President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met behind closed doors with the nation’s security chiefs.
The meeting, which was held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was meant to review ongoing efforts aimed at tackling security challenges across the country.
Those who attended the meeting included the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique.
The Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; the Director-General of the Department for State Services, Lawan Daura; and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, also attended.
At the end of the meeting Dan-Ali’s spokesman, Tukur Gusau, issued a statement, giving an insight into what transpired at the meeting.
According to the statement, the security chiefs seized the opportunity of the meeting to demand for more equipment from the Federal Government.
The minister’s spokesman said in order to forestall future security incidences in Zamfara, Sokoto and Birnin-Gwari axis, Operation Sharan Daji has been extended to cover up to the fringes of Niger Republic border.
The statement read, “The operation has recently been reinforced witlh more troops from the Nigerian Armed Forces, Nigeria Police and Department of State Services and is supported by the Intelligence, Surveillance and Recognisance Wing of 207 Quick Response Group of the Nigerian Air Force.
“The joint operation has successfully arrested some suspected armed bandits and recovered arms and ammunition.
“Similarly, in other to checkmate the criminal activities along Abuja-Kaduna highway, security agencies have been directed to increase patrols along the axis to address cases of attacks and kidnappings.”
Dan-Ali was also said to have briefed the President on the security situation in the Niger Delta.
“Operation Delta Safe has sustained its operations against illegal activities in the Niger Delta region with resultant reduction in illegal oil bunkering, militancy and pipeline vandalism,” he was quoted as saying.
He said the meeting also reviewed Operation Safe Haven leading to appointment of a new Commander in the North Central.
He reiterated the need for the deployment of the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in all areas liberated by the military in the North-East in order to consolidate on the gains of military operations as well as to enable the military push forward in its clearance operations.
The National Economic Council presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had last December resolved that $1bn be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account to boost the fight against insecurity.
The resolution however attracted criticisms from some Nigerians, including some state governors.
Some federal lawmakers had also argued at the time that only the National Assembly could make appropriations to the security agencies.