By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
The Federal Government on Monday said that it would begin gradual withdrawal of the military operations in the north eastern part of the country where the Boko Haram terrorists have been attacking people for almost a decade.
The withdrawal of troops will be done after an “assessment” to determine areas where peace has returned to enable civil authorities assume full control of security.
The government after the end of Security meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that the pullout will allow civil authority – police and civil defense to assume their responsibility in the affected areas “since the terrorists have been degraded.”
The Council decided that in place of the military, the Nigeria Police Force, which has the primary responsibility of providing internal security, will assume its duties fully in such areas
Briefing to State House correspondents after the closed door council meeting the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas Obok said that the council agreed that the security agencies have performed well in 2019.
According to him, “It is our wish to have the insurgency and terrorism ended in 2020 so that the military will focus on other areas.”
“The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps will support the police to provide internal security.
“Also, you will remember that additional 10,000 personnel were approved for the police recently for recruitment.”
He said that the military will pull out gradually from the north East to face other emerging threat while the police will move in.
Ekwe Ibas declined to name the specific states of geopolitical zones where the military would withdrawal its operations.
Recall that the military runs several joint internal operations in various parts of the country with different code names to combat one security threat or another.
Present at meeting included the Chief Defense staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, the Inspector General of Police IGP National Security Adviser, NSA and Chief of Staff to the President.