Defence minister urges prayers against insecurity
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
As the nation celebrates Christmas today, the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, yesterday ordered a 24-hour patrol and tight security in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The IG gave the directive to all Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police in charge of zonal and state commands nationwide to ensure a peaceful celebration.
The order is coming as the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), urged Christians to take advantage of the remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ to pray for the country to overcome her security challenges.
The IG also directed the Commissioners of Police to ensure massive deployment of intelligence and other operational assets of the force particularly on major highways, airports, railway stations, recreational centres, motor parks, places of worship, financial institutions, among others.
A statement issued by Force PRO and Commisioner of Police, Frank Mba, said the strategic officers were also directed to ensure that deployed personnel were adequately supervised for utmost professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
He warned that “acts bordering on indiscipline, extortion and intimidation of travellers and other road users will not be condoned”.
While congratulating Christians in the country as they join the faithful across the globe to celebrate the symbolic anniversary of the birth of Christ, the IG expressed profound appreciation to all Nigerians for their support to the police and other security agencies in the fight against crimes in the country.
He assured the nation of improved police service delivery and security generally in 2021.
Meanwhile, the IG enjoined Nigerians to take precautionary measures to reduce exposure to security risks and the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
He stressed that citizens should avoid night travels, over-speeding, over-loading, stopping on lonely highways and unnecessary flaunting of personal details and wealth on social media.
“Citizens are also enjoined to voluntarily adhere to the COVID-19 prevention regulations and protocols to prevent further spread of the virus.
“The IG, on behalf of the entire officers of the force, wishes Nigerians a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year in advance”, it said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Defence, Major General Magashi, has urged Christians to take advantage of the Christmas services and supplications to pray for the country to overcome her security challenges.
Magashi gave the charge in a statement felicitating with Christians on the occasion of Christmas celebration.
He urged them to be Christ-like in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ by showing compassion to fellow Nigerians irrespective of religeous differences and to pray for peace in the country.
The defence minister harped on the need for peaceful co-existence, unity and peace especially as the country is fighting insurgency, banditry and kidnapping among other criminal tendencies.
He said the season is the reason to turn to God in fervent prayer to crown the sacrifices of our fighting forces to attain maximum victory over the adversaries.
While giving kudos to the troops who by reason of their call to duty which is primarily to defend the nation’s territorial integrity, would not be able to celebrate Christmas with their families and loved ones, assured them that the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, would not allow their sacrifices to go unrewarded.
Magashi, therefore, noted that the least appreciation Nigerians could show to the nation’s gallant soldiers who are fighting patriotically so that “the citizens could sleep with their eyes closed even when they themselves can’t afford to sleep is to pray for them and be security conscious at this auspicious time”.
He thanked the leadership of the services and heads of security agencies and their civilian counterparts for the recent feat attained in the timely rescue and return of the kidnapped students in Kankara, Katsina State.
The minister, in a statement, described the successful operation that culminated in bringing back the kidnapped children as unprecedented in denying the kidnappers freedom of action, saying that such victory over the adversaries was the most beautiful Christmas and New Year special gift to the nation.
The minister tasked the troops in various locations to be focused in invigorating their firing power and to hold the ground resolutely without allowing any crack on the walls of national defence adding that the support of all Nigerians was critical to the attainment of security for the country for