Preesident Muhammadu Buhari, appears set to give a final blow to Bandits who have been operating in the north western states of Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto in the last four years. The Katsina born Nigerian President was said to given the order while addressing 15 Officers and 160 soldier of the 17th Army Brigade and the Nigerian Ai Force 213 Operational Base in Katsina, his home state, under the Operation ‘’Hadarin Daji to go all out for the Bandits and deal decisively with them.
An angry Buhari had said ‘’they have been killing , maiming and extorting money from innocent people ‘’ and which must stop. He was said to have reminded the soldiers and the Air Force personnel at the Umaru Yar d’ua , Airport, Katsina, recently , that the military Authorities had formed the groups to secure the geo=political Zone of their operational base from the activities of the Bandits.
Appealing to them to ‘’identify and pursue them and wherever found should be eliminated’, the Commander –in- Chief , declared ‘’ I know you are capable of doing it and you will not spare the Bandits. Perhaps to ensure that the military personnel prosecute the anti-Bandits war without regret, he was said to have given his words to give them the ‘’right equipment to deal with them with dispatch’’.
The Presidential promise may have given the Service Chiefs the ammunition to go back to the drawing board to rejig their operations in the region to send the Bandits who are wrecking much havoc in the region parking. The killing in Katsina state , over the last four years appears to be giving the District Heads and Farouk Musa, the Emir f Daura, a cause for concern.
Some of the District Heads believe they could no longer sit by and watch their people being killed with reckless abandon were said to have taken up the matter repeatedly with the Miliitary Authorities in the state to do something fast to stop the Bandits who had established Camps in the forest before they overrun some of the local government Areas in the state.
Note that there is hardly a week that the Bandits would not attack one Community or the other in Katsina or Zamfara stste and cap it up with extortion of money from families of kidnapped victims in the process.
The Communities mostly attacked by the Bandits are found within Kankara and Danmusa local government Areas of the state. A resident of Kankara told The Value News that indigenes of Unguwar Rabo, Gidan Gaji, Ungwar Nagwande and several other Communities in the local Area no longer sleep with their eyes closed for fear of being attacked by Bandits.
The situation is the same in Zamfara state where bello Mattawalle, the Peoples Democratic governor of the state was said to have negotiated with the Bandits to force them to stop attack on Communities in the state but that was how far he could go. Between Last July and now, the Bandits were said to have attacked several Communities leading to the killing of hundreds of people , forcing one of the Communities in of the local government Area in the state t to carry one of dead bodies to the government House in , to further draw the attention of the state governor that the situation was getting out of hand.
Security analysts believe that the Presidential directive given to the Army under the control of Lt. General Tukur Buratai , and his counterpart in the Air Force, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadiq, would force the various military groups in the Katsina and and Zamfara states to go for the kill as they would not want to spare the Bandits .
This is bad news for the Bandits who think that it is still going to be business as usual as they may not have the opportunity to attack ungoverned Communities in the north west and get away. It is
also a warning to the Sponsors of the Bandits to retrace their step as they might not be any hiding place for them any longer.
Garba Shehu, senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said the President has made it clear to the Officers and soldiers that ‘’Nigeria deserves peace’’. He may have gladdened the mind of the soldiers when he disclosed that the money saved from food importation would be used to purchase arms for their operations.
Godwin Emefiele, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria , CBN, had said that the government had saved over $21 billion between 2018 and now because of the implementation of its policy on the ban on foreign par boiled rice , fish and other food imports into the country. The President may have sealed the hope of importers of lifting ban on food importation when he directed the CBN , to stop providing foreign exchange for importation of foreign parboiled rice and other food items into the country.
Already, the government was said to have spent $496 million to purchase 12 Super Tucano war planes on the approval of Donald Trump of the United states to sustain the Bandits war in the north west and the Boko Haram war in the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. The President was said to approved the withdrawal of the money from the excess Crude Account, used to insulate the economy from external shocks, for the procurement of the aircraft.
The 8th National Assembly under the leadership of Bukola Saraki, then Senate President and Yakubu Dogra , Speaker , House of Representatives, had battled the President over the approval for the withdrawal without the mandate of the National Assembly but was how far they could go.
Based on the payment by the government for the war lanes, the US Department of Defense was said to have quickly awarded the contract for the manufacturing of the 12 a 29 Super Tucano combat aircraft on behalf of the Nigeria Air Force. The contract was said to have been awarded to Sierra Nevada Corporation , one of the country’s aerospace contractors for an initial sum f $329 million. There was a clause , described as ‘’undefinitised contract action, UCA, , an indication that the contract sum could be varied , but not exceeding $344.7 million.
The US government has given its words to deliver the 12 Tucano ground attack aircraft to the country next year. The US government may have given its commitment based on assurance from the manufacturers after the government was said to have concluded the payment of $500 million in January this year. The cost of the Contract may have gone because of the manufacture of the bombs, rockets and other weapons that would be supplied alongside the combat aircrafts in 2020.
The supply of the the Combat aircrafts and other military hardware is an in indication that Bandits in the north west and the Islamic Fundamentalists in the north east are in serious trouble. They have one option: lay down their arms and embrace peace or be killed with the superior weapons of the soldiers and the AirForce.
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