The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has ordered troops to end the wanton killings and destruction of property in Birnin Gwari Local Government in Kaduna State by armed bandits in three weeks.
At the flagging-off of the 2 Battalion Forward Operation Base (FOB) for Operation ‘Idon Raini’ at the proposed site in Kanfanin Doka Village of Birnin-Gwari, Buratai declared:
“The criminals are not coming from the moon or coming from outer space, they are within this territory, I don’t know why you cannot go to where they are and get them fished out.
“The killings must stop, the wanton destruction of property must stop, not only within Kaduna state but in the north-west, the north-central and across our country.
“We must respond decisively and commanders will be personally held responsible for any lapses. You must decide and take appropriate action, anything outside that, you will also be held responsible.”
The Chief of Army Staff said the Nigerian army would no longer adopt a defensive approach but an offensive approach, saying the battle must be taken to the door steps of the criminals.
“We are no longer going to adopt the defensive approach, it must be offensive. Since the battle has been brought to you, you must take it back and crush them wherever they are,” he said.
“I am happy with the initiative of General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division, and all the commanders and I want to see decisive results at end of this operation. The GOC have briefed me thoroughly on your challenges. Be rest assured we have started addressing some of these challenges.
“I can see the type of mobility that you have the motorbike and the try-circles. We have equally added some few trucks to enable you have more fire power and mobility. You must utilise them effectively. I have told your commanders what to do and you must apply them to achieve the desired result.
“It’s unfortunate that the insecurity is equally turning against the security forces. We are first and foremost supposed to ensure that we protect ourselves. If we cannot protect ourselves, it will be difficult to protect any other person.
“I am saying this against the unfortunate incident that happened here, in this particular place where 11 of our colleagues were unfortunately killed.
“Our training must be applied on the ground. Whatever we have learnt during training, must be applied on the ground. You must apply all the techniques and the procedures and the tactics for the type of operations you are deployed to perform. So we expect very high standard of operation. A situation where our troops don’t observe the basic routines must be avoided,” Buratai directed
Fulani herdsmen have persistently been invading Birnin Gwari since last year without restraint, killing, kidnapping and robbing people.
About two weeks ago, the bandits invaded Gwaska community in the area and killed over 70 people while houses were burnt which made President Muhammadu Buhari order the establishment of an army battalion and a police area command.