Minister of defence Bashir Magashi says Nigerians now consider security agencies incapable of tackling banditry in the country, therefore unappreciative of their efforts.
“They (Nigerians) believe probably we are incapable, or there is something which we don’t know.
But we are trying to find out why people are not appreciating the efforts of government,” Mr Magashi disclosed this on Tuesday after the national security council meeting with President Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the security council discussed the need for urgency in dealing with the bandits.
“We believe they’re becoming a nuisance, killing people.
They are doing what they like; make careless statements; say what they think in order to solicit the kind of audience they want from the society,” he said.
According to the defence minister, “We believe that we have gone a long way in keeping this country together.
If one looks back, prior to our coming, 2014, you’ll find that there’s a lot of improvement, but people are not seeing it anymore,” Mr Magasgi said.
“We have appraised our position, we’ve found that we are capable, we can do this thing, but we need the cooperation of every Nigerian in order to ensure a free society,” he added.
Mr Magashi, who in February charged armless citizens not to be cowards but defend themselves against bandits, lamented the spate of killings across North-East states.
“We believe that the spate at which these things are happening in Zamfara state and North-Central is a source of concern to the government and to all agencies that are responsible for the execution of the operations,” Mr Magashi said.
In recent times, bandits, in a series of coordinated attacks, have killed and kidnapped hundreds of schoolchildren in Kaduna, Kebbi, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara.
In June, bandits shot down a Nigerian Airforce jet in Zamfara and launched an attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna in August, killing three and abducting one.