The ministry said the reports “could not be divulged to the public” noting that the earlier statement by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on some traditional rulers were working for bandits in the state should be taken as a warning. The minister had last Tuesday, through his Public Relations Officer, Col. Tukur Gusau, said some highly placed traditional rulers in the communities helped bandits to perpetuate criminal activities. The minister had added that the traditional rulers compromised military operations, while warning that any person or group of persons who connived with the bandits would be nabbed by the armed forces, no matter how highly placed such a person could be. On Sunday, the defence minister, through his PRO, Col. Gusau, in a statement sent to our one of correspondents, said the minister, rather than accusing the traditional rulers only gave a warning going by some security reports available to his ministry. Gusau said, “The attention of the minister of defence was drawn to allegations that he accused some traditional rulers in the states affected by banditry of conniving with bandits. For the avoidance of doubt, the statement was not meant to discredit our highly revered traditional rulers in the states affected. “However, the statement was meant to serve as a warning to some community leaders and their surrogates. This is based on security reports available to the Ministry of Defence and cannot be divulged to the general public. The Ministry of Defence wants to once again assure all law-abiding citizens of the commitment of the armed forces to protect the lives and property of Nigerians.” Meanwhile, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has promised the Nigerian Air Force personnel that their welfare would always be prioritised. He urged them to remain resolute in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country. Abubakar said this in Maiduguri on Saturday during a visit to the Air Force Base to assess the ongoing war against insurgency. The CAS, who was briefed by the Air Task Force Commander, Air Vice Marshal James Gwani, commended officers, airmen and airwomen of the service for their patriotism, diligence and commitment to dealing with insurgency and other internal security challenges facing the nation.]]>

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