Updated: March 2, 2021
Embattled Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced new security measures on Monday following another massacre by gunmen in Kaduna state.
Mr. Buhari, who would be seeking re-election early next year, has come under intense criticisms following a torrent of massacres by bandits, herdsmen or Boko Haram under his watch.
Two former Presidents and a former Vice President have branded him a failed leader, and urged him not to run. But he has brushed their criticisms aside and insisted that he has done well.
Gunmen stormed Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State at the weekend and killed at least 45 people. Many more were injured. The government said tthe killings were perpetrated by bandits.
On Monday, the presiderncy said Mr. Buhari has approved the establishment of a new Battalion of the Nigerian Army, as well as a new Police Area Command, in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, as part of measures to scale up the security response to the banditry affecting the area.
“I am deeply outraged by this unwarranted, unprovoked and reckless destruction of lives by bandits who belong to the lowest level of civilization. I feel the pains and devastation of the families of the victims, and this administration will do everything possible to ensure we defeat these enemies of humanity,” Mr. Buhari said, according to a statement by spokesman, Garba Shehu.
[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]
The new Army Battalion and the Police Area Command are the latest in a series of law enforcement measures to ensure more effective protection of lives and property, in and around Benue, Kaduna, Taraba, Zamfara and Nasarawa States, the presidebcy said.
Last week the Nigerian Air Force took delivery of two new helicopter gunships, for deployment to parts of the country affected by banditry.
A Quick Response Wing has also been established by the Nigerian Air Force in Taraba State, while a Joint Military Intervention Force is fully on ground in Benue.
“President Buhari assures that security remains a priority for his government and his administration will not tolerate the persistent killing of innocent people in order to set Nigerians against one another,” Mr. Shehu said.
According to the President, “these persistent killings are not spontaneous; there are subterranean forces with a sinister agenda to instigate war in the country for selfish purposes.”