LAGOS, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's defense chief Gabriel Olonisakin said Monday that the armed gunmen's activities in the country's northern regions would soon be "a thing of the past."
The defense chief made the remark when he visited the troops of a new military exercise "Sahel Sanity" in Faskari, Katsina state.
The launch of "Sahel Sanity" was a testimony to the army's commitment to addressing all security challenges facing the country, Olonisakin said.
He said the real-time exercise would be transformed into operation aimed at attacking banditry in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Niger states.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the scourge of the banditry will soon be a thing of the past and all law-abiding citizens would be able to resume their normal lives," he added.
Banditry, kidnappings and other criminal activities have recently become rampant in some northern regions in Nigeria. The military said they are in control of the situation with multiple ongoing operations.