President Muhammadu Buhari has given fresh marching orders to service chiefs and other heads of security agencies to end abductions and killings of innocent people in the North-Central and North-West.
He stated this on Tuesday three weeks after he met with the service chiefs, where he vowed not to leave office as a failure.
He directed security chiefs to find tactics to solve the security challenges in the country.
The President gave the order after receiving a briefing from security heads at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He commended them for their efforts so far, which he said were yielding positive results in the Northeast and Southeast.
But conspicuously absent was the National Security Adviser, Major-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd).
On August 19, President Buhari promised to do everything possible to address the security challenges facing the country and expressed his wish not to leave government in 2023 “as a failure”.
Monguno, who briefed State House reporters after that meeting, said the President expressed happiness over the successes recorded so far by the security agencies in the fight against insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, and other criminal elements in various parts of the country.
But between the last meeting of the President with security chiefs and yesterday, there were some major security breaches, such as invasion of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna State, mass abductions in Zamfara State and reprisal killings in Plateau State.
Monguno’s absence raised a cloud of dust, especially after last Wednesday’s sacking of the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, for ‘non-performance’.
It was gathered that more heads are expected to roll as President Buhari begins an unprecedented move to weed out non-performing ministers from his cabinet.
The service chiefs at the meeting were led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor. The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Abubakar Malami; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, were all in attendance.
Buhari’s position was made known to State House correspondents by IGP Alkali after the three-hour meeting.
He said the President also directed them to redouble their efforts to restore security across the country to enable citizens go about their normal business.
He said, “Service chiefs and the intelligence chiefs have been able to brief the President on the security situation in the country. The President has also observed and made a remark that the constitutional responsibility of government is the provision of security, and he is ready to provide such.
“We should reinvigorate our efforts, which are yielding results in the Northeast, Southeast, but there is more to be done in the North-Central and Northwest, where people are worried. He has intelligence and information that schoolchildren and students are abducted, selective abductions and killings are going on. This narrative must change. We have assured him and promised him that we’ll make efforts to do more.”
The Minister of Defence, Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), also told newsmen after the meeting that the government reviewed the situation in the country and concluded that it can resolve the security challenges, especially in Zamfara State, with the cooperation of Nigerians.
According to him another batch of six A-29 Super Tucano Jets will arrive in the country next week while the jets in the first batch already delivered are being test run.
The Zamfara State Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, has said the military onslaught against bandits is yielding tremendous success, especially since the shutdown of telecoms services in the state.
FG declares public holiday to mark Eid-ul-Mawlud
The Federal Government has declared October 19 as a public holiday in commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Shuaib Belgore, on Friday.
The statement stated that the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government.
Aregbesola congratulated all Nigerian Muslim faithful, both at home and in the diaspora, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Mawlud.
He admonished Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which were the virtues of the Holy Prophet, as doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.
The minister enjoined Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to refrain from violence, lawlessness and other acts of criminality.
“As the indisputable leader of our race, we (Nigerians) must show responsible leadership in Africa,” he said.
Aregbesola called on Nigerians to refrain from all divisive tendencies capable of causing crisis in the country.
He also urged Nigerians and the youth in particular, to embrace the virtues of hard work and peaceful disposition to fellow humans.
“Irrespective of faith, ideology, social class and ethnicity I urge you to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in its effort to build a progressive and enviable nation that all citizens would be proud of,” he said.
FG establishing oxygen plants in 36 states – NEC
The National Economic Council (NEC) says the Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states of the federation.
Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi made this known to State House correspondents after a virtual NEC meeting on Friday presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Umahi said that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who chaired the NEC Ad hoc committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to ease the lockdown of the economy, presented a report to the council.
“The Federal Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states in the country, but currently six states have been provided with oxygen cylinders so far.
“The Federal Government has paid for 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines coming in batches and therefore a considerable amount of the vaccines will come into the country between now and January 2022. Nigeria is now classified among the 50 countries in the green zones.”
Umahi said that NEC also received states’ performance report on COVID-19 from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He said that the council was also updated on the global situation of COVID-19.
He said, “Over 237 million confirmed cases and over 4.8 million deaths due to COVID-19. There are now over 6.3 billion vaccine doses administered. Nigeria is still in the first wave of vaccination and vaccination tools will improve as the country receives additional vaccines. COVID-19 cases have declined by 7.5 per cent over the last week.”
Umahi said that states were urged to continue to push testing activities in order to detect new cases before the situation worsened.
According to him, an update on travel restrictions on certain countries expected to be announced soon by the Federal Government.
The governor said that the council also received an update on the situation regarding Cholera outbreak.
“Current Cholera situation in the country; suspected number of cases is 88,704. Number of states is 31 and the FCT. Number of deaths is 3,208.
“Multi-sectoral emergency operation centres activated at level 2 continues to coordinate the national response,” he said.
He listed the challenges to include difficulty in accessing some communities due to insecurity, open defecation and lack of potable drinking water.
Umahi said other challenges were lack of basic health primary healthcare infrastructure, inadequate health facility and cholera commodities for case management.
Umahi said that NEC commended the insightful presentations and congratulated the outgoing Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on his new appointment at the WHO and also welcomed the incoming Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa.
Bakare meets with Buhari, opposes clamour for power rotation
Founder of Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, says the region to produce the president of Nigeria should not be an issue.
He stated this in Abuja on Friday during an interaction with reporters at the presidential villa after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that Nigerians are only bothered about a leader that would ensure the prosperity of the country.
The pastor said the “immaturity” of the citizens is responsible for “making us say power must either be in the North or be in the South, instead of looking for the best.
“Listen to me, if where the President comes from will make the place he has come from to be better, the northern part of Nigeria should be richest and the most progressive and the most developed because out of 61 years, the North has produced either the President or heads of state for 40 to 41 years and yet, see the retrogression in the North.
“If it’s from the South, why should a person like President Obasanjo freeze and seize the account of Lagos State in his own tenure? If it’s from South-South or South-East, why couldn’t President Jonathan use all his powers to develop South-South/South-East?
“If there are agreements between politicians on rotation, a bargain is a bargain. That is between them. But as far as this country is concerned, what we need at this stage is a man who can drive us to the Eldorado.”
The pastor commended the national assembly for empowering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode of transmitting election results.
“Perhaps one of the best things the present national assembly has done, especially the senate, because, with that, Nigerians can vote and then results can be transmitted so easily,” he said.
“Not only that, part of the state of the nation address that I did on October 10, I emphasised how Nigeria youth, especially undergraduates, are disenfranchised in our country.”
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