Buhari attributes recent surge in bandits attacks in Katsina to COVID-19 lockdown
President Muhammadu Buhari has attributed the renewed spate of killings by Boko Haram terrorists and armed bandits to COVID-19 lockdown imposed recently in the country.
The President, who made the disclosure during a nationwide broadcast dress on the occasion of the 2020 Democracy Day, also expressed regret over the killing of innocent citizens by insurgents and bandits in the country.
According to him, ending insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality across the nation is being accorded appropriate priorities and the men and women of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have considerably downgraded such threats across all geo-political zones.
He said: “All the local governments that were taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have long been recovered and are now occupied by indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes.”
“I regret recent sporadic incidents with tragic loss of lives in Katsina and Borno States as a result of criminals taking advantage of COVID-19 restrictions. Security agencies will pursue the perpetrators and bring them to swift justice.
“I must implore state and local governments to revamp their intelligence assets so that the security agencies can nip in the bud any planned attacks in remote rural areas.
“I send my heartfelt condolences to all the relatives and communities affected.’’
He also revealed that the government had expanded the National Command and Control Centre to 19 states of the federation, resuscitated the National Public Security Communication System and commenced the implementation of the Community Policing Strategy.
“Government has similarly established a Nigerian Police Trust Fund as a public-private sector vehicle for alternative sources of funding security activities.
“To reduce security challenges through our external borders, especially smuggling of oil products out of the country, inflow of small arms and drugs into the country and equally protect our local manufacturers, we introduced operation “Ex-Swift Response,” he said.
He added that the closure of borders from Aug. 20, 2019, had ” considerably succeeded in meeting its objectives as well as improving our national revenue.”