The Coalition of Arewa Youth Groups (CAYG) has said that there is evidence that President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to the Nigerian Armed Forces to stamp out banditry and all forms of criminal activities is yielding results.
CAYG made this known in a statement signed by its president, Kabir Ahmed Galadanchi, on Tuesday.
President Buhari had met with the Service Chiefs at the Presidential Villa in Abuja last week to address the rising insecurity situation in the Northeast.
According to the Coalition of Arewa Youth Groups, the charge is yielding positive results already after the Security Chiefs moved to the areas affected.
The group said it ‘observed how the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, moved across the nooks and cranny of the 7 states in the Northwest to see to the full compliance with the presidential directive.’
It added that the presence of the COAS and other security chiefs is the turning point as several bandits’ camps have been destroyed and scores killed while several kidnap victims have been rescued and weapons recovered.
Among others, it noted that over 52 criminals have been killed across theatres of operation within the last one week in addition to the destruction and recovery of weapons since the commencement of Operation Accord.
The group commended the Chief of Army Staff for personally going into the field and encouraging the troops to step up their operations.
While expressing support for the COAS and his troops, the CAYG called on all Nigerians to do likewise.
The full statement reads:
‘The Coalition of Arewa Youth Groups, CAYG, wholeheartedly welcomes the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian Armed Forces to stamp out banditry and all forms of criminal activities in the North-west geopolitical zone of the country.
‘Activities of terrorists and criminal elements who have resorted in making lives unbearable for citizens through acts such as kidnapping, cattle rustling, armed robbery and banditry have become worrisome in the past months.
‘The recent attack by bandits on several communities in Faskari Local Government of Katsina State and in neighbouring states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and even Niger all bear the hallmarks of terrorism that cannot be condoned.
‘These worrisome trends we believe prompted Mr President to issue the directive after approving a joint military and police operation specifically targeted at combing Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and the Sokoto States to rid the areas of bandits.
‘This has shown the commitment of the President towards fulfilling his promise to secure Nigeria for its citizens.
‘This Coalition notes with delight that while giving the directive, the president reassured Nigerians that the nation’s armed forces are fully capable of dealing with the challenges of banditry and terrorism as he called on the military to take appropriate steps towards blocking the gaps being exploited to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.
‘Important to note is that following the directive by Mr President, the military immediately swung into action and took the necessary measures towards dealing with the problem.
‘Top security chiefs moved to the areas affected by the activities of these criminals and in no time their actions started yielding results.
‘We observed how the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, moved across the Nooks and Crannies of the 7 states in the Northwest to see to the full compliance with the presidential directive and note that this is not the first time the COAS is making his presence felt in the theatre of operations, which serves to boost troops’ confidence.
‘The Coalition notes how his presence at the theatre of operation in the Northeast has yielded positive results leading to the liquidation of over 1429 terrorists within two months in that region.
‘The presence of the COAS and other security chiefs in the Northwest is also producing great results as several bandits’ camps have been destroyed and scores of bandits killed while several kidnap victims have been rescued and weapons recovered.
‘We are encouraged by the cheery news from the Armed Forces of Nigeria that over 52 criminals have been killed across theatres of operation within the last one week in addition to the destruction and recovery of weapons and surrender by some active Boko Haram members since the commencement of Operation Accord.
‘This is even as troops have continued to build on recent successes against armed bandits operating in the region with the intensive ground and air assaults on their identified bases.
‘Within the week, troops also apprehended suspected bandits, have continued to record significant successes against bandits and criminal elements with the killing of scores of insurgents in Zamfara and Katsina States, foiled armed bandits attack at Mara Zamfarawa village in Danmusa LGA of Katsina State and in the process 6 bandits were killed while several others escaped with gunshots wounds.
‘Aggressive patrol and intelligence gathering by troops have also led to the successful arrest of suspected bandits and their collaborators.
‘Given these great successes being recorded in the fight against banditry and terrorism, we as youths from the northern part of the country have no option but to throw our weight behind the military and to say thank you to Mr President and the army chief for doing a good job.
‘We give the commendation in appreciation of the efforts we have seen put into giving our people a new lease of life given the damage the activities of criminals has done to them.
‘We have for long urged for a sustained military action that will put the activities of the criminals in check and return normalcy to our communities where our people can pick the pieces of their lives which have been shattered by these criminal elements and are happy that it has finally come.
‘We thank the Chief of Army Staff for personally going into the field and encouraging the troops to step up their operations.
‘We commend the troops for their gallantry and urge them to sustain the tempo of bravery and assault on the criminals as it is bringing out results.
‘The Coalition also pledges the total support of the youths in the region to the President and the Nigerian army and calls on all stakeholders in the north-west to support Mr President and the Nigerian Army to put all the criminals away from the north-west.
‘As the President said, we also believe that the military has shown the capacity to tackle the menace of insecurity in the region.
‘We call on all Nigerians to support the President and the troops and cooperate with our gallant forces to achieve better results to rid the nation of criminal elements.’