President Muhammadu Buhari has approved new security measures for the South-east and South-south regions.
This was disclosed by the acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, after a security meeting in Abuja presided over by the president.
Mr Baba briefed journalists alongside the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; and the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor.
He, however, refused to disclose the new measures, saying a decision was reached at the meeting not to, henceforth, publicise measures to be deployed to tackle insecurity in the country.
Mr Monguno said the meeting stressed the need to address the security challenges in the country particularly those that have arisen in the last few months.
The meeting comes on the heels of the attacks on security officials and facilities the two zones have witnessed.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how dozens of police officers and other security operatives were killed in the past few weeks in the South-east and South-south regions.
The government blamed an outlawed secessionist group, IPOB, for the attacks though the group denied responsibility for them.
Tackling root cause of insecurity
Speaking on how the government intends to curb the rising trend of insecurity, Mr Monguno said the president was looking at how to tackle drug abuse which he said was one of the major factors.
He said the government was also trying to tackle unemployment “by bringing 100 million people out of poverty”.
“These enablers are discussed in detail and Mr President has already given direction on how to deal with them, specifically issues of drug abuse as propellants for crime.
“How to make the criminal justice system much more effective, as well as looking at issues of unemployment, which of course, the federal executive council had given an approval of, through previous memos on how to get 100 million people out of poverty, that was also discussed. Then, again, the lack of an effective crime reporting system,” he said.
He also said the president has given direction on how to effectively tackle crime “by engaging with the NCC”. He did not give more details.
“Already, the NCC has been given certain instructions on how to deal with this, but by and by Council has agreed that the level of insecurity in the country, especially in the last one month, is something that has to be addressed with the immediacy that it requires and at the operational level.”
On his part, Mr Irabor said “far-reaching decisions were taken by the meeting”.
He said the council was pleased with most of the activities of the armed forces and is currently looking into all their demands.
“These, of course, have to do with manpower development, training and equipment issues, and thankfully, the glow on my face should, of course, give you an indication as to the graciousness of the National Security Council.
“In relation to the briefings that we’ve given in this regard and I believe that going forward, we shall be translating that and it will have some great impact on the security disposition across the country. Thank you,” he said.
On his part, the Acting IGP, Mr Alkali said the council outlined and approved some measures which he said “will change the narrative in the South-east and South-south within the quickest possible means to restore law and order and restore peace”.
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