By GARBA SHEHU, Senior Special Assistant to the President, (Media and Publicity).
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a military crackdown on bandits operating in rural communities in Zamfara State, following fresh attacks on some communities in Shinkafi and Maradun Local Government Areas.
To enable the army carry out this new mandate, the President has approved the request of the Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (rtd) for the stationing of a full battalion of Special Forces in Zamfara State, and the operationalization of the newly-established 8 Division of the Nigerian Army in Sokoto in the new Order of Battle (OBAT).
The President has also approved the movement of the 1 Brigade of the Nigerian Army from Sokoto to Gusau upon the take-off of the 8 Division.
To tackle the desperate actions of Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east, through the use of mostly female, underage girls as suicide bombers, President Buhari has equally approved the setting up of an intelligence fusion centre in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, for the purpose of gathering and sharing intelligence among the security agencies in the country.
This phase of the war will be intelligence-driven and the new centre is expected to intensify the harvesting and sharing of intelligence so as to bring to an early closure, the desperate last-minute activities of the terrorists.