*As Gaidam imposes 12-hrs curfew on Damaturu
By Kingsley Omonobi & Ndahi Marama
Federal Government, yesterday, said it would carry out a review of Nigeria’s Defence Attaché’s management and security systems to meet up with contemporary security challenges in the country.
This is coming even as Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State has re-imposed a 12-hour curfew on Damaturu, the state capital, and three other towns, following insecurity of lives and property in the state.
The 6pm-7am curfew was re-imposed, following the recent incessant attacks, which led to the killings of 13 people and loss of property worth millions of Naira by gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram Islamic sect at Fika, Buni/Yadi and Gashua towns.
Gaidam imposed the curfew after an emergency meeting of the State Security Council, SSC, attended by top officials of the Military Joint Task Force, JTF, and the Police at the Government House, Damaturu.
The four other towns where curfew was imposed include Buni/Yadi, Geidam, Potiskum and Gashua, headquarters of Bade Local Government Area, which had suffered series of attacks in the past one week.
The Federal Government said the review of defence attache system would be in accordance with budgetary regulations.
The country currently has 22 Defence Advisers and Attaché’s made up of senior military officers, covering over 90 countries and four international organisations like the United Nations, African Union and the Commonwealth.
Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada made this known at the opening of a week-long Defence Advisers’ conference in Abuja, noting that with the present security challenges, the scope of the Attaché responsibilities have increased from mere liaison with allied powers to being the prime movers of defence diplomacy.
She said: “The various efforts of the Federal Government at finding a lasting solution to the security challenges in the country, particularly the increased attacks on innocent citizens and security agents by the Boko Haram sect is a clear indication of our commitment to lasting peace and security in the country.”
Defence Chief speaks
Earlier, Chief of Defence Intelligence, CDI, Major-General Sani Audu had explained that the annual conference served as an opportunity to discuss current significant issues as our collective efforts at contributing our own quota in realisation of the present administration’s transformation agenda.
He said: “In recent times, our country has experienced several security challenges, which necessitated the increased involvement of the Nigerian armed forces in internal security operations.”
Meanwhile, Yobe State government said the 12-hour curfew took effect from Sunday, November 11, and would not be lifted until the security situation improved in the state.
Governor Gaidam, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego said: “The imposition of the curfew was reached at the security meeting with the military JTF and the Police here at the Government House, because people’s lives and property must be protected from the Boko Haram insurgency.
“This administration is also fully committed to overcoming the security challenges, as government continues to support JTF and other security agencies.
“We urge the people to continue cooperating with the security agencies by providing information on the modus operandi and hideouts of criminals.”