President Muhammadu Buhari and the state governors in Nigeria have reached agreements on how best to secure the nation, following the rising cases of insecurity across the country.
Rising from a three hour long meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, the president called for a joint strategy to bring various conflicts to an end within time limits.
In attendance (virtually) were the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, heads of defence, security and intelligence agencies, and members of the Security Committee of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum represented by one governor from each of the six geo-political zones.
The President used the opportunity to dispel commonly held assumptions that the terrorists in the Northeast had far more weapons and money than the government, stressing that what is left of them are “mere scavengers desperate for food, raiding shops and markets, and killing innocent persons in the process.”
“These terrorists are in the localities. How is it that they are not short of small arms?” he queried the security and intelligence chiefs.
According to President Buhari, “We have said enough on the need for them to rejig their operations. I am glad that there is better synergy and cooperation which are very important. I have directed the Service Chiefs to meet among themselves in-between the National Security Council meetings. The services have resources; yes, they need more, and mobility, and are doing their best, but there is a need for better gathering and interpretation of intelligence. Our intelligence-gathering must be improved.”
While requesting for a security bail out by the president, the state governors and service chiefs pointed to the problem of coordination among military and security chiefs and played up their own security roles which included USD1 billion they allowed the President to withdraw from the Excess Crude Account for weapons procurement two years ago.