From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The National Security Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, has declared National Taskforce on Prohibition of Illegal, Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism (NATFORCE) illegal.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who briefed alongside his Police Affairs counterpart, Mohammed Dingyadi, advised the NATFORCE leadership to disband itself with immediate effect or risk being disbanded forcefully by security agencies.
The Senate had in July passed into law the Bill establishing the Commission, while the House of Representatives is expected to pass its version upon resumption in September 2022.
Aregbesola also said investigation into Kuje correctional facility attack by gunmen still work in progress.
He said the council received reports from all service chiefs and inspector Genefal of Police, said the council chaired by president Mihammadu Buhari is “very satisfied” with the performance of all security agencies and that the country is moving to the phase of consolidated.
He said the council also commended the police for their performance during the Anambra, Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
“The Council has just concluded today’s meeting. It received briefings from all security chiefs and the Council is very satisfied with the performances of all our security chiefs; the military, the police and other security agencies. We are happy with their performance and the gains recorded so far.
“We are moving to the phase of consolidation of all those gains, such that by December, as ordered by the Chairman of the Council, the President, which he has said to all Nigerians before now, that we’ll put, essentially, most of the challenges of banditry particularly, insurgency, kidnapping for ransom, criminalities of that nature, far behind us.
“We are equally pleased with the performance of the Nigeria Police on the elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun, which elections have demonstrated our commitment to democracy and expression of the will of the people at the polls.
“Equally of concern is the presence of some illegal outfits that impersonate the legitimate security agencies. Of particular concern is a body called National Task Force on Illegal Importation of Goods, Small Arms and what have you, but the short name for it is NATFORCE.
“The Council declares that body an illegal organization, it should just simply disband itself, because the Council has ordered all security agencies to enforce the disbandment of that body and other such bodies that operate illegally without any force of law”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Police Affairs, Dingiyadi has assured that they are other negotiators involved in the negotiations with kidnappers of Abuja -Kaduna train abduction, insisting that Tukur Mamu’s arrest will not stop negotiations.
“Efforts are ongoing to have all Nigerians in the captivity of either kidnappers or bandits and we are not sparing anything to get them released.
“Mamu has been arrested by the DSS for actions that are not friendly to the objective of security management and control, as it concerns the victims of kidnapping that you have mentioned.
“The matter is in court and the court has ruled accordingly. We are not sparing any effort to release our abducted brothers and sisters, who are still in captivity.”
Dingyadi added, “maybe you only came to know Mamu because he made himself known. There are other negotiators who are there negotiating on behalf of those captives. The parents are also there, security agencies are also there, we are all negotiating. So don’t say because Mamu has been arrested, there’s no negotiator.
“People are there, working to ensure that…as Nigerians who are committed to the maintenance of peace, liberty and security for our fellow Nigerians, people go in to assist security agencies in this direction.”