a field day with their dastardly activities.
He assured the Chief of Army Staff of the continuous support of the Defence Headquarter to enable it to achieve the objectives of the exercise.
‘From the briefs, I have received and what I have seen here today, there is no doubt in my mind that the scourge of the banditry will soon be a thing of the past and all law-abiding citizens would be able to resume their normal lives.
‘The past five years of our fight against insurgency, banditry and other criminalities in our nation, the armed forces of Nigeria constantly re-strategise and develop models and approaches as well as restructuring to better position her to address our national security challenges.
‘The super Camp concept of the Nigerian Army is one of this effort aimed at repositioning the Nigerian army to better contain these challenges. “It, therefore, gladdens my heart to witness ExSS which is already achieving the much-desired result put together by the Nigerian Army from its super Camp in Faskari.
‘I must commend the resilience and relentless spirit of all the personnel taking part in this important exercise and all other operations across the country to ensure peace and security for our people as well as protect the territorial integrity of our fatherland.
‘I urge you all not to relent in your efforts as you are the last line of defence in our bid to ensure a stable peaceful country. “Remember that the nation counts on all of us and I have no doubt that the Nigerian Army will acquaint itself creditably by routing all forms of banditry during the ongoing exercise.’
Earlier, in his address during the visit, the COAS had listed the successes of the exercise recorded within the past few days with the killings of several bandits and arrest of others, recovery of rustled cattle, arms, and rescue of kidnapped victims.
‘We have also reduced or arrested quite a number of the informants and logistics suppliers of these bandits and their collaborators in the cities and villages here in the North West.
‘We are just beginning and we want to assure Nigerians that this operation that is ongoing will bring about a very reasonable state of security in the North West.
‘We are not only restricting ourselves to the North West, concurrently, but we are also carrying out operations in the North Central especially Kaduna and Niger states.
‘It is very important that we take note and we will continue to carry out our responsibilities diligently.’