By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has appealed to fleeing bandits recently dislodged from parts of the state, to take advantage of the window of opportunity provided by the military, to surrender themselves in order to be reintegrated back to the society.
Engineer Sule made the appeal while delivering a speech during the official handing over of 778 women and children recently captured by troops under Operation Nutcracker, in Doma, on Monday.
Represented at the event by his Deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, the Governor urged the terrorists on the run to surrender themselves and their arms, for the sake of peace in Nasarawa State, North Central geopolitical zone and the country at large.
According to Engineer Sule, Nigeria needs peace in order to develop and progress, stressing that without peace, there won’t be development.
“Without peace, there can’t be development. And Nigeria needs development. Without peace, there won’t be progress, Nigeria needs to progress,” the Governor said.
Engineer Sule restated the commitment of his administration to continue to support and cooperate with the security agencies and all well meaning Nigerians, towards ensuring that Nasarawa State remains not only peaceful but a domain of industrialization and business hub.
The Governor emphasized that his administration is determined to ensure that Nasarawa competes with any other state in the country, in terms of development, job opportunities, as well as ease of doing business.
In this regards, Engineer Sule commended President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the service chiefs, for the fight against terrorism and banditry and for taking the fight to the bandits in their hiding places.
While showing appreciation to the various security agencies that are involved in Operation Nutcracker, aimed at ensuring that Nigeria remains peaceful and safe, the Governor congratulated the gallant officers for their effort in dislodging and clearing terrorists and bandits from the state.
Recall that only recently, troops under Operation Nutcracker, comprising soldiers from the 4 Special Forces Command in Doma, Operation Whirl Stroke, Nigeria Navy and Nigerian Airforce, among others, cleared Ugya, Panda forests and contiguous hills in Nasarawa State, following which 778 women and children, family members of Boko Haram Terrorists from across 17 northern states, were captured.
The Nasarawa State Governor was in Doma to witness the handing over of the 778 women and children to their respective state governments for profiling and rehabilitation.
The Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Lolo, was represented at the event by his Deputy, Ahmed Muhammad Ketso.
Niger State has the highest number of captives, 86 women, 232 children, followed by Kano State with 20, 64 women and children respectively.
Nasarawa State has eight women and eleven children.