From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Mohmmadu Buhari on Tuesday ordered sustained action to end the menace of selective abduction and killings in the North Central and Northeastern parts of the country.
He gave the order at a meeting with the nation’s security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“The new marching order is that all the service chiefs and intelligence chiefs have been warned to go and reinvigorate efforts and to do more so that the North Central and Nigeria at large should enjoy better security, said the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, while fielding questions from State House Correspondents.
The IGP who gave insight into what transpired during their closed door, acknowledged the government’s responsibility to provide security for citizens, admitted that more needs to be done to change the insecurity narrative pervading the North Central and the Northwest among others where he said, people have been worried.
He said, “the President also observed and made a … remark that the constitutional responsibility of government is the provision of security, and he is ready to provide such. We should reinvigorate our efforts, which are yielding results in the Northeast, Southeast. But there is more to be done in the North central, Northwest, where people are worried and he has intelligence and information that schoolchildren and students are abducted, selective abductions and killings are done. This narrative must change.
“We have assured him and promised that we’ll make efforts to do more. He is also thanked and praised us for what has been done so far. That we should improve much so that people can go about their lawful businesses within the quickest possible means.”
Also fielding questions, Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd) expressed the government’s concern over the unfolding insecurity in Zanfara State and the North Central, just as he assured of the military’s determination to change the narrative.
“We believe that the spate at which these things are happening in Zamfara State and North central is a source of concern to the government and to all agencies that are responsible for the execution of the operations in the North Central.
“We discussed the need for urgency in our dealing with the bandits. We believe they’re becoming a nuisance; killing people, they are doing what they like, they make careless statements, they say what they think they should say in order to solicit the kind of audience they want from the society.”
Magashi said the meeting also appraised the developments generally, which, according to him, require all hands to be on deck with a view to halting the menace.
“We have appraised our position, we’ve found that we are capable, we can do this thing, but we need the cooperation of every Nigerian in order to ensure a free society,” he said.
Assuring of the preparedness of the security forces to end the menace of banditry among others in the country, the Minister said, “We’ll do our best to ensure the mission is successful and we’ll do all we can to ensure the completion of this mission, especially when equipment and other things are available to support the course of our tactical manoeuvres and that we’ll do very well from now.”
On the status of the Super Tocano jets recently procured to enhance military operations in the country, Magashi said:
“We are just testing them, six are still coming by the end of… maybe next week. So, when the twelve of them are here, I think the Chief of Air Staff will brief you on the operations that they are to undertake as soon as possible.”