The presidency yesterday rolled out the result-oriented measures the President Muhammadu Buhari administration had taken in the last five months to address the security challenges facing the country.
While admitting that challenges were daunting, the presidency said that the federal government had risen to the occasion by coming up with prompt solutions to them.
In a statement issued by the special adviser on media to the president, Mr. Femi Adesina, he listed some of the security initiatives taken from January this year till date to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians in all parts of the country as including “Operation Puff Adder” by the Nigeria Police, “Operation HARBIN KUNAMA 3 (Nigerian Army) and Exercise EGWU EKE 111 (Nigerian Army).
He said that they were launched in 2019, to complement the existing “Operations Sharan Daji” (launched in 2016 by the Nigerian Army) and “Diran Mikiya” (launched 2018 by the Nigerian Air Force), adding all of these operations are focused on tackling banditry and criminality in the North West zone.
Adesina said that operation HARBIN KUNAMA 3 was launched on April 1, 2019 to ensure the complete defeat of the bandits fleeing military operations in Zamfara State and escaping into Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Niger and Sokoto States.
He said: “Hundreds of kidnappers and bandits have been arrested or killed since January, several camps/hideouts destroyed; and hundreds of hostages rescued. In a two-week operation in February (lasting from February 4 to February 14), 80 hostages were freed by the Nigerian Army, with 37 bandits killed.
“Aerial bombardments of bandits’ camps have been intensified in recent months. A new Air Force Base – the 271 Nigerian Air Force Detachment (271 NAF Det) – was commissioned at Birinin Gwari in Kaduna State in May 2019 to complement the 207 Quick Response Group (QRG) established in Gusau, Zamfara State in 2017,” Adesina stated.
He said that between January 2019 and the first week of May, 2019, a total of 270 suspected kidnappers, 275 suspected armed robbers were arrested, and 105 assorted weapons plus a large cache of ammunition recovered by the Nigeria Police within the states of the North West and North Central zone.
On April 5, the presidential spokesman recalled that the Nigeria Police launched “Operation Puff Adder”, a multi-agency strategy, in collaboration with the Nigerian armed forces and the Department of State Services (DSS) tailored towards ridding the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway, Kogi, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara States of all forms of crimes and criminality – kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling, amongst others.