By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammad Buhari on Sunday met with Service Chiefs to determine how to curb the recent onslaught by Boko Haram on military formation’s.
Recall that over 70 soldiers and officers were brutally killed by Boko Haram insurgents in Metele village of Borno State last Sunday.
Presidency sources confirmed that all the service chiefs and the Inspector General of Police were at the presidential villa, Abuja for the meeting.
A Presidency source which did not want to be named had on Saturday hinted the media that Buhari had summoned the service chiefs but did not indicate when the meeting was to take place.
President Buhari had expressed deep shock over the killing of the military personnel.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in a statement in Abuja on Saturday stated that the President had taken measures to ensure that the loopholes which led to the fatalities are blocked once and for all.
The statement came on the heels of outrage by Nigerians over the alleged presidency’s apparent silence on the last Sunday’s killings of soldiers.
The President said that his administration remained ever committed and focused on the security of military personnel and other citizens.
According to President Buhari, “No responsible Commander-in-Chief would rest on his oars or fold his hands to allow terrorists to endanger the lives of its military personnel and other citizens. Our loyal forces have proved their strength over the terrorists and we are ready to give them all the needed support in terms of equipment and manpower to succeed in ending the renewed threat. In the coming days, I am engaging the Military and Intelligence Chiefs in extensive discussions on the next steps we shall be taking.”
The President noted that fighting terrorism has taken a global dimension, which necessitates international collaboration among states facing similar security challenges.
President Buhari reassured Nigerians of his continued commitment to their security and of his efforts to sustain the momentum in the previous significant successes recorded against the terrorists.
He, however, advised Nigerians against making a political capital out of national tragedy, stressing that members of the armed forces are one family who are commonly committed to the security and safety of all Nigerians.
About 100 soldiers were reported to have been killed in the latest attack by the insurgents on military formation.
The President had on Friday dispatched the Minister of Defence , Dan Mansur-Ali to go and meet the President of Chad and the country’s Defence Minister on how to tackle the menace of the insurgents within the borders of the two countries.
Ostensibly alarmed by the latest killings of dozens of soldiers by Boko Haram insurgents, President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned an urgent meeting of Service Chiefs to find ways to stop the trend.
He has also dispatched the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, to the neighbouring Republic of Chad for an urgent meeting with President Idris Deby and his defence counterpart.
Knowledgeable sources said in Abuja on Friday that the president is worried by on the deterioration of security situation on the Nigeria – Chad Border that has led to the recently increased Boko Haram terrorism in the area.
The sources which did not want to be named in Abuja said: “Nigeria has a Chad problem in the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) put together to secure the Lake Chad basin areas and repeal the Boko Haram terrorism attacks against all the countries neighbouring the Lake.”
The sources noted that Chad is believed to be having their own internal security challenges and this has reportedly led to their pulling away their own troops manning their own border around Lake Chad, saying: “That lacuna is being exploited by the Boko Haram terrorists, who go in and out of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon to launch terrorist acts. This is a clear illustration of the fact that terrorism is beyond national borders.”
When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed that the Defence Minister is going to Chad but said he is unaware of the purpose.
Meanwhile, the military authorities are said to be in the process of identifying the families of the latest victims with a view to making contact with them.
Credible sources revealed that it is the reason the president is yet to make any pronouncement on the matter.
“The President has called an urgent meeting with the Service Chiefs, as well as the fact that families of the latest victims of the Boko Haram are being identified and contacts made before a government pronouncement on the tragic attacks. This, it is understood, is the reason for the silence of the government over the incident,” the source said.