By Julianah Taiwo
The Federal Government has set up a committee to investigate the crude oil theft in the Niger Delta. The National Security Council on Friday directed the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF) to set up a high-powered investigation committee into the crude oil theft with a view to unravelling those behind it.
Minister of Interior, Rafiu Aregbesola, said the team is to determine the rate of illegalities involved and perpetrators of such acts that are grossly affecting the economy of the nation and report back to the council. Chief of Defence Staff who also briefed journalists stressed that the military will sustain its tempo of fighting oil theft.
“Activities of the Armed Forces and other security agencies within the oil and gas base were also commended but with the directive to sustain the pressure and it is our resolve to deal decisively with those who have been involved in those illegal acts,” he said.
He revealed that a total of 101 combatants comprising members of the Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) groups have been moved from detention facilities for de-radicalization. The council also directed the immediate stoppage of all illegal mining activities across Nigeria.
“All security agencies have been ordered to check illegal mining all over the country. Illegal mining operations and activities in the country are ordered to be stopped and all security and intelligence agencies are to enforce this,” Aregbesola said.
Aregbesola further disclosed that the Security Council is committed to ensuring a free and transparent electoral process as Nigeria prepares for its general elections next year.
He therefore, urged politicians to pursue their democratic ambitions with decorum and in accordance with the laws of the land. Minister of Police Affairs, Dingyadi said an agreement has been reached to ensure the re-opening of the Cement Company in Ogbajana, Kogi State, to give room for peace in the State.
Dingyadi said the agreement was reached under the supervision of the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.
President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the meeting which held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. In attendance at the meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd); and the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.
Also in attendance are the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd); Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi. Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman; Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar and Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Samuel Adebayo, were all at the meeting.