The Nigerian Army on Friday said it had reinvigorated its operations and strengthened them to enable the troops take the war to the enclaves of insurgents, bandits and other criminals terrorising the country.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-Gen Faruk Yahaya, disclosed this shortly after addressing troops at the Fort Muhammadu Buhari Forward Operating Base, Daura, Katsina State.
He reiterated that the Nigerian Army would carry out its operational battles to the enemies’ enclaves both in the North-west and North-east where most of their operations were being conducted to pave the way for peace and development to thrive.
While admitting that there were challenges afflicting the war against insecurity in the country, the Army chief said with determination and the right efforts by all and sundry, “the Nigeria security challenges are surmountable.”
He said: “The essence of my visit is to reinvigorate our operations and strengthen them to ensure that the troops take the fight to the enclaves of these criminals and destroy them.
“That is what we are doing and this is what we will continue to do. For every place that I pass, that is my message. We must carry the battle to the enemies’ enclaves both here in the North-west and even in the North-east where we are conducting them.
“This is done in synergy with other services and other security agencies and indeed other stakeholders. We are all partners and together with this synergy we will achieve result, like we have seen, it has started gaining ground.
“There are challenges. Sometimes, you see them, but they are not unsurmountable. With the support we have from the President and Commander-in-Chief, and with the cooperation of other service chiefs, we will get there”.
The Army Chief called for effective inter-agency collaboration between civil-military and paramilitary organisations to checkmate the activities of the hoodlums within their respective areas of responsibilities in order to ward off insecurity.
The COAS, who also paid homage to the Emir of Daura, Dr. Umar Faruk Umar, appealed to traditional rulers to support the military and other security agencies by providing actionable intelligence to combat security challenges besetting some parts of the country.
The Chief of Army Staff explained that traditional and religious institutions had vital roles to play in the fight against insecurity in the country.
He added that giving security operatives vital and actionable information on the whereabouts and movements of insurgents, bandits and kidnappers would help the authorities in containing the situation.
He however noted that the worrisome situation in the North-West was already improving, due to steps taken by officers and men of the Nigerian Army in synergy with other security agencies.
He said: “We need more cooperation and synergy from other security agencies and relevant stakeholders, particularly traditional and religious institutions as well as community and opinion leaders to curtail or bring to the barest minimum the issue of banditry and kidnapping”.
On his part, the Emir of Katsina, Dr. Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, while in audience with the Army chief, attributed the spate of insecurity pervading the nation to the activities of informants whom he termed dangerous elements fueling banditry and kidnapping in the state.
The traditional ruler also opined that lack of credible information sharing and synergy among security personnel “are responsible” for the security challenges afflicting the country, especially the North-west region of the country.
The emir vowed to support the Nigerian Army to achieve the desired goal in its ongoing war against insecurity in the country.
Francis Sardauna in Katsina