Service chiefs have begun the implementation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to stop the attacks and killings by terrorists with immediate effect.
The service chiefs yesterday kicked of “Operation Show Terrorists No Mercy”.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, dropped hits of the operation yesterday in Abuja.
He ordered Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational commanders in the various theatres of operation across the country to ‘show no mercy’ and employ maximum firepower against terrorists posing security threats to the nation.
Air Marshal Amao gave this directive when he met with frontline Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) and Air Component Commanders (ACCs) at the NAF Base yesterday in Kaduna.
In a statement yesterday signed by the director of public relations and information (DOPRI), Air Cdre Edward Gabkwet, the Chief of Air Staff commended them for their efforts as well as the improved synergy with sister services and other security agencies.
Amao underscored the need for the effective allocation and utilisation of all NAF platforms deployed for operations in the North West and North Central for enhanced operational effectiveness.
He said such deployment will deny the terrorists freedom of movement while boosting the confidence of the populace and ensuring a peaceful country.
The NAF boss said though the security environment remains fluid and uncertain, with terrorists moving between the northeast, northwest and north central, the need to continually modify NAF’s air power to stay ahead of the asymmetric and unconventional nature of terrorists’ activities is of paramount importance.
He said, “We have a responsibility to secure our nation and give our citizens a sense of hope, trust and belonging. Therefore, we must ensure that we stay ahead of the enemy and envisage his next line of action.”
He, therefore, charged them to show no mercy on any terrorists and their accomplices, and as well deny them the freedom of movement and ease to cause mayhem against innocent Nigerians.
Air Marshal Amao further assured them that training of more combat pilots, imagery analysts and other specialties at NAF would continue to be of utmost priority so as to address the manpower challenges within the operation areas.
He revealed that efforts were at an advanced stage to procure more combat platforms for the NAF to meet the ever-increasing demands of air assets in various theatres of operations across the nation.
Other issues addressed during the interface included the need to ensure speedy procurement of aircraft spare parts to minimise aircraft down-time amongst other issues.
Also, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, says the Defence Headquarters is implementing several new strategies that will bring about an end to various security challenges in the country.
Irabor stated this while delivering a Graduation Lecture for Course 30 of the National Defence College (NDC) on the topic “National Security and Development: Strategic Options for Nigeria’’ yesterday in Abuja.
He identified the need to deepen strategic communication, implement a press code for responsible Journalism and pursue proactive security measures to reduce the impact of regional dynamics in the country.
Irabor said there was a need to encourage a Whole-of-Society Approach to security by deepening strategic communication to educate the populace on the fact that issues of security are a collective responsibility.
According to him, everybody in the society ought to be a relevant stakeholder.
“Timely information on suspicious movements of strangers in a community might be the main lead to provide the needed early warning for the relevant government agency to swing into action.
“Accordingly, we need to formulate a robust and proactive communication strategy that draws all citizens to the realisation of their roles in protecting the nation while also using the same medium to pre-empt and counter the narratives of the insurgents,” he said.
The defence chief stated the need to integrate surrendered insurgents into society and for the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to be reinvigorated, reorganised and properly funded alongside all other relevant stakeholders in the society to serve the nation at the utmost level.
“This will encourage the populace to have renewed confidence in the government and they will be encouraged to provide relevant information to the relevant government agencies. This will enhance national security and development in Nigeria,’’ he said.
On the press code for the media, Irabor said the strategy required the development of guidelines for reporting difficult stories, including stories of conflict and terrorism.
According to him, the German Press Code, for example, says that in reporting actual and threatened acts of violence, the press should carefully weigh the public interest in information against the interest of victims and other people involved.
He said that the media should report on such incidents in an independent and authentic way, but not allow itself to be made the tool for criminals.
FCT Gets N2.6bn For Operational Vehicles, Gadgets, Destroys Bandits’ Camp in Kuje
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday pulled down trees and shanties in a forest in Pasali along Kuje – Gwagwalada road suspected to be a hideout for bandits.
The senior special assistant on monitoring, inspection, and enforcement to the minister of FCT, Comrade Ikharo Attah, said after the exercise that the demolition of Pasali forest near Kuje Local Education Authority Secretariat was to clear the area of illegalities and restore the approved plan.
He said the FCTA had reclaimed the vegetable market and others that had been taken over by other people, with the minister of FCT and the Commissioner of Police fully aware of the exercise.
According to him, the FCTA will continue to reclaim the areas designated for special purposes.
However, those affected by the ongoing demolition of the illegal structures behind prison command on the railway corridor blamed the traditional rulers of selling them the land, saying that as traditional rulers, they were not supposed to allow them to buy and build on the Kuje railway corridor which was said to be illegal.
The affected persons further blamed the monarchs for not doing enough to protect their interests, but rather inflicting pain on them.
One of the victims, Briget Ekelechukwu of Divine Chosen Spiritual Ministry for the Less Privileged, said, “We have been here for over 12 years. I knew that this area is a railway corridor but I was deceived by the monarchs and their people that the railway is not coming.
“I discovered it was a railway corridor about five years ago. I have about 19 children. I registered with the Ministry but I haven’t completed the registration for the orphanage. My registration with the Social Development Secretariat is there.”
Another victim, Benedict Chidozie said, “How come people will come and build without the consent of the traditional ruler or his family members? They are the cause of our problem.”
However, the secretary to Gomo of Kuje, Alhaji Mohammed Usman denied the allegation.
“What the people are saying is false; let them bring the agreement that His Royal Highness sold land to them. Anybody accusing Gomo should bring proof. We have nothing to hide,” he said.
For David Musa, the demolition would bring sanity in the area: “I want to commend the government for clearing Pasali, close to LEA secretariat, which has been a criminal hideout because of the trees and other things. As this place is cleared, the problem of insecurity in Kuje has been reduced.
“Suspected bandits come here to relax during the day and strike at night. Like yesterday, about 15 people were kidnapped along the Kwaku area in Kuje. Clearing some of these places is a good thing,” he said.
As part of efforts to further secure life and property in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the purchase of operational vehicles and various security equipment to support security agencies in the fight against insecurity in the FCT.
In a statement signed by Anthony Ogunleye, chief press secretary, FCTA, the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, who made this known at the end of the FEC meeting, said the approval involved two contracts totaling N2,682, 248,378.52k (N2.68bn).
The minister disclosed that the first contract, which is for the procurement of 60 units of Ford Ranger 4×4 wheel drive vehicles with security communication accessories including three years post sales service, was awarded to Messrs Coscharis Motors Ltd at the sum of N1,835,108,613.95k.
Bello also explained that the second contract, which is for the purchase of various security gadgets and accessories to support security agencies in the FCT, was awarded to Messrs E&S Technology Ltd at the sum of N847,139,764.57.
The minister gave assurance that with this massive support to security agencies, efforts to curtail security challenges in the FCT will be further enhanced.
He also appealed to FCT residents to support the FCT Administration and the security agencies in the fight against crime and criminality in the nation’s capital by being security conscious and providing useful information to the relevant authorities when possible.
…Defends Purchase Of N1.15bn Security Vehicles For Niger Republic
The federal government has explained reasons for the disbursement of N1.15bn for the purchase of 10 SUVs for the Republic of Niger.
Minister of finance, budget, and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the federal executive council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to her, the move is to enable the country to safeguard its territory in the best interest of Nigeria’s security.
Saying it was not the first time Nigeria would be supporting her neighbours, the finance minister argued that the president had a responsibility to make such decisions in the best interests of the country.
She said, “Let me just say that, over time, Nigeria has had to support its neighbours, especially immediate neighbours, to enhance their capacity to secure their countries as it relates to us.
“This is not the first time that Nigeria has supported Niger, Cameroon or Chad, and the president makes an assessment as to what is required, based on the request of their president and such requests are approved and the interventions provided is to enhance their capacity to protect their own territory as it relates to security also to Nigeria.”
An online medium had published a report yesterday that President Buhari approved N1.15bn to purchase 10 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles for the Nigerien government.
The record, which was sourced from the ‘appropriations’ page of the Ministry’s website, showed that in July 2022, N1,145,000,000 was approved for payment to Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited to supply the SUVs.
Bandits Ambush AIG, Kill Orderly In Bauchi
Bandits on Tuesday attacked the convoy of the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 12 Bauchi, Audu Madaki, injuring him and killing one of his police escorts.
The attack took place in the Lame/Burra Forest in Bauchi State.
According to reports, the convoy which was on its way out of Bauchi to Abuja on an official engagement was attacked by the terrorists in the Barde – Jagindi area of Kaduna State at about 2:30 pm.
A reliable source at the Zone 12 headquarters in Bauchi told our correspondent that AIG Audu Madaki was shot at and injured during the attack while his orderly was shot dead.
The AIG is said to be receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in Abuja while security has been beefed up around the area. Another source revealed that armed police personnel have been drafted to the area to comb the bushes in order to fish out the terrorists.
All efforts to get confirmation of the situation from the zonal police public relations officer, Thomas Goni, failed as he neither picked up the phone when his number was called nor replied to the messages sent to his mobile phone.
Insecurity Dwarfing PMB’s Achievements, Says APC Chieftain
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Chief Jide Awe has said that various achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government are being dwarfed by the myriad of challenges confronting the nation.
He also suggested the entrenchment of rotational presidency in Nigeria’s constitution to curb the recurring agitations by various zones ahead of every general election year.
Awe told LEADERSHIP in Ado Ekiti that the federal government had done well in the area of railway construction, provision of infrastructural facilities and other sectors but that the worsening insecurity, economy and corruption are the bane of the government.
“Whatever might be the achievements in so many areas of governance since the era of APC, they might have been dwarfed by insecurity. It has marred some of what we are branding as achievements, like railway construction, infrastructural facilities and others, which are being destroyed by the bandits.
Senate Leaders, Security Chiefs Move To Stop Buhari’s Impeachment
The leadership of the Senate and the service chiefs are working hard to prevent the impeachment of president Muhammadu Buhari.
This is coming just as the six-week impeachment threat to Buhari has entered the second week with signatures currently being collated, it was gathered.
But worried by the threat from the members of the National Assembly to remove President Buhari, the leaders of the Senate who are likely to be casualties of the pending impeachment, held a crucial meeting with the military chiefs and heads of security and intelligence agencies over the deteriorating security situation in the country.
At the National Assembly yesterday, Senate President Ahmad Lawan led other principal officers of the Senate and chairmen of security-related committees to the meeting.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, also led the three Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police, heads of Intelligence agencies NIA and DSS, and the Commandant General of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to the meeting.
The national security adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd) was represented because he was attending the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the time.
LEADERSHIP reports that despite prompt appropriation to the security agencies to the executive to fight insecurity, Nigerians are feeling more now more than ever before.
Despite frequent meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly members in the past seven years, the security challenges in the country keep increasing, a worrisome situation which pushed the angry lawmakers to serve an impeachment notice on Buhari.
But at yesterday’s meeting, before the participants shut out the media, Senate President Ahmad Lawan in his opening remarks said the meeting was at the instance of the Senate leadership.
“We have invited you today for what is obvious, what is before everyone, what is of concern and of interest to every Nigerian today. The Senate, before we went on recess last week Wednesday, had discussions over the security situation in the country.
“But even before then, we have had several discussions over the security situation.
“Let me say, this Senate particularly and indeed even the previous sessions of the National Assembly generally, have shown serious commitment and partnership with the executive arm of government.
“As far as I can remember, there has never been an administration in this country, especially since the Fourth Republic started in 1999, that invested so much resources in the security of this country like this present administration.
“We believe that, as a National Assembly, we have always met this Executive at the right position, at the right time, especially when it concerns investment in the security of life and property in Nigeria.
“We have also, in our individual capacities as committees of the National Assembly and, in fact, as a National Assembly, shown concern about the security situation,” he said.
He lamented that the security situation in the country has lingered definitely.
“We had hoped that by this time, the security situation in Nigeria would have been far better and Nigeria would have made more progress not only in the area of security but also in the area of economy, which is tied to the security situation again.
“I believe that all security agencies and armed forces have been doing their best but apparently we have to do more to achieve what we desire to achieve.”
He said the present situation is “most frightening because it is like there is nowhere to hide, nowhere to go. Insecurity is everywhere and especially, if it is coming to the point of dislocating the security situation where the government is quartered. We will really review and see what more we have to do and how differently we have to do.
“Our population is largely peasant. Most of our people are in the rural areas and they live their lives by going to farms. We all know this. In many parts of the country today, that is a herculean task.
“My belief is that we can do better to secure the rural areas, the so-called ungoverned spaces, at least for our population who go to farms to earn their living, ” Lawan said.
On the negative effect of insecurity to the country, Lawan said: “Where our agricultural productivity is drastically going down, that will complicate the security situation because most ordinary Nigerians care more about what he or she or what the family will eat. And of course, all other things are secondary.
“We have problems with our economy to some extent because of insecurity. No foreign direct investment or not as much as we would ordinarily attract to our country. Our prayer is to start seeing serious, remarkable and dramatic changes from today.
“We hope that our discussions will give us the opportunity to consider other things or other areas or ideas that we didn’t have before,” Lawan added.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, thanked the Senate leadership for the invitation, describing it as “an in-house discussion based on mutual concern” as he noted that issues of national security must be seen from a collective perspective.
Some Senators told LEADERSHIP that they are not backing down from the impeachment notice served on President Muhammadu Buhari if the security situation does not get better within the period stipulated.
“This is the key problem militating against the government which we think the federal government should be able to handle”.
The former Ekiti State APC chairman, who posited that the economy has been terribly managed, said corruption is also rearing its ugly head in the society.
“Though the government has been trying its best to turn things around, the issue of corruption which has been the key focal point of the Buhari administration has no solution yet because corruption has bedeviled the nation’s economy and crippled it. So some achievements recorded in the economic sector has been rubbished by the level of corruption in the country,” he said.