By Lawal Sa’idu Funtua
The Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor has appealed for greater cooperation from state governments, traditional institutions and residents of communities troubled by armed banditry in the North-west and North-central parts of the country towards ending the menace.
The Defence Chief made the plea when he led other Service Chiefs and the Chief of Defence Intelligence on a working visit to Governor Aminu Bello Masari at the Government House in Katsina.
General Irabor said the top military command was on a tour of states affected by armed banditry to assess military arsenals and the battle-readiness of troops carrying out the anti-banditry operation.
He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has given marching orders to the Service Chiefs to restore normalcy in states troubled by armed banditry within the shortest time possible.
General Lucky Irabor urged state governments and opinion leaders in the affected states to encourage residents of communities haunted by the menace to provide useful information to trooos executing the anti-banditry operation in their states.
In his remarks, Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari advised the Defence Headquarters to create a central operations command for air and land troops that are engaged in confrontation with the bandits.
He also advised the military command to deploy surveillance technology to spot armed bandits in their hideouts and to track kidnap victims in the custody of their abductors in the forests.
The meeting ended with a closed-door meeting between the Service Chiefs and top officials of the state government.