How to crush Boko Haram, bandits – Buratai





The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has identified measures to end Boko Haram terrorism, armed banditry and kidnapping bedeviling Nigeria.


Buratai, who reiterated the link between Boko Haram Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), identified a combined holistic approach by the countries of the Lake Chad as the surest way to the total defeat of both Boko Haram and ISWAP.


The Army Chief stated these in Jaji Military Cantonment on Wednesday as he flagged-off the First Quarter COAS Conference and Combat Arms Training Week.


Buratai also said for the military and other security agencies to win the war against kidnapping, robbery and armed banditry ravaging Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Sokoto states, the media and other stakeholders must stop glorifying the criminals.



He lamented stakeholders like religious and traditional leaders, security analysts, and the media portray armed robbers, kidnappers and ethnic militias as stronger than the military and other security agencies.


The Army boss stated categorically: “The criminals and bandits are only as strong as the society paints or view them and further propagated by the media.


“There is no doubt that we are engaged in asymmetric operations against terrorists side by side with the resurgence of kidnapping and armed banditry in the North West as well as the North Central Zones of our country.


“The strategy we used in the past to address such ugly trends in the South East and the South-South regions must therefore be rejuvenated with new “out of the box” ideas to address the current security challenges.


“This has necessitated the launching of OPERATION HARBIN KUNAMA III. The concept of this operation will require the combat arms as well as all combat support and combat support services working in synergy with other security agencies, the traditional institutions, and other stakeholders to get rid of criminal elements. “


He added: “We must ensure information flow that will be converted into actionable and timely intelligence for troops to take proactive measures and to support and drive targeted operations.


“It is important that commanders in the field relate with the society and other security agencies in their efforts to bring the high rate of kidnapping, acts of banditry and attacks on villages leading to killings in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Katsina States to an end.


“At this point, I will seize this opportunity to caution the media and the general public not to glorify bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers and ethnic militias to the extent that they are seen as stronger than the military and other security agencies.


“The criminals and bandits are only as strong as the society paints or view them and further propagated by the media.


“It is important to state that information and intelligence flows from the people and indeed from the press and the public.


“Such criminal activities are intelligence based and the people, are in this regard to provide timely information and clear identifications of the perpetrators.


“Undue publicity and praise singing of the bandits and other criminal elements would only motivate them to commit more criminal acts at the detriment of society.


“Therefore, the press, the general public, security analysts and public commentators are advised to show more maturity and due diligence in this collective effort of ridding the country of criminals and criminalities.”


On Boko Haram, Buratai said, Boko Haram has aligned with ISWAP to make Northern Borno and the general area of the Lake Chad Basin an enclave straddling the 4 countries in the region.


He, however, said that, to ensure the total defeat of both Boko Haram Terrorists and ISWAP, the fight requires a combine holistic approach by the countries of the Lake Chad Commission.

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