By Abubakar Zaharadden Kano
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged State Governors and council chairmen to revamp intelligent gathering assets within their domain to aid military personnel in the ongoing fight against insurgency and banditry in the country.
Buhari added that revamping intelligence gathering would assist the military personnel to nip in the bud any planned attacks on any community.
The president made the appeal on Friday during his nationwide broadcast to commemorate this year’s Democracy Day celebration which marks the 21 years after the country embraced the democratic system of government.
He stated that his administration remain unshaken in its resolve to protect Nigerians and national infrastructure including on-shore and off-shore oil installations secure our territorial waters and end piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
Buhari said: “Ending insurgency, banditry, and other forms of criminality across the nation are being accorded appropriate priorities and the men and women of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have considerably downgraded such threats across all geo-political zones.
“All the Local Governments that were taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states have long been recovered and are now occupied by indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes.
“The total collapse of the economies of these areas, which constituted a threat to our food security, has also been reversed with the gradual recovery of farming and other economic activities.
“I regret recent sporadic incidents with the tragic loss of lives in Katsina and Borno States as a result of criminals taking advantage of COVID-19 restrictions. Security Agencies will pursue the perpetrators and bring them to swift justice.
“I must implore state and local governments to revamp their intelligence assets so that the Security Agencies can nip in the bud any planned attacks in remote rural areas. I send my heartfelt condolences to all the relatives and communities affected”.
On the part of the Federal Government, the president noted that in order to strengthen internal security architecture, the government created the Ministry of Police Affairs and expanded the National Command and Control Centre to 19 states.
According to him, we have resuscitated the National Public Security Communication System and commenced the implementation of the Community Policing Strategy.
“Government has similarly established a Nigerian Police Trust Fund as a public-private sector vehicle for alternative sources of funding security activities.
“To reduce security challenges through our external borders especially smuggling of oil products out of the country, an inflow of small arms and drugs into the country and equally protect our local manufacturers, we introduced operation “Ex-Swift Response” closing our borders from August 20th, 2019, and have considerably succeeded in meeting its objectives as well as improving our national revenue”, the president added.