From Molly Kilete, Abuja
Minister for Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, yesterday ordered the military and all relevant security agencies in the country to crush any person or group of persons that threaten the nation’s sovereignty.
He warmed those who may want to breach the peace in the country to have a rethink, as the present administration would not fold its arms and allow a group of miscreants dictate the security of the nation.
He said government’s resolve to completely eradicate insurgency and criminality in the North-East, in particular, and Nigeria in general, remains unchanged.
Dan-Ali gave the warning when he received the report of the Inter-ministerial Committee set up to advise on the planned handing over areas liberated by the military from Book Haram.
The minister, who commended the committee members for a job well done, said: “Let me also use this opportunity to warn any person, or group of individuals or organizations under whatever cover, who wish to test the collective will of this administration, to know that we will not fold our arms and allow them to destroy our nation”.
“The relevant security agencies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have been mobilised to swing into action to identify and crush any possible threat to our country.”
He assured that government would implement the recommendations of the committee, who toured the Boko Haram affected states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, in the North-East, because the feedback received from the people and the governments of the affected states was commendable.
“I have listened carefully to the chairman’s presentations and I want to assure the honourable members of this committee that the government would carefully study the report with a view to implementing some of the recommendations,” he said.
Presenting the report, chairman of the committee, Major-General Azgaku Umar, who said rehabilitation forms part of the larger government strategies in rebuilding the North-East, however, noted that because of the security challenges in the affected areas, there were no civil and law enforcement agencies in the liberated areas for the restoration of civil rule.
He said the six-year insurgency has made it impossible for significant presence of law enforcement agencies in the area, making it difficult for the local authorities to remain in the area.
He pointed out that the displaced persons, while rebuilding their lives, need basic needs like shelter, as some of them have lost everything and would need assistance to get off again.