Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, has declared many bandits and other criminals undermining national security ‘have been sent to God to go and answer for their crimes’.
This is even as he reassured the Army would continue to give its best to ensure current security challenges in some parts of the country are fully addressed.
The army chief spoke, yesterday to State House Correspondents, after he was decorated with his new rank by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He further declared successes were already being recorded, adding that the military would leverage on it and its experience.
“We are already getting successes and we will leverage on that, including our experience in this job and by the grace of God, we will get there.”
Minister of Defence, retired Major General Bashir Magashi, said the new army chief had started his job well.
He said: “I think like every other chief, his mandate is to end banditry, kidnapping and the Boko Haram issue and right form his assumption to date, there is a lot of improvement in the way we have been fighting this war.
“The planning is thorough and the activities are going according to operational plans and I am sure with that kind of arrangement, we will get out of the insurgency problem.”
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Magashi said all those perpetrating insecurity in parts of the country would be brought to book as the law will take its course against them, adding that those picking arms against security personnel would also be punished.
“If you commit an offence, you will be arrested, tried and if you are guilty you will be punished. But for anybody picking arms against a soldier, you know what that means and we will also treat him according to the law,” he said.
Giving more explanation of the president’s comment that criminals would be treated in the language they understand, the defence minister said: “I don’t think there is anything wrong in getting rid of an enemy if he also wants to get rid of you and that is what the pPresident is saying; you cannot own a weapon illegally and be allowed to stay alive because that weapon can be used against you.
“We will take on anybody who is carrying arms. Nigeria will not allow that to continue to happen. That is our message.”