President Muhammadu Buhari’s reaction- “How can I be happy and indifferent to the senseless killings of my fellow citizens by bandits?” “I am human, and I understand the pains of the victims and their families who have been traumatised and impoverished by constant ransom demands by bandits
“The politicisation of tragedy reveals the darkest sides of our primitive politics. Almost every week, I summon my security chiefs to get an update on the strategies being devised to defeat these mass murderers.
“There is no issue that dominates my mind every 24 hours like security because, as an elected President, protecting the citizens of my country is one of the primary functions of my administration.”
“I constantly listen to our security personnel in order to understand their problems and needs, and I have never hesitated to attend to those needs in terms of motivating and equipping them to respond effectively to our security challenges.”
“It is, therefore, ridiculous to suggest that I am indifferent to these killings. I have ordered rapid and robust deployment of troops to all the areas currently under attack from bandits and we are determined to tackle this challenge ferociously until these remorseless killers are crushed and utterly defeated,”
The Inspector General of Police’s reaction– “As part of sustained efforts to flush out and permanently put an end to banditry and criminality in Zamfara State in particular and the North-West in general, the Nigeria Police Force in collaboration with the Nigerian military and other security services has commenced Operation Puff Adder, which is a full-scale security offensive against the bandits.
“The operation is aimed at reclaiming every public space under the control of the bandits, arrest and bring to book all perpetrators of violence in the area and their collaborators, achieve a total destruction of all criminal camps and hideouts, mop up all illicit weapons fueling the violence and attain a full restoration of law and order in the affected communities.
“Our commitment at protecting the sanctity of life and property is irrevocable, and we will not scale down the pressure on the bandits until they are totally flushed out.
“Meanwhile, in the face of intelligence report that has clearly established a strong and glaring nexus between the activities of bandits and illicit miners – with both mutually re-enforcing each other – the Federal Government of Nigeria has directed as follows:
“Mining activities in Zamfara and other affected states are hereby suspended with immediate effect. Consequently, any mining operator who engages in mining activities in the affected locations henceforth will have his licence revoked.
“All foreigners operating in the mining fields should close and leave within 48 hours. I want to assure the general public, especially in the affected areas, that the security services are doing their best to address the situation.
“May I appeal for the cooperation of the local communities, especially the traditional and religious leaders within the community.”
The Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani reaction on his Twitter page commended the government over the new development.
He wrote: “Suspension of mining activities is a good step in ending illegal mining; but a non starter in ending banditry.
“The nation is at war; the moral, historical and constitutional calling at times like this is for the leadership to frontally rise to the occasion in defense of this republic.”
Veteran Rapper Eedris Abdulkareem’s reaction “People in Zanfara are being killed for gold while a blind eye is being turned. Go to Dubai; many shops are owned by Nigerians. They are the major businesses supplying this gold.
“While going after the bandits, go after those in charge of the sites, their couriers and middlemen in Dubai. The trail is long and the links strong. Hope the political will is there,” he said.
“What is happening in Zamfara is illegal mining, the gold is smelted locally and ferried to Dubai through the local gold merchants in our markets. They are recorded as scrapped gold extracted from jewellery bought from our women and recycled.
“It is a big cartel making millions of dollars off the blood of the innocent. This is another Blood Diamond reality movie in the making.”