The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has given its verdict on the operation of the Nigerian Army’s Operation Sahel Sanity in the Northwest region.
CESJET hailed the army operation, describing it as a success countering bandits and restoring peace to the region.0l
This was contained quarterly interim report of the group which focused on the war against banditry after an assessment tour of the Northwest.
The army Operation Sahel, was launched in July basically to dislodge armed bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers in the region.
And CESJET reports that the operation which is barely two months has recorded huge success with the people now enjoying a new lease of life.
The group noted that since the setting up of the operation the activities of armed bandits have been dealt a huge blow as they have been almost exterminated in States in the region where they operated freely.
The report containing CESJET’s observation was signed by its Executive Secretary Comrade Isaac Ikpa.
The group said it further observed that the region has felt the immediate impact of the army operation with laudable successes achieved within a short period.
According to the group the operation has led to the freedom of many kidnapped victims, while rustled cattle were recovered and suspected armed bandits arrested.
CESJET said it also observed that farmers in the region have returned to their farms while social and other economic activities in most communities have also returned to normality.
The group added that it “also observed a high level of cooperation between troops of Operation Sahel Sanity and the members of the host communities who are more than appreciative of the activities of the troops in its various clearance operations as well as rescue mission that has seen to the rescue of those held in captivity by criminal elements.”
CESJET said after a careful study of the activities of Operation and its impact on the affected communities, it, however, concluded that:
The current tempo in fighting the armed bandits must be sustained to ensure that they and other criminal gangs that have been displaced do not return or enter other parts of the states.
There pointed to the need to expand the area of coverage of the Operation to include other states in North West as well as North-Central in a bid to effectively address the threats posed by armed bandits and other criminal gangs.
“That there is also a need for well-spirited individuals, groups and NGOs to support families of those displaced as a result of the activities of bandits and other criminal elements before the formation of Operation Sahel Sanity, it added.
CESJET called on all NGOs and other humanitarian organizations to identify ways they can provide aids to the communities that were earlier affected by the activities of bandits.
“That the government in these states must continue to extend their support to the troops of Operation Sahel Sanity in a bid to fully address the activities of armed banditry and other forms of criminalities,” the group said.