…Says Operation DELTA SAFE ‘ll sustain operation in Niger Delta
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA- MINISTER of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali has told President Muhammadu Buhari that the military needs more equipment in order to tackle security challenges in the country.
The Minister also assUred the president that the military through the Operation DELTA SAFE will continue to sustain its operations against illegal activities in the Niger Delta region with resultant reduction in illegal oil bunkering, militancy and pipeline vandalism.
This was contained in a brief the Minister presented to the National Security Council on security situation in the country at the President office, Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
The meeting was presided over by President Buhari before he traveled to Bauchi State for a senatorial bye-election.
Recall that $1 billion (about N359 billion) was approved by the National Economic Council, NEC, in December 2017 for the fight of Boko Haram and other security challenges in the country.
This money had generated controversy in the National Assembly and even some Peoples Democratic Party, Governors kicked against the removal of the money from the Excess Crude Account.
Present at the security meeting with the President were the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. Gabriel Olonishakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ibok-Eta Ibas, Chief of Air Staff, Sadiq Abubakar, Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, National Security Adviser, Babagana Mongonu, the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, the Chief of Defence Intelligence and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari
Dan-Ali in his brief he presented at the meeting which was signed by the Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Defence, Colonel Tukur Gusau said, “In view of the engagement of troops in various internal security operations across the country the Honourable Minister requested for provision of more equipment for the Armed Forces in order to sustain the tempo in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges across the country.
“In order to forestall future security incidences in Zamfara, Sokoto and Birnin-Gwari axis Operation SHARAN DAJI has been extended to cover up to the fringes of Niger boarder.
“The operation has recently been reinforced with more troops from the Nigerian Armed Forces, Nigeria Police and Department of State Services and is supported by the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnisance Wing of 207 Quick Response Group of the Nigerian Air Force.
“The joint operation has successfully arrested some suspected armed bandits and recovered arms and ammunition. Similarly, in order to checkmate the criminal activities along Abuja-Kaduna highway, security agencies have been directed to increase patrols along the axis to address cases of attacks and kidnappings
“There was a review of Operation SAFE HAVEN leading to appointment of a new Commander in the North Central. The Honourable Minister also reiterate the need for the deployment of the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in all areas liberated by the military in the North-East in order to consolidate on the gains of military operations as well as to enable the military push forward in its clearance operations.
“In the South-South Honourable Minister of Defence informed the council that Operation DELTA SAFE has sustained its operations against illegal activities in the Niger Delta region with resultant reduction in illegal oil bunkering, militancy and pipeline vandalism.”
The Minister used the occasion to congratulate President Buhari on his recent election as the new ECOWAS Chairman.
He reminded the council that the Armed Forces of Nigeria in collaboration with other security agencies are doing a lot to address the turbulent security situation in the country.