Service Chiefs have finally appeared before the House of Representatives to discuss the national security issues.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and the Inspector General Police (IGP) Adamu Muhammed, are however absent at the meeting which is currently holding behind closed doors in one of the meeting rooms of the National Assembly.
The President says he has directed the service chiefs to completely re-strategise security operations and reposition for optimum results.
President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed this on Wednesday when he visited some Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Batsari Local Government Council in Katsina State.
According to him, the directive was issued to the heads of security agencies when he presided over the National Security Council meeting which held last week.
He gave assured all victims of banditry attacks that the Federal Government would deploy security measures and strengthen operations to safeguard lives and property.
Warning that perpetrators would not go unpunished, President Buhari said the government was fully aware of the plight of citizens and would remain focused on delivering on its mandate of securing the lives of citizens.
“I am very sad that the consequences of these actions have brought hardship and affected the socio-economic life of our people in the localities,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.
The President added, “Agriculture, which is the mainstay of the economy and source of livelihood is worse affected.
“I would like to assure you that the Federal Government is fully aware of your situation as I receive daily reports from security agencies and the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, who personally visited and briefed me on the killings and wanton destruction by the armed bandits not only in Katsina but in other states as well.
“Let me assure all and sundry that the protection of lives and property of the citizenry is the prime essence of government. We shall be focused and determined to protect our citizens.”
President Buhari said insecurity had reached a disturbing dimension globally, noting that only local, sub-regional and regional alliances would curb the spread of violence.
He said he had earlier sent a top military assessment team based on the reports on the security situation in the state and had directed massive deployment of security personnel and military hardware, urging citizens to support the security agencies.
The President commended the government of Katsina State for supporting security agencies and facilitating some of their operations.
He also appreciated the interventions of the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, and her foundation in providing succour to those affected by banditry attacks, also listing Mr Aliko Dangote, and Mr Dahiru Mangal, among others.
President Buhari, thereafter, directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to act fast and extend support to the victims in the affected frontline local councils.
He called for more patience and forbearance and went around to condole with the displaced persons.
In his remark, Governor Masari expressed appreciation for the President’s visit and the quick response of the military in providing reinforcement which he said had drastically reduced incidents of theft, kidnapping, banditry and cattle rustling.
He, however, said some attacks were still recorded because of the vastness of the Rugu forest that provides cover for criminals.
The Emir of Katsina, Dr Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, advised citizens against reprisal attacks which could lead to anarchy.
He called for more patience and tolerance as security agencies tackle those against the progress of the state.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received briefings from service chiefs are currently in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The meeting was held at the President’s office in the State House.
Although the agenda of the meeting is not yet known it might not be unconnected to the prevailing security situation in the country.
President Buhari has had a series of meetings, with different groups of eminent Nigerians including traditional rulers, over security issues in the country.
The security issues include the spate of banditry, kidnapping and rising deadly criminal activities across the country.
Also, this is perhaps the first time the President will be meeting with the heads of security agencies after the United States-based publication, Wall Street Journal reported that Nigerian soldiers were secretly buried in secret graveyards in Borno state, a story the Nigerian military has denied.
President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in a meeting with security chiefs at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Security chiefs from the various agencies and services are in the meeting with the President.
Those present include the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Mansur Dan Ali; the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General T.Y Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas.
Also, Representatives of Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Training and Operations (CTOPS), Air Vice Marshal EO Anebi and Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu are also at the meeting.
At the end of the meeting, the Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas spoke with journalists concerning the purpose of the meeting.
According to him, the purpose of the meeting was to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the security situation in the nation after his return from a private visit to the United Kingdom.
On the rate of kidnappings in the country, the Naval Chief says it’s on the decline as arrests have been made and effort are on to rescue the traditional ruler who was abducted in Daura.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday led the Service Chiefs, Police IG, Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara to lay the wreath at the tomb of the fallen heroes at the National Arcade in Abuja.
Others who laid the wreath include the Minister of Defence, Minister of the FCT and the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
The annual event is in honour of members of the Armed Forces who died during military operations.
President Buhari also set free doves as a symbol of peace.
Meanwhile, widows of some of the fallen heroes who attended the event lamented that they suffer neglect and deprivation in the absence of their spouses.
The Nigerian Armed Forces Remembrance Day is a day set aside for sober reflections on the significance of the armed forces to the country.
Globally, the Armed Forces Remembrance Day is celebrated on November 11 every year and it is known as the armistice day, commemorating the end of the first World War. But, with the formal end of the Nigerian Civil War following the surrender of the Biafran secessionists on January 15 1970, the date was changed to mark the restoration of Nigeria’s unity.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, on Saturday led the service chiefs on a visit to Borno State to evaluate the fight against insurgency in the North-East.
General Olonisakin visited the Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, along with the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and some top officers of the Defence Headquarters.
They were received by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, who had travelled to Borno earlier to engage with commanders and troops on the activities of Operation Lafiya Dole.
During the visit, the CDS was briefed by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Benson Akinroluyo, on the activities of the troops.
The CDS and the service chiefs also met with other field commanders and received updates on the operational activities in their respective areas of responsibility.
Saturday’s visit follows the recent upsurge in attacks by Boko Haram, especially in the northern axis of Borno State.
Less than a week ago, on December 15, one soldier was killed and another was injured as troops repelled an attack on Gudumbali community in northern Borno State on Saturday.
In a statement confirming that the visit was “essentially to evaluate the fight against terrorism and insurgency in the North East”, the Deputy Director Public Relations of the Theatre Command, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, said the visit was hitch-free and successful.
This was disclosed in a tweet by the President’s aide on New Media, Bashir Ahmad.
He wrote, “All the Service Chiefs, IG of Police and DG of DSS were at the State House this morning. As President @MBuhari said yesterday, in the coming days, he will be engaging the Military and Intelligence Chiefs in extensive discussions on the next steps we shall be taking.”
Although details were not disclosed, the meeting is, however, believed to be in reaction to the recent attack and killing of soldiers by Boko Haram insurgents.
The President had said in statement on Saturday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, that immediate measures are being taken to ensure that the loopholes which led to the fatalities are blocked once and for all.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met with service chiefs at the State House in Abuja.
The meeting which lasted for about three hours dwelt on plans to forestall future security incidences in Zamfara, Sokoto and the Birnin-Gwarinpa axis.
A statement signed by the Public Relations officer to the Minister of Defence, Colonel Tukur Gusau, noted that Operation Sharan Daji would now be extended to reach the fringes of the Niger border.
It also said security agencies have been directed to increase patrols along the Abuja- Kaduna highway to reduce criminal activities.
Furthermore, Gusau said the Defense Minister, Mansur Dan Ali, requested for provision of more security equipment for the Armed Forces in order to sustain the tempo in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges across the country.
“The operation has recently been reinforced with more troops from the Nigerian Armed Forces, Nigeria Police and Department of State Services and is supported by the Intelligence, Surveillance and Recognisance Wing of 207 Quick Response Group of the Nigerian Air Force.
“There was a review of Operation Safe Haven leading to the appointment of a new Commander in the North Central.
“The Honourable Minister also reiterate the need for the deployment of the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in all areas liberated by the military in the North-East in order to consolidate on the gains of military operations as well as to enable the military push forward in its clearance operations”.
Also according to the statement, the Minister congratulated the president on his recent election as the new chairman of ECOWAS.
Shortly after the meeting, the President left Abuja for the Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi, to attend the rerun campaign for the state’s south senatorial seat.
According to him, the meeting with the security chiefs is to come up with the holistic solution to the security challenges in the country.
The governor said, “The forum strongly condemns the recent attack in Plateau State and the spate of the insecurity in the country. Members commiserate with the government and people of Plateau State and other states, including the victims who were caught in the conflicts.
“The governors have unanimously called for the prosecution of perpetrators of the attack and resolve to find a quick and common solution to the security crisis in the country. The forum resolves to pay a condolence visit to Plateau state to commensurate with the government and people of Plateau State,” he added.
“I will continue to pressurise members of the law enforcement agencies directly under me by the Constitution as the Commander-in Chief,” President Buhari said. “About eight days ago, we had five hours security meeting of the service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police.”
The President, who spoke in Plateau State, condemned the recent attack that claimed many lives and destroyed property in some villages in the state.
He further held an interactive session with stakeholders in Plateau where he urged traditional and community leaders to complement the government’s efforts by persuading their constituencies to tolerate one another for peace and unity in the country.
According to President Buhari, “What happened here in Jos is very bad. The question of leadership, from your household to whatever you are, is justice. The bottom line is justice.”
“That is why wherever I go, I will always appeal to the leadership of the communities, the law enforcement agencies to always have control of their constituencies,” he added.
The President condoled with the affected families, the government and people of the state, and wished those injured a speedy recovery.
He also used the occasion of the interactive session to appeal to Nigerians to avoid inflammatory utterances that endanger peace or promote conflicts.
President Buhari, however, said, “It is noteworthy that many Nigerians still acknowledge that despite the security challenges, this administration has made notable successes in the security sector.”
He was accompanied to the meeting by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and his counterparts from Kebbi and Niger states.
At the meeting, the President carefully listened to the presentations and recommendations made by the Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the state, Mr Nura Abdullahi, and a representative of Berom community in Plateau, Mrs Florence Jambol, on engendering peace in the communities.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday held a security meeting with the Service Chiefs at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The President discussed the security situation affecting the country.
In attendance at the meeting are the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Babagana Monguno, Minister of Defense, Mansur Dan-Ali, Director General of the NIA, Ahmed Abubakar and Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday held separate meetings with security chiefs at the State House in Abuja.
The president first met with the security chiefs and heads of security agencies after which the Vice President held a meeting with the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris; the Director-General of the Department of State Security, Lawal Daura; and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Both meetings were held behind closed doors.
Although the IGP refused to disclose details of the meeting which lasted for over two hours to journalists, it is believed to be in connection with the ongoing case involving Senate President Bukola Saraki and the police.
The police had on Sunday invited the Senate President for questioning after suspects arrested in connection with the robbery in Offa, Kwara state, allegedly indicted him.
The suspects had claimed that they were political thugs of the Senate President and the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed.
But in a statement released hours later by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) Yusuph Olaniyonu, the Senate President described the allegations as “baseless” and “another ploy by the Police to implicate him by all means”.
According to him, when the Offa bank robbery happened, he was the first top public official to pay a visit to the place after which he called the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to make the necessary security arrangements.
The Senate President described the invite by the Police as part of plans to embarrass him after the IGP failed to honour invitations by the National Assembly over the killings across the country.
He, however, insisted that he had no hand in the case but will honour the police invitation when it is formally extended to him.
Despite rejecting the allegations against him and criticising the police for inviting him, Saraki tweeted on Monday that he had sent his Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to pick up the police invitation.
Hours later, the Police cancelled the invite and instead asked him to respond in writing to the allegations, within 48 hours.