Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
AHEAD of today’s inauguration, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, met with service chiefs and ordered them to halt proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the country.
Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, who briefed State House Correspondents after the meeting, said the president directed them to ensure that they block the gaps and ensure other areas of concern are equally addressed.
Ibas said: “I’m sure you will recall we met just about two weeks ago but, the president called for this meeting, given that tomorrow (today), he would be sworn in. Of course, basically, the meeting was to do further appraisal on the actions taken after the last meeting.
“You all recall, too, the spate of insecurity, particularly armed banditry, kidnapping and robbery had been specifically on the increase in some parts of the country.
“The briefings were to the effect that we had better responses from the military and security agencies in those areas that we have earlier mentioned.
“This is particularly because of the improved synergy amongst the various agencies that are providing information and intelligence.
“Furthermore, we have also had members of the public voluntarily offering information in the areas of security challenges.
“I think, on the whole, Mr. President was happy with the security situation, the efforts that the armed forces and the security agencies are carrying out to tackle the security challenges.
“Another area of concern was the arms inflow into the nation. It is only God perhaps that can police such an expands of border that we have.
“That is an area that Mr. President has directed that we do all that we can to ensure that we block the gaps and those security areas that we also need to address.
“The solution, of course, is to identify other means and strategies of addressing the border porous nature. The military, of course, our responsibility is to defend the country but there are other agencies of government that are responsible for manning the various border openings.
“An option, perhaps, is the surveillance in the air and other things are being considered.”