Zam­fara Ban­dits May Have Link With Boko Haram – De­fence Min­is­ter

Sunday Trust - - FRONT PAGE - From Shehu Umar, Gusau

The Min­is­ter of De­fence, Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd) has said the pos­si­bil­ity of links be­tween armed ban­dits wreak­ing havoc on ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties in Zam­fara State and Boko Haram could not be ruled out.

Speak­ing with news­men dur­ing a fact-find­ing tour to Zam­fara State, the min­is­ter said crim­i­nals would al­ways look for ways to have lo­gis­tic sup­port adding that the main is­sues would be se­cur­ing the bor­ders across the na­tion.

He said he came to in­ter­act with the troops and know their op­er­a­tional chal­lenges and other prob­lems and de­vise a way for­ward.

“I just came from Chad and we have been talk­ing to them. We have been talk­ing to the neigh­bour­ing Niger Repub­lic and Cameron to en­sure that our bor­ders are be­ing well taken care of in terms of arms move­ment which I be­lieve will have a dras­tic ef­fect on the chal­lenges of armed ban­ditry in Nige­ria,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, even if one mil­lion sol­diers were brought to the state un­less the stake­hold­ers were ready for peace, lit­tle would be achieved.

The min­is­ter said the re­cruit­ment of the Civil­ian Joint Task Force mem­bers should have come ear­lier than re­cently as “the mil­i­tary don’t know the ter­rain that was why they are be­ing killed, they are not trained to be killed, they are hu­man be­ings too. The sol­diers are trained to bring peace.”

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