The Nigerian Military stepped up operations against bandits with a massive bombardment of their hideouts in the North-West, North-Central and some parts of the North-East.
Recall that during his interview with Arise Television on Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari said he had ordered security agents to shoot bandits carrying AK47.
The president also disclosed that he had instructed the military to deal with bandits in a ‘language they would understand.
Top security officials revealed to The PUNCH that the bombardment, which started in Katsina and Benue states would soon be extended to other states in the zones.
It was gathered that the armed forces had increased attacks on the hideouts of bandits in various parts of Katsina state especially in Batsari, Jibia, Sabuwa, Danmusa, Safana, Matazu, Kankara, Dandume, Dutsin-ma, Kurfi and Faskari LGAs.
“We now carry out operations on identified bandits’ hideouts in the state virtually on a daily basis and at anytime.
“At times, when you see fighter jets flying, it is either we are launching an attack against bandits or we are carrying out mop up operations,” a top security source revealed.
It was also gathered that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke had started flushing out armed herdsmen and militias from their hideouts in Taraba, Nasarawa and Benue states.
A security official said, “We have carried out operations in the Sankera axis (of Benue State). That is the reason farmers can return to their homes and begin farming activities.”
When asked if state government could direct the military to help in sending troops to protect farmers, the source said, “We don’t take order from the state government. What we are doing is to send troops to flash points, like in Sankera axis, farmers are already going back to their farms.”
In Sokoto State, the police have intensified patrols of villages that are prone to bandits’ attacks.
The areas include Sabon Birni, Isa, Rabah and Goronyo local government areas.
But unlike in Katsina, the military has yet to begin operations aimed at flushing out bandits from the areas.
On its part, the Zamfara State Police Command said it had deployed more policemen in areas that were prone to bandits’ attacks.