President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that Nigeria is expecting a shipment of weapons and aircraft to aid the country’s fight against insurgency.
He made the statement at his meeting on the state of the nation’s security with State Governors, Tuesday, which ended with calls for a joint strategy to bring various conflicts to an end within time limits.
The meeting coordinated by President Buhari, and attended by the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, heads of defence, security and intelligence agencies, and members of the Security Committee of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, focused on the country’s security policies which is aimed at spurring field commanders to take measures to protect civilian communities as a confidence-building mechanism between the military and those communities.
Buhari dispelled commonly held assumptions that Boko Haram terrorists had far more weapons and money than the government, stressing that what is left of them are “mere scavengers desperate for food, raiding shops and markets, and killing innocent persons in the process.”
Speaking further, he also expressed concern that in spite of the fact that borders with neighbouring countries had been shut, bandits and terrorists continued to have access to small weapons.
“These terrorists are in the localities. How is it that they are not short of small arms?” he queried the security and intelligence chiefs.
According to the President; “We have said enough on the need for them to rejig their operations. I am glad that there is better synergy and cooperation which are very important. I have directed the Service Chiefs to meet among themselves in-between the National Security Council meetings. The services have resources; yes, they need more, and mobility, and are doing their best, but there is a need for better gathering and interpretation of intelligence. Our intelligence-gathering must be improved.”
Buhari informed the Governors of the imminent shipment of military weapons and aircraft from Jordan, China and the United States, but again asked for patience on the part of the public because the new weapons and aircraft must be manned by trained fighters and pilots who must first receive appropriate training.
The president also expressed satisfaction with the level of support from neighbouring countries in the war against terrorism.
“They are cooperating with us. On Boko Haram, we are making progress with Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon,” he said, while restating that intelligence-gathering must improve to be able to track small arms in the Northwest, North Central and Northeast States.
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“The Chief of Defence Staff has spoken about their study of the forests and their potential danger to security. We must make sure we follow the bandits and terrorists, but there must not be deforestation in view of the climate situation”.
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