ABUJA – THE Presidency has listed some of the security initiatives taken by President Muhammadu Buhari-led government just as it said that despite security challenges in some parts of the country the Federal Government is up to the task of reversing the worrying trend. President Buhari interacts with troops of HQ 1 BDE in Dansadau Zamfara State as part of the 2016 Nigerian Army Day celebration on 13th July Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja, Sunday enumerated efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in tackling the menace and affirmed that it was government’s responsibility to safeguard the lives and properties of the citizens. According to the statement, “These are no doubt times of great security challenges for our country, and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is not leaving any stone unturned to restore sanity and calm.” The presidential aide also assured that the government remains committed to its to its goal of beating the criminals. He said, “It is the constitutional duty and responsibility of government to safeguard lives and properties. The Buhari administration remains committed to this, and despite recent spikes in the spate of crime and criminality, the evildoers will be beaten, and badly, too. The ravening clouds can never be victorious. Soon, they shall no longer possess the sky.” He listed some of the security initiatives taken between January and now, for the safety and security to include: “Operation Puff Adder (Nigerian Police), Operation HARBIN KUNAMA 3 (Nigerian Army) and Exercise Egwu Eke 3 (Nigerian Army) have all been 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). All of these operations are focused on tackling banditry and criminality in the North West of Nigeria. “Operation HARBIN KUNAMA 3 was launched on 1 April 2019 to ensure the complete defeat of the bandits fleeing military operations in Zamfara and escaping into Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Niger and Sokoto States. “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 Feb 4 to Feb 14), 80 hostages were freed by the Nigerian Army, with 37 bandits killed. 157 suspected kidnappers captured in April, says IGP “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.” On the Nigerian Police side, Adesina stated: “Between January 2019 and the 1st 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 Nigerian Police within the states of the North West and North Central Nigeria. “April 5- The Nigerian 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. “April 9- Police operatives attached to ‘Operation Puff Adder’ arrested three notorious criminals involved in the kidnap of Channels Television’s staff, Mr. Friday Okeregbe- Hanniel Patrick, Abdulwahab Isah and Salisu Mohammed. NAF launches operation ‘Tsaftan Daji’ to flush out bandits in Zamfara, other states “April 10- Officers of the ‘Operation Puff Adder’killed nine notorious criminals on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway. 6 Ak47 Rifles, 1 Pump Action Gun, 1,206 Rounds of Ak47 Ammunition, 7 Magazines, 28 Cartridges And 158 Expended Shells were recovered from the criminals. “April 16- Operatives attached to ‘Operation Puff Adder’ arrested one Mallam Salisu Abubakar, 48yrs old, a native of Dutsinma LGA, Katsina State. The Mallam, is a self-confessed spiritual father of kidnappers terrorizing Abuja-Kaduna expressway and parts of other North-West/North-Central states. “Following the arrest of the kidnappers’ ‘spiritual father’, Police detectives attached to ‘Operation Puff Adder’, arrested 18 notorious kidnappers and armed robbers at different times and places across the country. A total of twenty- two (22) AK 47 rifles, five (5) locally fabricated pistols and a cache of live ammunition were recovered from the bandits. “May 5- Operatives from ‘Operation Puff Adder’ rescued unhurt 27 kidnap victims including 5 Chinese nationals. The Chinese citizens who were earlier kidnapped on 15th April, 2019 in Bobi, Niger State, were safely and successfully rescued from a forest in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, following painstaking investigative efforts, including both air and ground surveillance. Two of the kidnappers died from injuries sustained during exchange of gun fire with the Police in the course of the rescue mission. Twenty-two other kidnap victims were rescued in Zamfara State and other parts of the country” As for the the effort of the Nigerian Army, the stated: “8 January – The Army flagged off ‘Exercise EGWU EKE III’ in 8 Division Nigerian Army’s area of responsibility at 1 Battalion, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State and in conjunction with other security agencies recovered dangerous weapons from criminals and political thugs in Sokoto State. “15 March- Troops of 72 Special Forces Makurdi, deployed at Yelwata, in Guma LGA, which is a border town between Benue and Nasarawa states, while on patrol along Yelwata-Kadarko road engaged armed robbers in a gun battle, which resulted in the elimination of one of the armed robbers, while others took to their heels. The suspects were dressed in military desert camouflage and robbing motorists along the road,” he said. He also enumerated other efforts of the security agencies in tackling the security problems like the setting up of Operation Sharan Daji’ in Zamfara state among others.

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