President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the service chiefs to take out bandits, kidnappers, and their sponsors.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno, disclosed this to journalists after a security meeting, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House, Abuja.
He quoted the President as saying that the armed forces should be more proactive rather than reactionary.
Monguno said the president also insisted that all the decisions approved at the National Security Council meeting in February should be enforced. The decisions include a ban on mining activities in Zamfara and the no-fly order imposed on the state.
He said, “On the issue of kidnapping and banditry, this menace still persists, especially in the North-West 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.”
The meeting with the service chiefs came before Buhari’s medical trip to London, UK.
Femi Adesina, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, had on Monday announced that the trip, describing it “routine”.
The President is expected to return to the country in the second week of April.