Give us free hands to wipe out terrorists, COAS Lagbaja tells govs

… CDS assures DHQ’s readiness to tackle insecurity in Zamfara, Plateau, others

The Nigerian Army Wednesday said any form of amnesty for terrorists causing mayhem in the North West and part of the North Central zone of the country, would only embolden them to cause more havoc.

The army hierarchy also asked governors for a free hand to eliminate the criminal elements.

Chief of Army Staff Major-General Tahoreed Lagbaja stated this at the Army Headquarters Abuja, during a visit by the Zamfara state governor, Dr Dauda Dare Lawal.

The army chief warned the criminals to flee the country with immediate effect, saying they would be given close marking and blocked from entering other parts of the country if they attempted to flee the North West.

“Your Excellency, I think we need to look at this amnesty programme. The criminal elements have proven to be incorrigible. So, the issue of amnesty has created an avenue for them to regroup and re-organise and launch attacks,” Lagbaja said.

The army chief stated this against the backdrop of a comment credited to a former governor of the state, Sani Yerima that bandits should be given amnesty, during his visit to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Yerima had asked President Tinubu to negotiate with terror gangs operating in Zamfara state and other parts of the Northwest of the country.

Yerima said the negotiation he was advocating was similar to what the administration of former President Umar Yar’Adua did with militants in the Niger Delta, which gave birth to the amnesty programme.


In a related development, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Major-General Christopher Gwabin Musa also had separate meetings with both the Zamfara state governor and his Plateau counterpart, Caleb Mutfwang at the Defence Headquarters Abuja.

Lawal said he came to congratulate the CDS on his deserving appointment and to intimate him of the overall security situation in Zamfara state.

According to him, the security challenges were affecting meaningful development in the state and also making governance almost impossible.

The governor further said confronting the challenges would go a long way to checking the menace of the terrorists.

He applauded the efforts of the troops on ground while calling for additional deployment of troops and logistics to build security.

Musa responds

In his response, the CDS commiserated with the people of Zamfara state and assured them of the DHQ’s readiness to provide every necessary security assistance to the state.

While pledging that troops would be on top of their games, Musa assured that synergy between the military and other security agencies would be enhanced.

Similarly, Governor Muftwang told the CDS he was at the Defence Headquarters to congratulate him on his appointment, describing Musa as a professional to the core.

He said Musa’s appointment came at a critical time when the nation’s security challenge was worsening.

The governor expressed confidence that the CDS would make the desired impact by deploying his experiences in dealing with the security challenges in Plateau state.

Governor Muftwang commended the efforts of the military and paid tributes to the fallen heroes, even as he called for more efforts at addressing security situations in the state.

UNI Agric Markurdi
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