President Muhammadu Buhari says residents protesting against the activities of banditry in his native Katsina State are distracting military operations in the area.
Mr Buhari stated this on Tuesday while claiming his administration was capable of ending insecurity across the nation.
Some indigenes from the state had taken to the streets to register their displeasure over activities of bandits across the state. The state government pulled out of the peace deal it had with the criminals, citing betrayals on the part of the bandits.
But in a statement signed by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, the president admonished the protesters to exercise patients while the military tackles the situation.
Mr Shehu said his principal has approved a joint military operations in some states to fish out the perpetrators of the criminal activities.
“The Presidency assures Nigerians, again, that the nation’s armed forces are fully capable of dealing with the challenges of banditry and terrorism, urging more patience as the military takes appropriate steps to block gaps being exploited to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens,” the statement read.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, who has approved a joint military and police operation specifically targeted at combing Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States to rid the areas of bandits, assures that surveillance will be improved, with more night vision aircrafts already deployed under “Operation Accord’’.
“The operation was launched three weeks ago. Nigeria’s military has displayed its capabilities in the past and will show it again by dealing with the current challenges,” the President says.
“President Buhari appeals to the people of Katsina State to be patient and supportive of the ongoing military operations in the state, while sympathizing with those who are bereaved, injured and lost properties.
“President Buhari admonishes that taking to the streets for protest could distract the military operations, urging “Katsina indigenes not to give up on the military who over the years have a strong track record of quelling crises once given enough time.
“The major forests in North Western Nigeria have been identified as home to the bandits in the region. The operation will clear all these forests,” he further said.