Mallam Garba Shehu, the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity has revealed the President, Muhammadu Buhari, has given a shoot at sight order to military commanders on non-security personnel armed with AK47 rifles.
Shehu said this during an interview with the BBC Hausa Service late on Wednesday.
He explained that the president was determined to end the senseless killings in Zamfara and other parts of the country.
He explained that the “no-fly zone,” order on the Zamfara airspace was informed by reports that helicopters were flown in by gangs engaged in illegal mining of gold deposits in Zamfara adding that the criminal gangs allegedly supply arms to bandits in exchange.
Garba said, “The president has ordered security forces to go into the bushes and shoot at sight whoever they see with sophisticated weapons like AK-47.
“He ordered that the military men should shoot at sight whoever is seen with terrible weapons.
However, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday said his Bauchi State counterpart Bala Mohammed owes Nigerians an apology for his comments that herdsmen should be allowed to carry AK-47 rifles.
Ortom stated this in Makurdi while briefing journalists on the state of insecurity in Benue.
His comments followed Mohammed’s clarification last week that his statement about herdsmen being free to carry AK-47 rifles was a figure of speech.
Ortom said the Benue people were fighting against terrorists, killer herdsmen and criminality, not against any Fulani as some Nigerians believe.
“We are not against any tribe, especially the Fulani people, but rather against terrorists, killer herdsmen, bandits, kidnappers and all types of criminals within the state.
“We are actively supporting our security agencies to ensure that all remaining pockets of banditry, kidnappings among others are mitigated,” he said.
Ortom insisted that ranching remained the only solution to the lingering herdsmen crisis.
He, however, commended President Mohammadu Buhari for deploying security forces to handle the state’s security challenges.
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