The Nigerian Army on Wednesday declared war against armed bandits in the southern part of Kaduna State as it launched an operation tagged: ‘Operation Harbin Kunama II’ to tackle the menace of herdsmen in that part of the State.
Speaking at the event which held in Kafanchan, the headquarters of Jama’a Local Government Area, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, said there would no longer be any hiding place for armed bandits in the state.
The COAS stated that the aim of the exercise is to ensure that southern Kaduna area is kept safe.
“I know it has been in the press and it has generated a lot of interest. But we are determined to shoulder the major responsibility of keeping the peace always and it is better to do this job than to leave it until it goes out of hand. God forbid,” he said.
Buratai further said that the exercise is a remarkable experience to the one that took place last year, adding that “I have seen confidence in all the officials that have briefed us and I have seen improvements in their understanding of the environment.”
He said the army would continue to coordinate its activities to ensure that communities understand each other so as to provide the needed security and the right atmosphere for economic and social activities to thrive.
Scores of Nigerians have been killed in the past five years by herdsmen while property estimated at billions of naira were destroyed.
The federal government, had in December last year, deployed troops and the police to the area to stop the mayhem, but the killings have continued with the recent one that claimed 12 lives in Asso village last Saturday.
Also speaking, the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, said he was delighted by the effort of the Chief of Army Staff to launch the operation.
“This operation is very important because this problem in Southern Kaduna has attracted high levels of attention not just because of the gravity of the situation here, I think there are more serious crisis in other parts of the country, but this one has been given religious and ethnic coloration,” he said.
El-Rufai expressed confidence that with the operation, the bandits that have been attacking farmers will finally be neutralised so that farming activities will resume as the rains approaches.