The Armed Forces and the Nigerian Police Force will set up a joint squad to address insecurity in Nigeria, particularly in the Northern region.

Onyema Nwachukwu, spokesman for the Defence Headquarters, said this in an interview with Punch Newspaper.

He said the military and Police were given “marching orders”, and had carried out a re-evaluation of their efforts against bandits, as well as the next line of action.

Nwachukwu stated: “The leadership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, under Gen Abayomi Olonisakin, the Chief of the Defence Staff, and the Police have met and the meeting was to identify gaps in the operations and how to address those issues.

“There is a special joint operation coming up and all is already set for it. I cannot give you details of the operation. But it will take care of the banditry in the North-West region and other criminalities.”

Similarly, Frank Mba, spokesperson to the Police Force, hinted the possible collaboration of all the forces in tackling insecurity in the north.

He said: “What we require to permanently put an end to this menace is a broad-based action with intervention at multiple levels by multiple agencies. We are leading the charge at the security and law enforcement level, while we expect support at the political level from the state and local government levels, religious level and traditional institution as well as socio-cultural level.

“The present leadership of the force is already adopting community policing strategy as one of its main strategies for combating not only banditry, but other forms of crime and criminality. That is why the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has been on tour of the affected areas. The IGP was in Birni Gwari, in Kaduna, he was in Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina within 72 hours.

“We believe that the Nigeria Police, acting alone all by itself, certainly will not be able to win the war. We need to bring on board more relevant stakeholders and that is what community policing is all about. I want to appeal to Nigerians to be patient and provide us with relevant support. I acknowledge the fact that this is a challenging time, but the challenges are certainly not insurmountable.”

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