Security: Buhari Gives A Matching Order To The Military To Identify And Eliminate The Bandits

 Suleiman Umaru

 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.

Super Tucano Combat Aircraft Purchased From The US.

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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