- Sultan condemns govts’ inaction
- Masari, NSA, IG, others meet, vow to end killings
- Police arrest leader of Katsina protesters
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja, Francis Sardauna in Katsina and John Shiklam in Kaduna
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed four ministers in charge of security to evolve new strategies aimed at containing the security challenges confronting the country.
Besides, the president yesterday dispatched security chiefs, led by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno, to Katsina State, rocked by a wave of protests over the insecurity in the state, to find lasting solutions to the deteriorating security challenges bedeviling the state and North-west in general.
Ministers of Defence, Police Affairs, Interior and Information and National Orientation met yesterday in Abuja to begin work on the presidential assignment.
The worsening security situation in the country has of recent attracted attention from both political, religious and community leaders who have called on both the federal and state governments to urgently address the activities of criminal cartels.
In his intervention yesterday, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Jamaatu Nasril Islam, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll, condemned the incessant killings by Boko Haram insurgents and bandits across the country.
The sultan, who is the spiritual leader of Nigerian Muslims, also blamed the spate of killings, kidnappings and banditry on governments’ inability to stop the carnage.
The four ministers are to deal with the security challenges in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto States and other parts of the country.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Defence said Ministers of Defence, Maj. Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi; Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, Interior; Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, and Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, met for three hours in compliance with the president’s directive.
Magashi said they resolved to drive the presidential directive to achieve “the end-state of putting the country back on the track of normalcy, especially the states facing daily incursions of banditary and terrorism.”
He said they reviewed the banditry and killings in Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States with a view to articulating fresh policy that could combat the insecurity in the area.
The defence minister added that the military would redouble efforts to decimate the bandits for peace to reign in their operational axis.
Magashi said the inter-ministerial meeting would hold every fortnight.
On his part, Dingyadi assured Nigerians of effective inter-ministerial and inter-agencies collaboration as deliberated at the meeting.He said such collaboration was in tune with the presidential directive to evolve new operational guidelines for implementation by security agencies involved in anti-banditry and anti- insurgency operations.
Mohammed said the meeting focused on how to deploy crisis communication strategy to end banditry in the country.
While reiterating the essence of information sharing and synergy among security agencies with a view to flushing out criminals, Mohammed rallied support for government’s efforts at battling insecurity. He explained that the strategic security meeting fulfilled its intended purpose as directed by Buhari.
Sultan Condemns Govts’ Inability to Tackle Insecurity
The sultan has condemned the incessant killings by Boko Haram insurgents and bandits across the country.
The sultan, who is the spiritual leader of Nigerian Muslims, also blamed the spate of killings, kidnappings, and banditry on governments’ inability to stop the carnage.
However, on the day the sultan made his intervention, the federal government intensified efforts to address the security siege by criminal cartels as the NSA led other top security chiefs to Katsina State to find lasting solutions to the deteriorating security challenges bedeviling the state and North-west in general.
The visit came a day after protesters marched on the streets of Katsina, the state capital, over the worsening insecurity in the state.
The police, yesterday, however, arrested the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Mr. Nastura Sharif, in connection with the protests in Katsina.
The sultan, in a statement yesterday, urged both the federal and state governments to wake up to their responsibilities of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians as enshrined in the constitution.
The sultan, in the statement by the Secretary General of the JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar-Aliyu, released to journalists in Kaduna, also enjoined Muslims to pray for God’s intervention to stop the unending killings and other related matters in the country.
He condemned the rising menace of rape across the country and called on the government to protect the female folks against gender-based violence.
The statement said: “The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), under the leadership of His Eminence, Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and JNI’s President-General, is in utter shockwave over the unfortunate repeated incidences of loss of precious lives and wanton destruction of property arising from well-coordinated attacks of armed bandits, Boko Haram terrorist groups and rapists.
“These repeated calamitous scenarios would have been avoided had the government risen to the occasion, we nonetheless as always condemn the repeated brutal acts in their entirety; especially the lackadaisical attitude of relevant security agencies that seemed to be overwhelmed, despite repeated calls by concerned and well-meaning Nigerians for decisive action.
“We implore the government to take all genuine calls, concerns so raised and recommendations proffered so far, even from perceived and/or alleged antagonists in good fate, in order to move the country on the path of glory – human security, as development in whatever guise, is utterly incomplete without security.”
On rape, the JNI stressed the need for government’s swift intervention through legislation so as to facilitate the trial of suspects.
Masari, NSA, IG Meet, Vow to End Killings
Monguno yesterday led other top security chiefs to Katsina State in a bid to find lasting solutions to the deteriorating security challenges bedeviling the state and North-west.
Among the security chiefs on the entourage of the NSA were the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu; Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Rufai Ahmad; the DG Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi and the Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency, Air Vice Marshal MS Usman.
The delegation, on arrival at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua airport, went straight into a meeting with the Governor, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari.
The visit of the top security officers came against the backdrop of the protests that rocked the state capital over rising spate of banditry, kidnapping and other heinous activities.
The protesters had demanded the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari and Masari for their inability to tackle the insecurity.
Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting that lasted for over one hour, Monguno called on local communities to provide intelligence on the activities of criminals to enable security agents end bloodletting in the area.
He said: “The president directed me to lead this team to find solutions to the insecurity challenges in the north western part of the country.
“We had an open frank discussion with the governor on the recent happenings in the Katsina State and other states in the north-west.
“What I saw on the ground is very disturbing; obviously we need to have collective efforts of both local communities and the security agents. We need to build confidence to win the trust of the local communities.
“You will recall the National Security Strategy, which was launched some few months ago by the office of the National Security Adviser, we emphasised on human security being the centre peace of the National Security Strategy of 2019.
“We are going to look into these areas that have specified the national security strategy to bring to an end the current threat facing not just Katsina State but even Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and others.”
The NSA noted that they had discussion with the governor on the causes and possible solutions to the problem.
According to him, the Buhari administration has spent more on security than predecessors since the country returned to democracy in 1999.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested the leader of the Katsina protests over their demonstrations against the massive killings in the North.
Sharif’s arrest was announced in Kaduna yesterday in a statement issued by the group’s Director of Operations, Mr. Aminu Adam.
Adam said Sharif was arrested by the police after “the peaceful protest”.
He said: “After the protest ended peacefully, the Katsina State Police Commissioner, Mr. Sanusi Buba, invited us to his office for an interaction during which he told us that the Inspector General of Police wanted to see Sharif.
“The commissioner handed us to a team of policemen, headed by the OC (Officer in Charge), Federal Operations Bureau (FOB), who led us to Abuja.
“We drove from Katsina to Abuja with the police team in a white bus and a hilux.
“However, on getting to the Force Headquarters in Abuja, they told us that Sharif is under arrest for the protest and they put him in detention.”