Banditry: Gov. Mohammed calls for more troops on Gusau-Sokoto highway

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Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai

Gov. Bello Mohammed of Zamfara has appealed to the Nigerian Army to deploy more troops on the Gusau-Sokoto road to check activities of bandits for socio-economic activities to thrive on the route.

The governor made the appeal on Tuesday when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who was in the state on the occasion of Eid-el-fitr to felicitate with troops combating the bandits.

Mohammed noted that because the menace was not tackled with the seriousness it deserved hence it had developed into something else.

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He also blamed the menace on lack of communication and high illiteracy particularly in the North and country at large.

“As you know, our major problem in Nigeria, particularly in the North is lack of communication because some of us tend to forget that we have high rate of illiteracy.

“When this thing – banditry, started, it started like a joke, but today, you see where we are,” he said.

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The governor, however, promised to assist the military with logistics to enable them flush out the criminals and make the state safe for people to go about their lawful businesses.

He commended the army for its commitment to ensure security and peace in the state and country through the deployment of troops for exercises and operations.

Mohammed also lauded the army chief, who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, the Chief of Training and Operations, for his leadership style, noting that he was always in the field with troops to boost their morale.

Buratai had told the new governor that he was in the state to felicitate with the troops combating bandits on the occasion of the Eid-el-fitr in order to boost their morale.

Since assumption of office in 2015, Buratai visits and celebrate with troops during religious festivals and major events such as independent anniversary.

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He commended the governor for the interest he had demonstrated toward ending the menace of bandit after he was sworn into office and called for credible information to enable the military succeed.

Buratai had observed the Eid prayers with troops at the Headquarters of 1 Brigade in Gusau and later paid a visit to Special Forces, fighting the bandits at Kaura Namoda.

He charged them to be courageous and professional, and take on the bandits head long.

According to him, you should not run away from them, rather they – bandits should be ones running away from you.

In a message to troops on Monday, he changed troops deployed for operations nationwide not to rest on their oars yet in spite of successes so far recorded in addressing the various security challenges confronting the country.

Buratai said this was because existing and emerging security threats remain potent, adding that they should continue to be ahead of those threats.

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“We must redouble our efforts to completely eliminate all acts of insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, secessionism and other forms of security threats from every inch of our beloved country.”

He lauded them for their doggedness and resilience in confronting the challenges.

Buratai was, however, excited and noted that: “Worthy of commendation is the professional conduct of troops in the dislodgement of Islamic State West Africa Province elements from Nigeria’s territory to the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin.

“The successes also recorded by troops deployed in the ongoing Operation Harbin Kunama III and all other internal security operations are commendable.

“So far, you have demonstrated professionalism, courage and determination in this endeavour which has provided the enabling environment for socio-economic and political activities to thrive.”

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