Be brutal on bandits, terrorists, Buhari charges military

* Promises to leave a more secure Nigeria in 2023

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Nigerian military to be brutal in dealing with bandits and terrorists making life unbearable for the citizens.

Buhari disclosed his directive to the military while speaking at the palace of the Sultan, Sa’ad Abubakar III, in Sokoto.

He reaffirmed the order in a broadcast to the people of Zamfara State following the disruption of his planned visit to Gusau, due to poor weather condition.

Revealing that insecurity in the North west is giving him “sleepless nights”, the President added: “We are going to do our best and the military and law enforcement agencies have been given a clear order that they shouldn’t spare any bandit or terrorist threatening the lives and property of innocent Nigerians.

“We are going to hand over a secure country better than we inherited it.”

In the broadcast, the President said: “The latest attacks on innocent people by the bandits is an act of desperation by mass murderers, now under relentless pressure from our military forces who are well equipped to effectively confront these enemies of humanity.

“It is quite disturbing that the same people and same culture are killing each other with no clear reasons.”

Buhari noted that where as the security situation in the North east and South south has improved, it is worsening in the North west.

He, however, assured Nigerians that his administration is determined “to hand over a secure country better than we inherited it.”

He added: “Every day, we are worried about what is happening in the Northwest. When we came, if Nigerians are to be fair to us, they know the condition in the Northeast and the South south, but what is happening now in the Northwest is giving me sleepless nights.

“The same people, the same culture are killing each other and stealing each others’ property.”

The president, who commiserated with the state over recent bandit attacks, said: “Nigeria shall win the battle over evil.”

According to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President wrote in the visitors’ register: “My condolences to the Sultanate, the Government and people of Sokoto State over the recent mindless killings by bandits and terrorists.”

Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal and the Sultan thanked him for the show of sympathy.

They assured him of their continued support towards peace and stability in the country.

The President apologised to the people of Zamfara for his inability to fly into Gusau from Sokoto to condole with them on the January 2022 killings by bandits.

About 58 people were confirmed dead by Governor Bello Matawalle when bandits attacked some communities.

Adesina quoted the President as saying in the broadcast: “It pains me that I can no longer be with you today as I had planned.

“I had just finished what I came to do in Sokoto at the BUA Cement facility and was looking forward to meeting you.

“I have been told that the trip cannot hold anymore because of bad weather which has made it impossible for my helicopter to fly to Gusau from Sokoto.

“I understand how you feel about this development but I know that you will agree with me that Allah knows best.

“I particularly sympathise with your governor, Bello Matawalle, and his cabinet, who have put everything in place to make the visit a successful one.

“I look forward to a more weather-friendly period when I will visit.

“I am directing our security agencies to sustain the onslaught against terrorists, restrict cross-boundary infiltration and all unauthorised access to the goldmines in the state.

“The Federal government and the Zamfara State government are working to ensure that peace returns to all parts of the state in the shortest possible time and we expect all citizens to cooperate with, and support in all ways, the Armed Forces and other security agencies.”

The President, last month, assured that the Army and the Air Force are working together to track and eliminate the perpetrators.

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