From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved new security measures specifically for the South East and South South geo-political zones of the country.
This is even as a decision has been taken not to publicised measures to be deployed to tackle insecurity in the country henceforth for a more effective result.
The Council has agreed that the level of insecurity in the country, especially in the last one month must be reversed.
The acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, who briefed alongside the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, said President Muhammadu gave the approval during the security meeting he presided over at the presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
They security chiefs were also joined by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who noted that President Buhari presiding over the Security Council three times in two weeks “shows the premium the President and the administration has placed on security issues.”
Baba said the Security Council meeting, which has taken place three times during the last 11 days assessed the situation in the country, particularly Southeast and South-South, as it affects law and order.
He said: “we have some measures that have been approved by the Council to check …We have some measures which we have outlined and have been approved by the Council and we’ll see how we can change the narrative within the quickest possible means to restore law and order and restore peace in that area.
“We solicit all law abiding citizens to work with us to identify and deal with the situation. That is that, I may not go into the details of how we will do that.”
Monguno said the meeting stressed the need to address the security challenges in the country particularly those that have arisen in the last few months.
He said President gave matching orders to ideal with the emerging problems physically.
The NSA said: “The first two meetings were inconclusive, but today’s meeting is the final in the three meetings. Again, Mr. President’s concern at the growing trend of insecurity has been highlighted and the meeting, basically, was briefed by the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defense Staff and the Inspector-General Police.
“I briefed the meeting on strategic issues in relation to security, while the Chief of Defense Staff briefed on operational issues, and Inspector General of Police briefed on constabulary matters. On my part, I briefed Council on the enablers of crime and the need to find quick responses with a view to mitigating the growing threats to society.
“These enablers are discussed in detail and Mr. President has already given direction on how to deal with them, specifically issues of drug abuse as propellants for crime, how to make the criminal justice system much more effective, as well as looking at issues of unemployment, which of course, the federal executive council had given an approval, through previous memos on how to get 100 million people out of poverty, that was also discussed. Then, again, the lack of an effective crime reporting system.
“Again, the President has given direction on how to make these things effective. Already, the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) has been given certain instructions on how to deal with this, but by and by Council has agreed that the level of insecurity in the country, especially in the last one month, is something that has to be addressed with the immediacy that it requires and at the operational level, of course, the Chief of Defense Staff has been working with the service chiefs and the recommendations they’ve made to the Council are already being handled.”
Irabor on part said far reaching decisions have been made that will boost the operations of the security agencies.
The CDS said: “No doubt, far-reaching decisions were made. On our part, just as the National Security Adviser indicated, I briefed on various measures that the Armed Forces, in partnership with other security agencies, the measures we’ve taken to stem the tide of insecurity across the country.
“The council was pleased with the actions and of course, the prayers that were made, which Council has also graciously undertaken to look into. These, of course, have to do with manpower development, training and equipment issues, and thankfully, the glow on my face should, of course, give you an indication as to the graciousness of the National Security Council, in relation to the briefings that we’ve given in this regard and I believe that going forward, we shall be translating that and it will have some great impact on the security disposition across the country.”