President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered military operations in Niger State to crush remnants of terrorist groups including Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters fleeing theaters of war in the Northwestern and Northeastern parts of Nigeria.
But in a retaliatory move, some unidentified gunmen have abducted 15 persons in the State, few hours after the Presidential directive was announced by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu on Sunday.
DSP Wasiu Abiodun, the spokesman of the Nigeria police, Niger State Command who confirmed the incident in a statement thereafter, assured of readiness by the law enforcement agents to go after the outlaws for possible release of the hostages.
According to Abiodun, the suspected criminals, had stormed the remote Community via Ibbi in Mashegu Local Government Area and rustled a unspecified number of Cattle after they had broken into a provision shop in Kawo Village.
Garba had said in the statement that President Buhari, few days ago in a directive to the Defence Headquarters, “asked the military to respond robustly to the cases of killings and kidnappings in the State and to give effect to the strategic objectives through the use of force”.
He said Buhari disclosed this in his message to the government and people of Niger State in which the commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, reaffirmed that security is a responsibility of every member of the Community and only through solidarity and cooperation with law enforcement agencies can we defeat the problems finally.
The statement reads: “President Muhammadu Buhari as Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s armed forces has set the ball rolling for a major military operation in Niger State which has faced continued attacks on its Communities by bandits and remnants of Boko Haram terrorists fleeing theaters of war in the Northwestern and Northeastern parts of the Country.
Buhari said: “I would like to express sincere sympathies to the government and people of the State following recent security incidents”
“The Federal Government is willing to strengthen support and cooperation with all the states. I believe that with the full cooperation of the Citizens, we will surely overcome this problem,” said the President.