Nigerian Armed Forces neutralized 974 terrorists in February – FG

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Minister of Information, Muhammad Idiris, has cautioned media practitioners against playing into the hands of bandits and kidnappers, through their reportage.

This is even as he disclosed that the Nation’s Armed Forces neutralized 974 terrorists, apprehended 621 suspects, rescued 466 hostages, and recovered 1,573 weapons, in the month of February 2024 alone.

Speaking, Wednesday, during Ramadan Iftar with some journalists, social media influencers and others in Kano, the Minister hinted that the Nigerian Government was dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of all Nigerians and visitors to the country.

“Our security agencies have been very busy, doing their best to keep us all safe. Military has been taking delivery of new weapons and equipment, to strengthen the fight against banditry and terrorism.

“For example, the Nigerian Air Force this month inducted 4 new aircrafts into service,” he said.

He said the Nigerian Military (supported by the Police and Intelligence agencies) had been taking the war to bandits’ and terrorists’ camps and hideouts, especially in the North-West and the FCT, stressing that “we are seeing the results.

“The situation in Abuja has been brought under control, every week there is a news report about bandits routed and camps destroyed.

“We are seeing testimonials of people safely making journeys they were not daring to months ago, like the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.

“In February 2024, our Armed Forces neutralized 974 terrorists, apprehended 621 suspects, rescued 466 hostages, and recovered 1,573 weapons.”

Idiris explained that the Federal Government was accelerating the kinetic approach to the fight against terrorism and banditry with the establishment of the 50 Billion Naira Pulako Initiative, targeting seven frontline states in the battle against banditry and cattle-rustling- Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Niger, Kaduna, Benue, and Kebbi States.

He added, “under the Initiative, the Federal Government of Nigeria will build houses, clinics, schools, veterinary hospitals, empowerment initiatives, solar energy, and other infrastructure needs in the communities worst affected by banditry.

“Fight against oil theft is ramping up – over 6,000 illegal refineries have been deactivated and over 4,000 illegal pipelines disconnected; oil production has grown steadily since Q2 2023, rising from 1.22m barrels per day to 1.55 million barrels per day in Q4 2023.

“In the North Central in particular, due to the concerted efforts of our security forces, the so-called farmer-herder clashes have been significantly reduced to the barest minimum.

“Through the collaborative endeavours of the Armed Forces, the state government and the communities, we have made substantial progress in containing the security situation in Niger State.

“The gory tale of bandits raiding villages and taxing farmers in the state has abated in recent times.

“While we continue to make strides in combating violent crimes, I must acknowledge that there are still isolated attacks by bandits and criminal elements in certain areas. However, it is important to stress that these sporadic attacks do not diminish the progress made so far in ensuring the security of lives in our communities.”

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