The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, has restated the resolve of Nigeria’s military to restore peace in the southern part of Kaduna State.
Southern Kaduna has become a hotbed of deadly attacks in recent months.
Irabor made this known in Kafanchan on Thursday during a peace meeting with stakeholders involved in Southern Kaduna crisis.
He stated that the days of perpetrators of violent attacks in the area were numbered as the military was prepared to unleash the full strength of its arsenal on them.
“We are committed to ensuring that peace is restored in this part of the country.
“However, for those who do not want to heed to our appeal for peace and who think that violence is what they need to unleash on us, I am here to tell them that their days are numbered.
“If the peace in Southern Kaduna is disrupted, the peace in Kaduna and indeed the peace in Nigeria will be disrupted because Kaduna is central to the existence of Nigeria,” he stated.
The Defence Chief cautioned the people against taking laws into their hands in the face of provocations, urging aggrieved parties to always recourse to the law.
He pledged to increase military presence and hardware in Southern Kaduna but maintained that there must be willingness among the people to embrace peace for such to yield positive result.
“You can have all the personnel and equipment in the world, if there’s no willingness amongst the people to live in peace, it will count for nothing.
“So, we need to start looking at ways beyond military deployment to solve this crisis,” he added.
He advised communities to set up security committees as well as vigilante groups to work in consonance with security forces to fish out criminal elements.
On stoppage of night grazing as suggested by some stakeholders, Irabor promised to bring up the issue as a point during the national security council meeting.
“This is not something I have authourity to make a decision on, but I can assure you I will bring it up as a point during the national security council meeting for further consideration,” he said.
In his remarks, Gov. Nasir El-rufai, represented by the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, decried the politicisation of the crisis in Southern Kaduna.
He said the state government would continue to do its best in carrying out its primary responsibility of protecting lives and property.