Nigerian defense chief says scourge of banditry to become “thing of past”

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File: Nigerian soldiers patrol streets in the northeastern region. Nigerian armed forces have killed 110 bandits in the north-west in a crackdown on criminals, official says.
Nigerian Army soldiers stand at a base in Baga, Borno State on August 2, 2019. The military says it is undertaking operations to make armed banditry in the country’s northern regions “a thing of the past”. (Photo: AUDU MARTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Nigeria’s defense chief Gabriel Olonisakin said Monday that armed banditry in the country’s northern regions would soon be “a thing of the past.”

The defense chief made the remark when he visited the troops of a new military exercise “Sahel Sanity” in Faskari, Katsina state.

The launch of “Sahel Sanity” was a testimony to the army’s commitment to addressing all security challenges facing the country, Olonisakin said.

He said the real-time exercise would be transformed into operation aimed at attacking banditry in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Niger states.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the scourge of the banditry will soon be a thing of the past and all law-abiding citizens would be able to resume their normal lives,” he added.

Banditry, kidnappings and other criminal activities have recently become rampant in some northern regions in Nigeria. The military said they are in control of the situation with multiple ongoing operations.

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