.Dismisses amnesty for bandits proposal
.Killings in Zamfara daily occurrence, worrisome, laments Gov Lawal
.Plateau Gov seeks military’s assistance, agrees to army chief’s suggestion to exhaust non-kinetic approach first
The military high command, Wednesday hinted of plans to launch a comprehensive military offensive against non-state actors responsible for the killings in Zamfara, Plateau, Benue and Southern Kaduna.
It said military commanders were meeting to find lasting solutions to the security challenge even as it said the military would not allow the ongoing killing of women and children in the affected states.
This comes as the Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal, lamented the precarious security situation in Zamfara, a situation where people are killed daily which he said was worrisome.
Speaking while receiving the Zamfara state governor at the Army Headquarters in Abuja, Chief of Army Staff, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, said the planned military operation was in tandem with presidential directives and the renewed hope agenda of the of the President Tinubu-led administration which is expected to guarantee economic development, peace and stability not just in troubled spots but the entire country.
He dismissed the proposal for amnesty programme for bandits, saying an already existing amnesty in the state was being exploited by armed bandits to terrorise the citizenry.
He said the Chief of Operations and Intelligence of the Nigerian Army were working to synchronise the operations of the 1 and 8 Divisions of the Nigerian Army in Kaduna and Sokoto, on a strategy to encircle the bandits and wipe them out.
He disclosed that as part of the strategy, commanders of 1and 17 Brigades were given some independence to intervene in some operations to ensure security of the state.
“We are working to find a lasting solution to the insecurity being experienced in Zamfara State. Just yesterday, I tasked the chief of military intelligence to tinker on ways to address the issue and other regional groups that operate in Zamfara State, because we will not have a situation where some people constitute themselves into lawless groups and just go into communities and kill children and defenceless women”, he said.
He urged the governor to look at the issue of amnesty being proposed by some people in the state as a non-stater, bearing in mind that the earlier one granted the bandits was instead exploited by the bandits to kill and terrorise people.
“The Chief of operations army is working to synchronise the operations between one division and eight division that we have in so that when they push on the South this criminal elements will not have the freedom to migrate But when they push them from the north, they do not have the freedom to migrate, they can be quickly encircled and completely destroyed”, he said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal, lamented the precarious security situation in Zamfara, a situation where people are killed daily which he said was worrisome.
“There was never a day that passes by without people being killed in one area or local government or the other and this is very, very worrisome for us because without security, basically there will be no development without security, people will not be able to go to farm and produce what they consume and beyond.
“Without security our children will not be able to go to school, which is a serious setback for the people of Zamfara and the environment”, he said.
Also speaking while receiving the Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang in his office, the army chief said the military had already received reports from the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division, His and was already taking some measures, saying “we will stop at nothing to provide combat enablers that will bring lasting peace to the Plateau”, he said.
He said the operations will be extended to Benue, and Southern Kaduna.
Lagbaja harped on the need to constitute an early warning mechanism in local councils working with troops even as he called for a stakeholders meeting to address the situation before the application of kinetic measures.
Earlier in his remarks, the Plateau governor said the state was at a challenging juncture and cannot avert the situation without the support of security forces.
“We want to seek the support of army and security agencies to ensure that the situation is brought to an end. We will continue to collaborate with the army to ensure that sectarian crisis are contained so that we can live in peace”, he said.