Nigeria Newspapers

Over 9,000 terrorists, bandits killed in one year — Defence minister

The Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, has stated that no fewer than 9,300 adversaries, including bandits, terrorists, kidnappers, and other high-profile criminals, have been killed in the last year.

Badaru also reported that at least 1,437 suspected criminals have been arrested, adding that 363 were killed last year by the military in its efforts to boost oil production in the country.

The minister made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday during a sectoral ministerial briefing to update Nigerians on the activities and performance of his ministry as directed by President Bola Tinubu.

The former Jigawa State governor explained that the feat was achieved due to the improved synergy among the three services of the armed forces, which include the Navy, Army, and Air Force, as well as other paramilitary agencies.

According to him, the service chiefs have been working closely together, unlike in the past, and this cooperation has increased their productivity and resulted in laudable achievements since President Bola Tinubu took office.

He said, “The Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, and the Chief of Air Staff are working together as against what it used to be. That has led to productivity and efficiency in their operations.

“In addition to this, we have close collaboration with the office of the National Security Adviser, the police, NSCDC, and all other security agencies,” Badaru told journalists and other attendees at the briefing.

Providing further details, the minister revealed that over 4,000 assorted weapons were recovered from criminal gangs, adding that, as a result of ongoing operations against oil theft, “most of the illegal refineries are down.”

He added, “This (the synergy) has translated to tremendous progress in the last year. Because of the synergy, we were able to neutralise more than 9,300 bandits and insurgents; about 7,000 were arrested while we rescued 4,641 kidnapped victims in just one year.

“We have also recovered 4,882 assorted weapons and 83,900 assorted ammunition in just one year. Among those that we neutralised are bandit leaders. We have neutralised no fewer than 20 bandit leaders who commanded armies of insurgents and terrorists in just one year.”