President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja directed security chiefs to ensure peaceful and stable socio-economic environment across the country and also ensure the safety of oil pipelines.
Some of the security chiefs who attended a briefing session with the President on Monday revealed to newsmen the orders they got from him and what transpired at the meeting.
”Mr President has directed that the council and the members of armed forces ensure a peaceful society in 2020″, said Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ibas, who revealed that the meeting reviewed the nation’s security situation in 2019, with emphasis on ongoing internal and regional operations.
”To that effect, we are more than determined to continue from where we stopped in 2019 and to ensure that we sustain our various operations to ensure a secured Nigeria for all of us,” he maintained.
He revealed that the meeting resolved to assess the security developments in areas where relative peace had been restored with a view to withdrawing the military to concentrate on other emerging threats and concerns in the country.
”With respect to operations within the country, it was generally agreed and noted that the security agencies have done their very best in ensuring that the deliverables are made clear.
”You will recall that the various operations in the country in the northeast, northwest, north central, the southeast as well as the southwest where all members of the armed forces are taking part as well as the intelligence agencies have ensured that we all enjoyed a better holiday period that has just been observed.
”We also recalled that in those areas where the military have been able to achieve desired objectives, from the first quarter of next year, the civil authority will be preparing to take back those responsibilities as the military draws back its forces from those areas.
”This will enable the military to focus its attention on other emerging threats and areas of concern.”
On maritime security, the Naval boss disclosed that a lot had been achieved in the protection of the nation’s maritime environment.
”It also observed that in the maritime environment a lot has been done to ensure that our resources are protected.
”The outcomes of the operations there are have seen to the arrest of about six vessels that were involved in stealing of the nation’s maritime resources.”
The Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, who also spoke said the president challenged security chiefs on the need to bring an end to cases of crude oil theft in the country.
Adamu said the president specifically enjoined the security agencies to intensify security along the petroleum pipelines and other facilities to check the menace.
“Sequel to the improvement in the general security situation in the country, we have been charged by the President to ensure there is a near zero crime society in all geo-political zones; in fact, the whole of the country.
“So, we’ve also been charged to increase security along the pipelines, to make sure that crude oil theft is stopped completely because the loss that the country is facing in that regard is not tolerated,’’ he said.
The IGP also noted that the country had witnessed a significant drop in the activities of bandits and kidnappers following an improvement in security situation across the country.
“We have noticed within this quarter that the security situation in the country is stable. We made comparison of what happened in the previous quarters and this last quarter and we saw that there is tremendous decrease in kidnappings, banditry, armed robbery and even acts of cultism.
“You can see from the situation in the North-West zone of the country that banditry and kidnapping has reduced tremendously and we have statistics to back what we are saying,’’ he said
Adamu also revealed that a good number of bandits and kidnappers had been apprehended along Kaduna – Abuja and Kaduna – Birnin Gwari roads.
According to him, many of the bandits’ camps had been destroyed while the police have intensified efforts to apprehend those bandits who refused to surrender.
“Those that refused to accept peace initiatives, we have been able to identify their camps especially along Kaduna – Abuja road; along Birnin Gwari – Niger axis and we went to the dens of these kidnappers, we went to their camps and we dislodged them from some of these camps.
“In fact in the security meeting we gave specific numbers of the camps we destroyed and the casualties the bandits recorded as a result of that.
“So, that had made also some of them to surrender and some of them relocated. Those that have relocated we are following them to know the new locations with a view to apprehending them,” he said.
The Police boss said security agencies were also advised to support the peace initiative on Tiv/Jukun crisis in Benue and Taraba states in order to achieve sustainable peace in the affected areas.
“Recently, there were series of peace initiatives especially on the Tiv/Jukun crisis. The federal government came up with initiatives by bringing the leadership of the two states and their traditional rulers.
“We have been asked to support that initiative and see to it that dialogue succeeds and that there is peace between the Jukun and Tiv,”he said