Bashir Magashi, minister of defence, says the bandits wreaking havoc on the north-west and north-central are becoming a nuisance.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the need for urgency in dealing with them.
The minister spoke on Tuesday after the national security council meeting which took place at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He said: “This meeting was called in order to keep the C-in-C abreast on the current happening in the north-west and north-central, in respect of the improvements, problems and any other thing associated with the insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and the rest of it.
“From the meeting, we believe that the spate at which these things are happening in Zamfara state and north-central is a source of concern to the government and to all agencies that are responsible for the execution of the operations in the north-central.
“We discussed the need for urgency in our dealing with the bandits. We believe they’re becoming a nuisance; killing people, they are doing what they like, they make careless statements, they say what they think they should say in order to solicit the kind of audience they want from the society.
“We believe that we have gone a long way in keeping this country together. If one looks back, prior to our coming, 2014, you’ll find that there’s a lot of improvement, but people are not seeing it anymore.
“They believe probably we are incapable or there is something which we don’t know, but we are trying to find out why people are not appreciating the efforts of government.
“We have appraised our position, we’ve found that we are capable, we can do this thing, but we need the cooperation of every Nigerian in order to ensure a free society.”
During the security meeting, the president also mandated the service chiefs to find methods to deal with the country’s security challenges.