President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday held a meeting with security chiefs ahead of his today’s 10-day working visit to the United Kingdom.
During the closed-door parley, the Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), canvassed urgent provision of more fighting equipment to enable troops operating on the frontlines to sustain the tempo in the battle against the Boko Haram sect and other security challenges nationwide.
The call comes against the backdrop of the Federal Government’s recent approval of a $1 billion to facilitate the procurement of military hardware and other tools to check the prevailing insecurity in the land.
The minister’s request was contained in a statement by his Public Relations Officer, Colonel Tukur Gusau, and made available to State House Correspondents after the National Security Council presided over by the president.
Dan-Ali, had while briefing the council on the sundry activities of security agencies to tame the turbulent situation in the country, disclosed of efforts by troops of Operation Sharan Daji to forestall future incidents of insecurity along the Zamfara, Sokoto and Birnin-Gwari axis.
According to him, the operation has been extended to cover the fringes of Niger Republic.
“The operation has recently been reinforced with more troops from the armed forces, police and Department of State Services (DSS) and is supported by the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance wing of 207 Quick Response Group of the Nigerian Air Force.”
The minister said security agencies had been directed to increase patrol along the Abuja-Kaduna highway to checkmate criminal activities and tackle abductions in the area.
Dan-Ali also reiterated the need for the deployment of police and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the North-East to consolidate the gains of military operations.
This, according to him, would enable the military to push forward its clearance exercises.
The minister also informed the council of efforts by Operation Delta Safe to sustain its mission against illegal activities as well as reduce oil bunkering, militancy and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.
Present at the meeting were the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno; Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique; Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; Director-General of DSS, Lawan Daura; and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.