3 The Nigerian Army has assured the Vigilante-Hunters Association in Borno state of its readiness to collaborate with the Association in the ongoing counter insurgency operations in the North East.

Five hundred vigilantes and local hunters have joined the Operation Puff Adder launched in Sokoto State yesterday.

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Muhammad A. Mustapha, said there was no better time to deal with bandits in the state than now.

According to him, the operations will rid the state of bandits and other criminals.

He called for the support of traditional rulers and religious leaders.

The state Commissioner of Police, Kaoje, said the operation was aimed at providing security in areas affected by activities of armed bandits.

“In doing that, the police are expected to recover all illegal arms, make arrest and identify and block escape routes of these disgruntle elements, so as to inflict maximum damage on them,” the CP said.

The Secretary to the State Government, Professor Garba Bashir, said the state government had been supportive to security operatives in the state.

Garba appealed to the police to extend the operation to major highways leading to the state.

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