Abuja — The Presidency has said despite security challenges in some parts of the country, the Federal Government is up to the task of reversing the trend.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja yesterday, enumerated efforts by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to tackle the menace and affirmed that it was government's responsibility to safeguard the lives and properties of the citizens.
He said: "These are no doubt times of great security challenges for our country and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is not leaving any stone unturned to restore sanity and calm."
The presidential aide also assured that the government remained committed to its goal of beating the criminals.
Adesina said: "It is the constitutional duty of government to safeguard lives and properties. The Buhari administration remains committed to this, and despite recent spikes in the spate of crime and criminality, the evildoers will be beaten, and badly, too.
"The ravening clouds can never be victorious. Soon, they shall no longer possess the sky."
He listed some of the security initiatives taken since January to include Operation Puff Adder (Nigerian Police), Operation HARBIN KUNAMA 3 (Nigerian Army) and Exercise Egwu Eke 3 (Nigerian Army) launched to complement the existing Operations Sharan Daji (launched in 2016 by the Nigerian Army) and Diran Mikiya (launched in 2018 by the Nigerian Air Force).
The statement read in part: "All of these operations are focused on tackling banditry and criminality in the North-West of Nigeria.
"Operation HARBIN KUNAMA 3 was launched on April 1, to ensure the complete defeat of the bandits fleeing military operations in Zamfara and escaping into Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Niger and Sokoto states.
"Hundreds of kidnappers and bandits have been arrested or killed since January, several camps/hideouts destroyed; and hundreds of hostages rescued.
"In a two-week operation in February (from February 4 to 14), 80 hostages were freed by the Nigerian Army, with 37 bandits killed.
"Aerial bombardments of bandits' camps have been intensified in recent months. A new Air Force Base -- the 271 Nigerian Air Force Detachment (271 NAF Det)-- was commi-ssioned at Birinin Gwari in Kaduna State in May, to complement the 207 Quick Response Group, QRG, established in Gusau, Zamfara State, in 2017."