President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday ordered the service chiefs to identify the leaders of the bandits and kidnappers and take them out to restore confidence in the areas affected.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguni told the State House correspondents that President Buhari gave the directive to Service Chiefs at the security meeting held at the presidential villa on Tuesday.
According to Munguno, the president has made it clear that the criminals would no longer dictate the tone.
The Service Chiefs explained that they have identified weak areas that would be strengthened to appropriately fish out collaborators with non-state actors.
The Security Adviser said further that the President is aware of the plans by individuals who constitute themselves as authorities to undermine the efforts of the central government and is sending out warning that the government would clampdown on them.
Monguno said the president also insisted that all the decisions approved at the national security council meeting in February remain enforced. The decisions include a ban on mining activities in Zamfara and the no-fly order imposed on the state.
The president was quoted as saying that the status quo should be maintained in Zamfara, so as to curb insecurity in the state.
He said: “On the issue of kidnapping and banditry, this menace still persists, especially in the north-west and the north-central zones. Mr president has been very emphatic, he has stated very clearly that this problem must be brought to an end, but using the traditional methods that the armed forces have been trained to deploy.
“Mr president has made it very clear to both the intelligence and operational elements that the first assignment will be to identify the leaders of these bandits, kidnappers and take them out, in order to restore confidence in those areas.
“Mr president has said that he will no longer tolerate a situation whereby bandits and kidnappers are the ones dictating the pace and setting the tone and he will not also condone a situation in which our own operations are reactionary rather than being proactive.
“He has also indicated his willingness to provide all the resources required by our own troops in order to put down these criminals. They must be brought down with all the ruthlessness that is required and whoever is working in collaboration with them will be brought to book.”