From Segun Amure, (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau)
President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly ordered security operatives to shoot on sight any non-security personnel seen carrying AK-47 and other sophisticated weapons.
This was disclosed by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
Shehu, in an interview with the BBC Hausa, said the president has directed a clampdown on bandits who have refused to surrender.
“The president has ordered security forces to go into the bushes and shoot whoever they see with sophisticated weapons like AK-47,” he said.
“He ordered that whoever is seen with terrible weapons at all should be shot immediately.”
In related development, Shehu stated that the decision to declare Zamfara State a no-fly zone followed an intelligence report that arms were being transported to the bandits with private jets.
According to him, jets are used to cart away gold from the state to Dubai, which, according to him, prompted the ban on mining activities also announced on Tuesday.
His words reads: “These jets are being used to pick up gold that is being mined in some parts of Zamfara and exported. This is strong because at the moment,” he said.
“There is a Nigerian gold market in Dubai. The government is losing, the people of this country are losing, that’s why it is said that gold mining is banned for those who are not made by the government.”
Recall that the ban on mining activities in Zamfara was first announced in April 2017 amid reports that actors going after the state’s gold reserves are fuelling its security crisis.