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We’re Deploying Technology to Tackle Security Threats, Buhari Tells S/West Monarchs

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja assured traditional rulers from the South West geopolitical zone that his administration was doing everything possible to tackle security challenges in the country.  

Responding to an address by the Obas led by the Ooni of Ife , Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi during a courtesy visit to the State House, the President said:

“Working with the State governments we intend to beef up the equipping of the police force with advanced technology and equipment that can facilitate the work of the security agencies.

”  

The President disclosed that he “will be issuing directives to the appropriate federal authorities to speedily approve licensing for States requesting the use of drones to monitor forests and other criminal hideouts,” adding that, “We also intend to install CCTVs on highways and other strategic locations so that activities in some of those hidden places can be exposed, more effectively monitored and open to actionable review.

He spoke further: 

“This administration will continue to do everything necessary to protect the lives of all Nigerians and ensure that every Nigerian in every state is safe, and that our people can live in peace and harmony, regardless of ethnicity, religion or region. As a government, we remain committed to the ideals of our democracy, particularly entrenching the rule of law and the sanctity of life.”

He also assured the royal fathers “and the entire nation that we will enforce the law, prosecute law breakers and secure an atmosphere of tranquility for all Nigerians whereever they choose to live and also protect our communities from all forms of crimes. This is both in our interests as an administration and the interests of the people who voted us into office. 

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“We need security to deliver on our many programmes to the people. There can be no prosperity if there is no security.

“This is not only a message of hope but a call to action to all of us as we seek ways to secure our country.

“On our part, as the Federal Government, we are ready to deal decisively with anyone that is fomenting this spate of criminal activities by every means necessary. We intend to deal severely with those evil Nigerians inciting violence for political ends.”

While acknowledging the presence of significant security challenges in the South West and other parts of the country, President Buhari said  such  understanding informed the ongoing consultations embarked by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo with some traditional rulers “so that together we can proffer solutions to the lingering security problems in the South-West and other parts of the country.”

According to the President, “These consultations are important because traditional rulers form a critical part of governance structures, especially in their respective communities, where they feel the pulse of the people being the closest to the populace at the grassroots level.

“As a government, at all times, we need your active collaboration as we continue to deal with crimes of kidnapping, banditry and other forms of unlawful and criminal attacks resulting in needless deaths and causing fear among our people.”

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“There are some who might want to cause instability and difficulties, but we are very confident that God willing and working together as a nation, we will be able to overcome such difficulties and all our problems, and set our country on the path of peace and prosperity,” he stated.

Drawing attention to the fact that “the dynamics for safeguarding security keep changing,” President Buhari noted that “we must adapt our strategies to these challenges as well as adopt modern, technological and people-centred methods in achieving these goals.”

According to the President, “When Nigerians voted massively for us in 2015, we focused on three areas – security, economy and fighting corruption. We have not relented on this promise and we will not.”

Going forward, he declared: “Let me be very clear about our firm resolve to change the security architecture of Nigeria. It is one of the top priorities for this government but we won’t be able to achieve this goal without the support and input of you, our royal fathers.

“As the traditional authorities in your communities, government and the security agencies will be relying on you to monitor the several different communities and people coming in and out of your areas.

“We hope that, for instance, traditional rulers would be able to observe new entrants into the community by requesting leaders of such ethnic groups to notify the traditional authorities of new intakes, thereby creating the opportunities for the gathering of actionable intelligence which tracks such movements in and out of communities thereby offering early warning signals.”

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Outlining some of these interventions, President Buhari said they “include an expedited commencement of community policing, a robust revamping of police intelligence gathering capacity and the significant boosting of the numbers of security personnel in our local communities. This in specific terms will include recruiting a lot more police officers and doing so right from their local government areas, where they would then be stationed in the best practice of community policing.” 

According to him, “We will equally continue to bring in our military when needed to complement the work of the police including possible deployment of troops on certain highways on a temporary basis, and the use of the Air Force assets to bomb hideouts where criminals are located.” 

Admitting that these measures are inter-related and have to be well coordinated, he stressed that, “The speedy implementation of community policing will facilitate a more effective collection of intelligence. This is especially in the area of a more useful and effective intelligence gathering process that traditional rulers will play some of the most critical roles.”

Earlier, the Ooni, as well as other traditional rulers with him,  had individually apprised the President with security challenges they were facing in their domain and called on the President to support their efforts in addressing the issues.

CRIME

MNJTF Troops Eliminate Dozens, Capture 40 Terrorists in Lake Chad

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Troops of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) have killed dozens of terrorists and captured more than 40 in recent operations in the Lake Chad Basin.

The Chief of Military Public Information for MNJTF, Lt. -Col. Kamarudeen Adegoke, made this known in a statement yesterday in N’Djamena Chad.

Adegoke said the troops also destroyed several terrorists camps during the clearance and stabilisation operations in the region conducted from January 18 to 29.

He added that 87 Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists surrendered within the period.

Adegoke said in Sector 1, Cameroon, the troops conducted ambush operations on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23 in the general area of Kolofata-Kirawa, captured one terrorist alive and recovered significant quantity of assorted foodstuff.

According to him, the Sector has been very active in dominating its area through land and maritime operations especially in areas such as Tchika, Gore Kendi and Kerena, among others.

In Sector 2, Chad, he said the troops had dominated the maritime domain from Bagalam-Kongalam to Koulfoua and denied the terrorists freedom of operation.

The MNJTF spokesman said this had led to the return of about 3,000 civilians in the general area of Bakatorolorom.

Adegoke also said troops of Sector 3, Nigeria, had on Jan. 18 and Jan. 23, intercepted a Boko Haram logistics supplier in Baga in possession of motorcycle spare parts.

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He added that the troops on Jan. 27, encountered terrorists along Damasak–Gubio road who fled on sighting the troops and abandoned two motorcycles, two hand grenades and some terrorists uniforms.

Adegoke said a raid operation on terrorists’ camp in Matari on the Niger/Nigeria border was conducted by troops of Sector 4, Niger, on Jan. 21 and Jan 23, with the support of Sector 3, Nigeria, and other partners.

According to him, the well conducted special forces operation led to the destruction of terrorists’ camp, neutralisation of over a dozen terrorists, destruction of their equipment and capture of two high value target criminals.

“There was no casualty on our forces side as they were successfully extricated.

“The courageous troops of Sector 4, Niger, acting on intelligence reports also swooped on three suspected terrorists logisticians in Nguigmi market on Jan. 29 in Niger Republic.

“They were trying to buy supplies for suspected BHT/ISWAP key leaders hiding in the Lake Chad, a total sum of N1.2 million (old notes) and CFA160,000 were recovered.

“The criminals are in custody undergoing further profiling.

“On same day, troops of Sector 4 in continuing offensive operations conducted a special forces raid operation in Afofo forest in Niger Republic and destroyed a terrorist camp and captured 36 suspected criminals.

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“In the process of withdrawing from this operations, the troops intercepted a FJ45 Toyota vehicle loaded with assorted pharmaceutical products possibly being ferried to the Lake Chad areas,” he said.

Adegoke said that 77 terrorists comprising fighters and their families surrendered in the last two weeks to MNJTF Sector 4 troops in response to kinetic and non-kinetic activities of the MNJTF.

He added that eight others surrendered in the same period to Sector 1, Cameroon and Sector 2, Chad troops, making a total of 85 surrendered terrorists within the period.

According to him, all the surrendered are being treated in line with International Humanitarian Laws and profiled for further action by relevant state and non-governmental organisations.

Nigerian Ambassador to Chad Hails MNJTF, Pledges More Support

Newly appointed Nigerian Ambassador to Republic of Chad, Amb. Lami Remawa–Ahmed, has commended the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) for their efforts in tackling the scourge of terrorism.

Remawa–Ahmed gave the commendation when she visited the force Headquarters at Camp  Farcha in N’Djamena, Chad yesterday.

The Chief of Military Public Information for MNJTF, Lt.-Col. Kamarudeen Adegoke, made this known in a statement on Tuesday.

The ambassador praised the work of the MNJTF and its various Sectors in tackling the scourge of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the region.

Recalling the dark days when the terrorists were operating all over the region and causing havoc, she said the tremendous efforts of the MNJTF and other security outfits had changed the narrative favourably.

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Remawa–Ahmed commended officers and men of the force for their commitment, courage and hard work which was largely responsible for the success so far achieved.

She also appreciated the political will of the leaders of the countries of the Lake Chad Basin region who came together to give life to the security outfit.

The ambassador who called on the MNJTF to evolve strategies to end the conflict, paid tribute to officers and men who paid the supreme price in the quest for peace in the region.

She promised to sustain the support of the embassy to the force in its quest for total peace in the Lake Chad region.

Earlier, the Force Commander appreciated the ambassador for the visit and called on the embassy for more support to the MNJTF.

Ibrahim promised to continuously take the fight to the criminals until all terrorists in the region are totally rooted out.

The ambassador was accompanied by Nigerian Defence Attaché to Chad, Col. OU Eke and Minister (Political) in the Nigeria Embassy, Nura Aliyu.

In attendance were the Deputy Force Commander, Brig Gen Assoualai Blama, COS and other senior officers of the MNJTF.

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CRIME

Adamawa CP Warns Against Political Thuggery

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From Yagana Ali, Yola

The Adamawa state Commissioner of Police SK Akande,  has deployed operatives of the Command drawn from  the Special Rapid Response Team (SRRT) and other Tactical Squads to carry out a tactical and intelligence – driven 24/7 raid against political gangsters and their instigators that go around to disturb the  peace being enjoyed  in the state.

The CP made this known while speaking with DAILY ASSET yesterday in Yola, the state capital.

He said the Command is collating pictorial evidence of every event that will be used in prosecuting offenders and their sponsors, even as he warned that all should play peacefully by the rules.

“We direct all  Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), Operational Commanders and their Supervisory  Area Commanders  to personally lead the operations in their  Respective Areas Responsibility (AOR) to ensure total domination of the public space and arrest trouble makers,” he said.

The CP while re-emphasizing the firm determination of the Command in ensuring safety of lives and property sought full cooperation from members of the public particularly political leaders to talk to their supporters to shun all forms of violence and key into the Command’s effort in maintaining peace.

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He further called on members of the public to report any suspicious character around them to the nearest police station, especially during the forthcoming general elections.

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CRIME

Police Neutralise Two Suspects, Recover Weapons in Delta

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The Police Command in Delta said it has neutralised two suspected armed robbers and kidnappers in Udu Local Government Area of the state.

Spokesman of the command, DSP Bright Edafe disclosed this to newsmen yesterday in Warri.

Edafe said that the duo were neutralised on Thursday by police operatives attached to the Ovwian/Aladja Police Division.

He explained that the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Aliyu Shaba had received credible information that two dreaded armed robbers and kidnappers were sighted in a club.

“The DPO swiftly mobilised and led police operatives to the club where one of the suspects was arrested. The suspect immediately confessed to be a member of an armed robbery and kidnapping gang.

“The suspect, thereafter, led the operatives to their hideout in Udu where the gang members engaged the police in a serious gun duel.

“During the encounter, one of the suspects was neutralised by the operatives. The suspect arrested at the club was also fatally wounded in the crossfire while other members of the gang escaped.

“The injured suspect gave up the ghost before he could get to the hospital. Manhunt for the other fleeing members of the gang is ongoing’’, he said.

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Edafe said that one AK47 rifle and 27 rounds of 7.62 ammunition were recovered from the scene.

Similarly, the spokesman said that the command’s Raiders Squad on Saturday recovered an AK47 rifle, a double barrel gun and cartridges during a raid on a suspected cultists hideout behind Oghara Grammar School, Oghara in Ethiope West LGA.

He said that the squad was deployed to Oghara by Ari Ali, the Commissioner of Police in the state.

Experts Provide Policy Analysis on Country’s Key Sectors

The ‘Which Way Nigeria Citizens’ Scenarios team has organised a national dialogue to provide expert policy analysis on key sectors of the country.

The team, comprising of over 40 Nigerian Civil Society Organisations and international experts, said that the aim of the dialogue was to bolster citizens’ engagement with the forthcoming elections.

This is contained in a statement signed by Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, Director of the Center of Climate Change and Development at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi, on Monday in Lagos.

Okereke, the co-initiator of the Citizens’ Scenario team, said that the dialogue was attended by Prof. Bell Ihua, Executive Director, Africa Polling Institute (API) and Prof. Afam Icha-Ituma, Vice Chancellor, Coal City University, Enugu;

He listed others as Dr Natalie Beinisch, Co-Founder/ Executive Director, Africa Circular Innovation Partnership, Patrick Okigbo, Founding Partner, Nextier, Osita Chidoka, former Minister of Aviation and Valentine Ozigbo former Gubernatorial aspirant for Anambra State.

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He quoted Okigbo as saying that the issue of security in the country needed to be addressed to boost growth and development.

Speaking on the area of security, Okigbo provided data on the various types of crisis and the need to categorise states according to the frequency of violence and the number of casualties.

“The rate of violence in Nigeria is bound to increase, and Nigeria can even implode if there are wide perceptions that the 2023 elections are unfair and stolen,” Okigbo said.

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