-Approves establishment of battalion
-Castle rustling has stayed for decade–Yari
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA-PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has given a marching order to the military to crackdown bandits operating in rural communities in Zamfara State.
The order came on the heels of the fresh attacks on some communities in Shinkafi and Maradun Local Government Areas.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja said the order was to enable the army carry out the new mandate of fishing out the criminal elements that gave terrorise the people for some time.
The statement further stated that President Buhari has approved the request of the Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (rtd) for the stationing of a full battalion of Special Forces in Zamfara State, and the operationalization of the newly-established 8 Division of the Nigerian Army in Sokoto in the new Order of Battle (OBAT).
The statement said, “The President has also approved the movement of the 1 Brigade of the Nigerian Army from Sokoto to Gusau upon the take-off of the 8 Division.
“To tackle the desperate actions of Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east, through the use of mostly female, underage girls as suicide bombers, President Buhari has equally approved the setting up of an intelligence fusion centre in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, for the purpose of gathering and sharing intelligence among the security agencies in the country.
“This phase of the war will be intelligence-driven and the new centre is expected to intensify the harvesting and sharing of intelligence so as to bring to an early closure, the desperate last-minute activities of the terrorists.”
Also speaking to State House correspondents after the inauguration of National Council on Nutrition at the State House, the Zamfara State Governor, Abdullaziz Yari said that the issue of cattle rustling had been on for over a decade and that it had been on and off.
The governor further explained that there had been so many efforts by the state and federal governments to curb the menace, stressing that the issue of criminality in the country does not know ethnicity.
He, however said that a group of people have been benefiting from the act of criminality, noting that when criminality was stopped in one part of the country, other part will rise up with their own.
He said, “Our security men and women are doing their best and the federal government is doing its best, government sends a lot of troops from the military and even the DSS.
“In the history of Zamfara state, we have spent so much money on security but one thing that is critical is that government cannot provide security at each bus stop.
“That is why we are doing a lot of advocacy on how we can bring a lot of people together and tackle the problem. The cattle rustlers only attack when they know security personnel are not in a particular place.
“In some of these places you have to go by boat or helicopter which atimes we do not have resources. But we are working together to ensure this thing is stopped.”
The governor also said that Nigeria was the second in the world behind India in malnutrition.
Giving reasons for inauguration, he said, “The council is about all stakeholders working together so that we can get out of this trouble.
“I am here to represent the governors and I suggested to Mr. VP (Vice President) the need to bring governors on board in order to show them the position we are in so that we can work together. But we cannot do this without the resources that us the bottomless.
“The issue of malnutrition also has to do with poverty and we need to put more resources even though government alone cannot do it.
“But still government can be the driving force so that any other person coming to support either the development partners or the private sector will feel the impact of what government is doing and then we can join hands to work together.”
On whether government should declare emergency on malnutrition, he said that it was not mentioned at the meeting, but that they will go back and strategize and come forward on the best way to tackle it with the development partners and the private sector.