President Muhammadu Buhari says he has given the military and the police the order to “be ruthless” against bandits terrorising the north-west region of the country.
The president declared this during an interview with Arise TV broadcast on Thursday.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand. We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.”
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble. We are already in enough trouble. So we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference.”
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The statement ”treat them in the language they understand” became controversial after the president tweeted referencing the civil war.
The president had warned insurrectionists against destroying the country. But the tweet was removed by Twitter. The federal government responded afterwards by suspending the microblogging platform.
Bandits have scaled up attacks on states in the north-west and in the north-central, kidnapping and killing citizens.
Over 130 students of an Islamiyya in Niger state are still held by bandits.