•DHQ says US warning on ISIS not new
Chuks Okocha, Kingsley Nwezeh, Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday directed the armed forces and all security agencies to henceforth promote and implement comprehensive security philosophies and measures driven by long-established principles of jointness and synergies through inter-agency cooperation.
He also said his government’s policy tripod of ushering in economic prosperity, taming corruption and engendering an enabling security environment would not be realised without an armed force fit for the purpose.
He spoke at the graduation of Course 28 of Nigerian Defence College, Abuja, a day after the United States warned that terror groups, al-Qaeda and ISIS, have begun a clandestine movement into West Africa and exploiting local grievances and divides to drive their terror campaign.
However, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday downplayed the warning by the United States African Command (AFRICOM), stressing that it is not new.
Buhari, at the Course 28 of Nigerian Defence College graduation, said the goals of his administration would not be realised without an enabling security environment.
He said: “We cannot reach these goals without an enabling security environment. This is the part for all the Nigeria police, intelligence and security agencies and other significant state and non-state actors engaged in the provision of security.
“Moving forward, the armed forces and all the security agencies must promote and implement comprehensive security philosophies and measures driven by long established principles of jointness and synergies through inter-agency cooperation, defence transformation and reorganisation of the military to make it fit for purpose.”
The president, who was represented by the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), charged heads of security and defence services to ensure the realisation of these aspirations.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commandant, Nigerian Defence College (NDC), Rear Admiral M.M. Kadiri, said the NDC Course 28 was duly trained and prepared for higher challenges of national security and defence, having benefited from the statutory curriculum and special programmes in the college.
He said a total of 107 participants were presented for graduation.
DHQ Says US Warning on ISIS Not New
The Defence Headquarters yesterday said it would treat the warning by the US on the movements of terrorists to West Africa as a wake-up call to continue to contain terrorism in Nigeria.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, Coordinator of the Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO), Maj. Gen. John Enenche, said while it was on top of the situation, the call was not a new one as the Nigerian military had arrested foreigners among terror groups operating in Nigeria.
He said: “Will I call it a piece of advice or our attention being drawn to the fact that terrorists from other zones are coming here? I think it would be good for us to be keeping records of events as they unfold.
“For me this is not the first time they are raising such an alarm. The alarm is as old as maybe, five or 10 years ago and the armed forces and the country are conscious of it.
“When the conflict in Libya was declared officially ended, which did not end what happened, it was we, our NIA, state service and all that raised the information that these people are moving.
“Have we not captured foreigners among the people that have been terrorising us in this country? So, it is just like a call to keep doing what you are doing.”
Enenche assured the public that the security agencies were on top of the situation.
Kaigama Urges Danjuma, Akume Others to Help End Tiv, Jukun Conflict
Meanwhile, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja metropolitan Diocese, His Grace, Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has urged influential leaders in Taraba and Benue States such as Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), Chief Paul Unongo and former governors of Benue State, Senator George Akume and Senator Gabriel Suswam, to collectively work for an end to clashes between the Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups.
While lamenting the numerous deaths and wanton destruction of properties that have resulted from the inter-state communal clashes, Kaigama said land dispute and politics have been identified as the major causes of the conflict.
Speaking at a women conference at Masaka in Nasarawa State, Kaigama also urged the women to intervene and speak to their sons to drop their arms and embrace peace and brotherly love.
“I beg our eminent and respected elders such as Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), Sir and Lady Abu King Shuluwa, Mr. John Mamman, Senator George Akume, Mr. Damian Dodo (SAN), Senator Gabriel Suswam, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, Chief Paul Unongo, Elder Sam Ada, Senator Joel Ikenga and others to individually and collectively speak out clearly and emphatically to calm nerves,” he said.
Kaigama called on the federal and state governments to seriously check the reoccurring crisis, adding that the conflict has succeeded in destroying the agriculture and scaring investors thereby plunging the population into greater poverty
Again, UK Warns Citizens against Travelling to Some States
Meanwhile, the British government has again warned its citizens against travelling to Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe States, as well as riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.
It also advised its citizens against travelling within 20 kilometres of the border with Niger and Zamfara States.
The travel advisory was updated yesterday on its website by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).
The advisory was first issued when the global lockdown was imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
It said that the advice is being kept under constant review.
“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe states; riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, and within 20km of the border with Niger in Zamfara State.
“The FCO advises against all but essential travel to Bauchi, Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna States, within 20 km of the state border with Kaduna and Zamfara states in Niger State, west of the Kaduna River, Jigawa, Katsina and Kogi States, within 20 km of the border with Niger in Sokoto and Kebbi States, and “non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers and Abia states.”