President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the Nigerian Armed Forces to take over the patrol of the nation's borders. The main thrust of the patrol is to track down criminal elements within the vicinity of border communities prone to terrorist activities.
A statement by the Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade on Wednesday said the patrol team would be made up of the Armed Forces, the police and other security agencies. Olukolade added that the troops will also focus on every suspected terrorist enclave and cell in the various border communities.
The statement reads: "In furtherance of the Commander-in-Chief's directive, the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police and other security agencies have commenced operations to rid the nation's border territories of terrorist bases and activities.
"The operations, which will involve massive deployment of men and resources, is aimed at asserting the nation’s territorial integrity and enhancing the security of constituted governmental structures in all territories within Nigeria’s borders.
"The operational plans have also briefed participating troops appropriately on arrests, cordon and search especially directed at apprehending those who have been violating sovereignty of Nigeria through terrorist training for insurgency and related activities.
"The operation is expected to put an end to insurgent activities in these parts of the country."
The Defence Headquarters said measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of civilians and non-combatants while the operation lasts. The authorities of the Armed Forces enjoined communities in the border areas to cooperate with troops and supply necessary information on criminal and terrorist activities. They are also enjoined to report suspicious activities or movements in their various localities, stressing that the operation was intended to safeguard the nation’s interests and citizens in all parts of the federation.