Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Service chiefs led by the Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd.), Thursday in the State House, Abuja met with President Muhammadu Buhari and demanded a new set of military equipment to combat insecurity.
The demand was part of the presentation made on behalf of the military by Dan-Ali to the Security Council meeting.
Ali, it was learnt, told the council that provision of the equipment had become compelling if the battle against insurgency and other forms of insecurity in the country must be contained.
A statement by Dan-Ali’s spokesman, Col. Tukur Gusau, containing the demand was made available to journalists after the meeting.
“Finally, the Minister requested for provision of more equipment for the armed forces in order to sustain the tempo in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges across the country,” the statement said.
According to the statement, Dan-Ali told the meeting that the collaboration between the armed forces and other security agencies was yielding fruitful results.
It also said operation Sharan Daji had been extended to Niger border in order to forestall the repeat of killings in Zamfara, Sokoto and Birnin-Gwari in Kaduna State.
The statement also said Dan-Ali reported that security forces had been directed to intensify patrol along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.
“He reminded the council that the armed forces of Nigeria in collaboration with other security agencies are doing a lot to address the turbulent security situation in the country
“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 border.
“The operation has recently been reinforced with 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 order 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,” it added.
The statement also said the minister told the security council that there had been a review of Operation Safe Haven in the North-central region.
According to the statement, the minister highlighted the need to deploy security forces to all areas liberated by the military with a view to consolidating on the victory already recorded.
It also said Dan-Ali disclosed that Operation Delta Safe had been sustained in Niger Delta, resulting in the reduction of illegal and criminal activities.
It added: “There was a review of Operation Safe Haven leading to appointment of a new Commander in the North-central.
“The minister also 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.
“In the South-South Honourable Minister of Defence informed the council that 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.”