The newly elevated Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Farouk Yahaya, has said in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s position of treating criminals in the language they understand, the troops have sent the bandits and other criminal elements “to God to answer for their crimes.”
He spoke to journalists Wednesday after being decorated with the new rank of lieutenant general by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House Abuja.
The event came up shortly before the start of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Answering reporters’ questions on his message for the criminals, the COAS said: “The president said they will be treated in the language they understand. That’s what we have started doing already and many of them have been sent to God to go and answer for their crimes. And we will continue to do that. Thank you.”
The army boss also said the military would give its best to ensure the current security challenges in some parts of the country were fully addressed.
He also pledged his unalloyed loyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Nigeria.
“I want to most sincerely appreciate the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces for the confidence reposed in me and now being decorated Lieutenant General., and Chief of Army Staff.
“I want to pledge my unalloyed loyalty, on behalf of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army. We would also continue to do our very best to arrest the current insecurity, which includes insurgency and other violent crimes.
Magashi rates Yahaya high
Also speaking, Minister of Defence, retired Major-General Bashir Magashi, said the new Army Chief had since started his job very well.
“I think like every other Chief, his mandate is to bring an end to banditry, kidnapping and the Boko Haram issue, and right from his assumption to date, there is a lot of improvement in the way we have been fighting this war.
“The planning is thorough and the activities are going according to operational plans and I am sure with that kind of arrangement, we will get out of the insurgency problem,” the minister said.
Magashi said all those perpetuating all forms of crime across the country would be brought to book as the law will take its course against them, adding that those picking arms against security personnel would also be punished.
“If you commit an offence, you will be arrested, tried and if you are guilty you will be punished. But for anybody picking arms against a soldier, you know what that means and we will also treat him according to the law,” he said.
Providing further insight on President Buhari’s statement how the criminal elements would be treated in the language they understand, the defence minister said: “I don’t think there is anything wrong to get rid of an enemy if he also wants to get rid of you, and that is what the president is saying. You cannot own a weapon illegally and be allowed to stay alive because that weapon can be used against you.
“We will take on anybody who is carrying arms. Nigeria will not allow that to continue to happen. That is our message.”
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