PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Monday admitted that Nigeria’s security challenges is enormous and charged security agencies to wake up to their responsibilities.
He made the remark in Abuja at a meeting of the National Security Council at the Presidential Villa, in the wake of the continued killings by herdsmen in various parts of the country.
The meeting came two days after the Boko Haram terrorist group freed the University of Maiduguri, UNIMAID, lecturers and some policemen’s wives it abducted some months ago. Their release followed intricate negotiation brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC.
Details of the security meeting were not made public and none of the participants who included Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and heads of military and paramilitary agencies was willing to talk to the press.
However, in his official Twitter handle, the President explained that the meeting was in appreciation of the “seriousness and urgency” of the security challenges and the need to find durable solutions that can regain the confidence of Nigerians.
He wrote: “Today, I presided over a meeting of the Security Council. We fully understand the seriousness and urgency of Nigeria’s security issues, and are determined to implement carefully considered solutions that will not only earn the confidence of Nigerians, but also stand the test of time.
“One of the resolutions from our security meeting today is that all our law enforcement agencies must take intelligence-gathering and sharing much more seriously. The Police and Department of State Services, DSS, especially have been charged to step up their efforts and capacity in this regard.
“Our law enforcement agencies must at all times stay ahead of bandits and criminals, wherever they are across the country, by efficiently gathering, sharing and acting on credible Intelligence. I am assuring that we will give them all the support needed to succeed.
“Let me also assure that all persons arrested so far, including those arrested for illegally possessing arms, will be duly prosecuted. I urge judicial officers to be alive to their responsibilities in this regard, to enable the speedy dispensation of justice,” he said.
The service chiefs at the meeting were Gabriel Olonisakin, the chief of defence staff, Tukur Buratai, the chief of army staff, Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, the chief of naval staff, and Sadique Abubakar, the chief of air staff.
Also present was Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation, Mansur Dan-Ali, the minister of defence, Abdulrahman Dambazau, the minister of interior, Geoffrey Onyeama, the minister of foreign affairs, Babagana Monguno, the national security adviser.
Others were the Lawal Daura, the director-general of the DSS, Ahmed Abubakar, the director-general of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), and Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).