According to the National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, Buhari gave this directive to Service Chiefs at the security meeting held at the presidential villa on Tuesday.
Munguno, who spoke with State House correspondents after the meeting, quoted the president as saying that the armed forces should be more proactive rather than reactionary.
He quoted the president to have also insisted that all the decisions approved at the national security council meeting in February remain enforced. The decisions include a ban on mining activities in Zamfara and the no-fly order imposed on the state.
Munguno quoted him as saying that the status quo should be maintained in Zamfara, to curb insecurity in the state.
In his words, “On the issue of kidnapping and banditry, this menace still persists, especially in the north-west and the north-central zones. Mr President has been very emphatic, he has stated very clearly that this problem must be brought to an end, but using the traditional methods that the armed forces have been trained to deploy.
“Mr President has made it very clear to both the intelligence and operational elements that the first assignment will be to identify the leaders of these bandits, kidnappers and take them out, to restore confidence in those areas.
“Mr President has said he will no longer tolerate a situation where bandits and kidnappers dictate the pace and set the tone in the country and that he will not also condone a situation where operations are reactionary rather than being proactive.
“He has also indicated his willingness to provide all the resources required by our troops to put down these criminals. They must be brought down with all the ruthlessness that is required and whoever is working in collaboration with them will be brought to book.”
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