North-West banditry growing fast, security expert warns

A security expert, Dr Ona Ekhomu, has lamented increasing threats by bandits in the country, saying the Federal Government must rise to the occasion.

He also commended the leadership of the Nigerian Armed Forces for the rescue of Flt. Lt. Abayomi Dairo, whose Alpha jet was shot down by bandits in Zamfara State.

The expert said these in a statement on Wednesday.

Ekhomu, who is the President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, said bandits now had the capability to threaten military air assets which had been the backbone of bandit interdiction operations.

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He said, “In Nigeria’s longest war – the Boko Haram Insurgency – there have been three enemy attacks on aviation. These include the Wing Commander Chinda Hedima incident of October 2014, the UN helicopter attack of July 2020 and the Alpha jet incident earlier this year, which Boko Haram has taken credit for.

“Given its goal to spread jihad in the whole of the north, Boko Haram may have provided resources and training to the bandits, who are now threatening military aviation.

“The North-West banditry problem is growing and spreading. The Armed Forces must focus and defeat this wicked enemy of the Nigerian people. The estimated 100,000 bandits operating in the North-West are a mortal danger to Nigeria’s sovereignty.”

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