By Kingsley Omonobi
ABUJAâ€”Â FOLLOWING repeated security concerns over the recent Jos crisis and ripple effects across states bordering Plateau State, as well as anxiety created by the continuous absence of President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua, the Presidency has ordered a security beef up in the Federal Capital Territory and environs.
Consequently, the military high command has directed the recall of some battalions of soldiers presently serving at the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta â€˜Operation Restore Hopeâ€™, and that of the multi-national task force â€˜Operation Flushâ€™, in the northern states to Abuja.
Vanguard gathered that the Army Headquarters Garrison, the unit with deployable troops, could not provide enough soldiers as it was also saddled with the responsibility of supporting the Guards Brigade of the Nigerian Army which secures the President, the Vice President and the Presidency.
Moreover, majority of Nigerian soldiers are currently serving in peace-keeping and peace support operations with over eight battalions in Liberia, Dafur and Sierra Leone alone.
A senior military personnel told Vanguard: â€œThe action to recall some of the soldiers, was actually necessitated by the state of the nation and the need to ensure security for Abuja, the federal capital so that those who want to run down and embarrass the nation donâ€™t succeed.â€
Investigations, however, showed that the recall of some of the battalions were for a temporary period as it did not mean that government had decided to withdraw troops from the Niger Delta following implementation of the Federal Government Amnesty programme.
The senior officer who spoke under condition of anonymity said the Niger Delta area was still being watched closely by government and security agencies since the problems are yet to be fully tackled with some militants still complaining over the implementation of the Amnesty package and others threatening to resume hostilities, adding: â€œhence anybody thinking government is withdrawing troops is thinking wrongly.â€