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.