Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu has said the lingering banditry in the Northwest and Northcentral has international dimension
Adamu spoke at a town hall meeting on peace and security in Zuru Local Government Area of Kebbi State.
“Most of the banditry has international dimension. The bandits come from outside the country. We have arrested Sudanese, Nigeriens and Malians, among other nationals.
“We also believe that because of what is happening in the Northeast and the fact that the military troops are doing a great job in the fight against insurgency there, most of the bandits are running towards the Northwest of the country, and we have evidence.
“When we operated in Kaduna, Birnin Gwari, where we attacked a group of bandits, we realised that most of them came from Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP), who are terrorists kidnapping for ransom.
“So, the issue is not at the level you are looking at it. It is a big issue and we must work together to address it.
“This is why President Muhammadu Buhari does not rest because of these complaints coming from the Northwest and Northcentral on banditry,” Adamu said.
The IGP said he was attending the meeting with a high-powered delegation comprising the heads of intelligent community in the country.
“This is because of the seriousness the President attaches to security and the rising security challenges that are happening in the Northwest in particular.”
Also, the military said it had smashed an international illegal arms smuggling syndicate that supplied arms and ammunition to bandits in the Northwest.
Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity deployed at Forward Operating Base in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State reportedly intercepted members of the syndicate during an undercover operation.
The three suspects are Nigerien citizens, according to the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche.
Enenche said the suspects were intercepted at Dantudu in Mailailai District of Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State with six AK-47 rifles, three AK-47 rifle magazines and 2,415 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition concealed in various parts of their vehicle.
He said: “It, therefore, goes to show that some of the security challenges in the country have external influence. The suspects are currently in custody undergoing preliminary investigation before being handed over to the prosecuting agency,” he said.
Enenche spoke yesterday during the weekly media briefing with Defence Correspondents in Abuja.