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Gov’t commits to safeguarding citizens

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By Mercy Kelani

Security forces have been focused on ensuring the security of the public.

Muhammad Idris, the Minister of Information, has advised media professionals to be cautious in their reporting so as not to inadvertently support the actions of bandits and kidnappers. In February 2024, the Nation’s Armed Forces reported significant achievements, including the elimination of 974 terrorists, arrest of 621 suspects, liberation of 466 hostages, and retrieval of 1,573 weapons. This information was shared by him during the same period. The Minister made a statement at a Ramadan Iftar event in Kano on March 20, 2024.

The statement was that the Nigerian Government is committed to safeguarding the security and welfare of all citizens and tourists in the country, in the presence of journalists, social media influencers, and other guests. The diligent efforts of the country’s security forces have been focused on ensuring the safety and security of the public. Recent acquisitions of advanced weaponry and gear by the military are aimed at bolstering their capabilities in combatting crime and terrorism.

FG is ramping up its efforts to combat terrorism and banditry.

He mentioned that in the current month, the Nigerian Air Force welcomed 4 new aircrafts into their fleet. The Nigerian Military, along with support from the Police and Intelligence agencies, have been actively engaging bandits and terrorists in their camps and hiding spots, particularly in the North-West and the FCT. The outcomes of these efforts are becoming evident as progress is being made. Abuja is now secure, with reports of bandits being defeated and their camps demolished consistently every week.

Witnessing individuals sharing their stories of successfully embarking on trips that once seemed too risky, such as traveling on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, which they previously avoided. During the month of February in 2024, the nation’s Armed Forces successfully dealt with 974 terrorists, captured 621 individuals suspected of criminal activity, saved 466 hostages, and retrieved a total of 1,573 weapons. Idris detailed how the Federal Government was ramping up its efforts to combat terrorism and banditry by introducing the Pulako Initiative worth 50 billion Naira.

Efforts to combat oil theft are intensifying.

This initiative will focus on seven key states – Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Niger, Kaduna, Benue, and Kebbi – in the ongoing fight against banditry and cattle rustling. His statement highlighted the plan for the Nigerian government to construct various essential facilities such as homes, medical facilities, educational institutions, animal hospitals, empowerment programs, solar power sources, and other necessary infrastructure in areas greatly impacted by bandit attacks. Efforts to combat oil theft are intensifying, resulting in the deactivation of more than 6,000 illegal refineries and the disconnection of over 4,000 illegal pipelines.

Oil production has seen a consistent increase since the second quarter of 2023, climbing from 1.22 million barrels per day to 1.55 million barrels per day by the fourth quarter of 2023. Security forces in the North Central region have successfully minimized farmer-herder clashes through their joint efforts, resulting in a significant decrease in the frequency of these conflicts. The security situation in Niger State has seen significant improvement thanks to the joint efforts of the Armed Forces, state government, and local communities working together.

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In recent times, the grim story of bandits pillaging villages and extorting farmers in the state has diminished. Although progress has been made in the fight against violent crimes, it is important to recognize that there are still occasional attacks that are carried out by bandits and criminals in specific regions in the country. Nevertheless, it is crucial to emphasize that these sporadic incidents do not undermine the advancements in securing the safety of the communities.

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