The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, says the military will continue to engage in kinetic approach in dealing with banditry in Zamfara while supporting non-kinetic approach of the state government.
Mr Buratai, a lieutenant-general, stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, at the Government House in Gusau on Monday.
While commending the peace effort of the government, he reiterated the commitment of Nigerian army to deal decisively with the menace of banditry in the north west and parts of North Central.
According to him, there is need to achieve the major success and have upper hand so that those that are causing the trouble will understand the seriousness of the government and all the state agencies
He called for the support of the civilian populace in the area of intelligence and information from the grassroots towards planning of operations diligently and successfully.
“We will continue to solicit the support of the good people of Zamfara state and of course continue to request for the state government and other state governments around.
“We appreciate you for your non-kinetic approach but at the same time, we will still continue with the kinetic approach to be able to achieve desired result quickly.
“In doing that we have flagged off today, the Exercise Sahel Sanity which is aimed at carrying out operations across the north west and parts of north central which include Kaduna and Niger states.
“This is to rid this part of the country of the marauding bandits and other criminal elements and this I assure you God’s willing we will achieve that within a very short time.
“We are working together with all the various security agencies through the Defence Headquarters Operation Hadarin Daji to bring the situation under control within the shortest possible time,’’ he said.
Responding, Mr Matawalle pledged to continue to support the military and all the security agencies to ensure peace and security of the state.
Mr Matawalle said that his peace effort had yielded positive results, adding that over 1,000 kidnapped victims had been released from bandits’ captivity since inception of his administration.
He said that his administration had also achieved disarmament of a number of repentant bandits, saying that more were surrendering on regular basis.
The governor said that he had initiated a number of programmes aimed at restoring peace to the state such as providing land for Fulani settlement to avoid herders-farmers’ clashes.
He said that the vast nature of the state required more deployment of security personnel to the state, adding that the government was ready to support the security agencies with logistics.
Mr Matawalle used the occasion of the visit to handover 25 pieces of AK 47 rifles surrendered by the repentant bandits recently to the state Commissioner of Police.