The Federal Government has ordered military-led onslaught against the Cattle Rustlers and bandits wreaking havoc in some parts of the north.
This came following a closed-door meeting between the eight Governors of North Western and North Central states, Security Chiefs and other Federal Government representatives yesterday at the Ministry of Defence, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari called the meeting in view of the deteriorating security situation in the affected region, after the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai called for the federal government’s intervention in the situation. Governors of Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Benue and Plateau States were in attendance, while that of Zamfara state was represented by the Deputy Governor.
Speaking after the meeting, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoS) Danladi Kifasi who coordinated it on behalf of President Buhari, assured that the state of insecurity in the affected northern part of the country, especially, cattle rustling would be a thing of the past.
“I am quite satisfied with the outcome of the meeting. Obviously, for security reasons, we cannot discuss operational matters live on television.
“Farmers, people who have cattle can be rest assured that cattle rustlers would be a thing of the past,” he said.
When asked the if the military would be actively involved and lead the operations, he said; “it is obvious, it should be obvious that the military will lead the operation”.
“The meeting was at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari. The commander in chief mandated me to call all of you, following a request by the executive governor of kaduna state, in order to review, discuss and come up with modalities leading to the effective tackling of the current security concerns affecting Kaduna State and its neighbouring Katsina, Zamfara and Kebbi in the North West. And Plateau, Benue, Niger and Nassarawa States
“The essence of having your excellencies is to have first hand information as well as your views about the activities of these bandits and the way forward. While the Chief of Defence Staff, the Service Chiefs, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), will share their ideas about tackling the challenge”.
In the same vein, El-Rufai who spoke on behalf of the governors, said that the security operations would be expanded to focus on the forest areas where the notorious rustlers and bandits operates from.
“This discussion has started in Kaduna where we are looking at areas, forests that have become a source of banditry in our states, and this has been expanded to look at other forests in the North Central Nigeria that has also been a source of banditry and criminality. But we are discussing with the Ministry of Defence, the Inspector General of Police, the Commandant of the NSCDC. It is an operation to address that,” he added.