After a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential villa, the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai stated that Boko Haram terrorists attacking the North East region are Nigerians and to defeat the insurgents the cooperation of everyone is required.
Buratai while addressing journalists in Abuja said the security challenges plaguing various parts of the country will soon come to an end, just as Nigerians have wished, noting that the military operations in the North and other parts of the country were yielding desired results.
“These terrorists, 99 percent of them are Nigerians. These kidnappers I will say 100 percent of them are Nigerians. As to whether banditry, terrorism and so on will end, I think it all depends. If Nigerians want it to end today, I can assure you it will end today, if everybody joins hands because these bandits are not outside Nigeria, they are not from foreign land. So it’s not just a military, security agency task to end the insecurity in this country. It’s only when it goes bad that we are called in, but everybody has the responsibility to handle that. If we want it to end, the totality of the people’s effort must be put into it to see that insecurity in the country is reduced to the barest minimum. But if we don’t do anything and continue to complain, and continue to accuse the agencies involved in fighting it, then we are not helping matters. You are supposed to find solutions as something is being done on daily basis. There are setbacks that can occur in such military operations or any security operations but that does not mean inability to handle it, incompetence to handle it, as long as the efforts are there and are visible, the support of all and sundry will be required to address it squarely“.
This is coming after it was reported that 19 persons were killed by bandits at Kukum Daji village in Kaduna State, while 16 soldiers were killed in an ambush in Katsina.
Buratai explained that the security situation is under control and is not like what used to happen a month or two ago, referring to the newly launched Military exercise, named Sahel Sanity.
The Army chief stated that progress is being made to bring normalcy. Unlike the series of killings, kidnappings, cattle rustling and the threats of preventing people from going to their farms.
He disapproved of the press reportage of the activities of criminals saying the situation was being escalated through reportage and giving prominence to the bandits, terrorists’ activities.
“You know for the criminals, publicity is their oxygen, without that publicity they will be ineffective. Coupled with our efforts in the military and security agencies we will do everything possible to get rid of these criminals“.