The Nigeria Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi has said the worst turn of insecurity in Nigeria is now over.
The minister, who assured that terrorists will never hold sway in the country again, said bandits and their company cannot find a place to hide within the country again.
He, however, stated that the nation may still witness isolated cases of security challenges, but not on the high scale of the past.
He ruled out the cessation of hostilities against the dreaded Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers and oil theft syndicates.
Magashi made these assertions at a joint briefing by four ministers including Lai Mohammed (Information);) Rauf Aregbesola (Interior); Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi (Police Affairs) and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Leo Irabor in Abuja on Monday.
Mohammed said: ” As you are all aware, the issue of security has dominated our national discourse in recent times, against the background of the terrorism, banditry and kidnapping in the North-East, North-West and North Central; separatist violence and crude oil theft in the South-East and South-South as well as cultism, armed robbery and sundry crimes in the South-West.
“Today, we are here to tell you that while we may not be there yet, our military and other security agencies have succeeded – and are succeeding – in substantially restoring security across the nation.
“As far as the daunting security challenges we face are concerned, we can tell you that the worst is over,” he added.
The minister said, “Never again will terrorists and bandits and their cohorts hold sway in our country.”
Mohammed said: “Please note that whereas in conventional warfare, the parties can declare a truce or cessation of hostilities, upon reaching an agreement, it is not the same for the kind of unconventional warfare that our military has been fighting in recent years.
“We are therefore not saying the battle is over. No. What we are saying is that our military and other security agents have been able to contain the daunting security challenges we face and that the worst is indeed over.
” We have now put the terrorists, bandits and their ilk on the run and we will not relent until they have been crushed,” he added.