Massive security operations have begun to rein in criminals who seem to have seized villages, towns and cities by the throat, the Federal Government said yesterday.
Details of the “strategic” operations were not disclosed by the police, but they are being carried out by “the entire law enforcement and intelligence community”.
Among the measures are:
Ban on the use of motorcycles in the Northwest states of Kano, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kebbi and Katsina where bandits have done much havoc;
Relocation of Katsina State Police Commissioner Sanusi Buba to Daura in a bid to rescue the abducted District Head, Alhaji Musa Umar;
Organisational restructuring in the police;
drafting of some officers who converted to general police back to special forces; and
investing more in intelligence gathering.
Alhaji Umar was abducted last week at his home in Daura, hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari. His abductors are yet to contact his family.
The police said the CP’s relocation would aid the coordination and investigation of security operations.
The measures came amid a wake-up call by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on President Buhari to stop the criminals.
In a statement in Abuja yesterday by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DPC), the police said efforts were being made to subdue criminal gangs across the country.
DCP Mba said: “Currently, there are massive strategic security operations, both covert and overt missions, taking place at different parts of the country, including Katsina, aimed at subduing the criminal gangs and restoring sanity to the land.
“However, because of the covert and sensitive nature of these operations, I will not discuss them for now but Nigerians should be assured that the entire law enforcement and intelligence community in Nigeria will not rest until we win the battle against crimes and criminality in Nigeria.”
The development came as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, Kabiru Garba Marafa, claimed yesterday alerted that more than 44,000 orphans roam the streets of Zamfara State due to eight years of armed banditry.
Marafa, who represents Zamfara Central, also claimed that sustained banditry has led to the killing of over 11,000 male adults leaving behind an estimated average of 22,000 widows at two wives per an adult.
His claims could not be verified.
The senator lamented that in terms of casualty ratio and displacements, Zamfara ranks ahead of many states in the Northeast and Northcentral that are being given prominence by the mainstream media and the Federal Government in terms of recognition and assistance.
Marafa noted in a statement to thank his colleagues at the National Assembly for the provision of N10 billion in this year’s budget to address the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Zamfara State, occasioned by the nefarious activities of bandits.
He said: “The unfortunate and dark eight years of banditry (2011 to date) in Zamfara had conservatively led to the killing of over 11,000 male adults, leaving behind an estimated average of 22,000 widows (at two wives/person) and an estimated 44,000 orphans (at an average of four children/deceased).”
Following a motion he sponsored, the National Assembly, while passing the 2019 budget, voted N10 billion for the creation of an intervention fund (to be called (Presidential Initiative on Zamfara State PIZAMS) to cater for the humanitarian disaster in the state.
Marafa noted that the overwhelming support by his colleagues at both chambers showed that with unity of purpose and direction, the country can overcome its challenges.
He said the N10 billion will help in resettling the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other persons affected by the activities of the armed banditry, to cater for their general well-being, provision of shelter, water, basic education, basic health care (especially for the wounded, children and rape victims) and others.
He called on the incoming National Assembly members from Zamfara State to ensure that PIZAMS gets a sizable allocation in the remaining nine years ahead.
He pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to set up PIZAMS (as soon as possible) as contained in the Senate resolution.