New measure FG is taking to quickly curb insecurity – Osinbajo

There is deliberate and comprehensive consolidation of the security situation in order to contain the threats and security concerns in the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.

Osinbajo said this Monday when he received clergymen from the North under the auspices of the Arewa Pastors Forum for Peace at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He listed the measures to include plans to recruit more troops and officers to beef up the personnel of security agencies.

“We are doing everything that needs to be done. We are handling security well, and as you know, including military deployment in diverse fields, like the Boko Haram in the North-east. 

“In fact, we have to now recruit more into the army, and much faster than we ever did because we need men on the ground; resources also–to buy more arms, to buy more platforms,” he said.

Describing how serious the present administration considers the task, the vice president said: “At the last meeting of the National Security Council that was held on Thursday, we had discussions on how to beef up the military’s platforms. How do we beef up the numbers? How do we recruit more men and women into the army? How do we collaborate more with local vigilante, the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and all that.

“So, there is a lot going on in terms of trying to beef up security. The security situation is one that is very challenging. We are also looking at aspects of surveillance–how we can do more aerial surveillance using drones and electronic devices to improve surveillance.”

He assured the clergymen of federal government’s commitment to finding lasting solutions to the perennial crisis in communities in the North and other parts of the country, including the ones bordering on religious prejudices. 

Osinbajo urged the group to also come up with ideas and thoughts on how to find lasting peace. 

In his remark, President of the forum, Bishop Mbayo Japhet said the group’s visit to the Presidential Villa was to support the administration and the vice president as an apostle of peace.

NASS seeks more funding

Meanwhile, the leadership of the National Assembly has called for more funding of the nation’s security apparatus.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila made the position know Monday while briefing journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

 Speaking to journalists, Senator Lawan said: “We met with Mr. President over the security issues in the country and other matters of governance. The recent security challenges this country is facing requires that we work very closely.

“We had the debates in the two chambers of the National Assembly last week and resolutions were taken and we have come to discuss with Mr. President on the way forward, what we feel about some of these security challenges and also to ask him what he thinks we should do. Even though in the Senate we have our ad-hoc committee who are to work and fashion out the specific measures we believe should be taken, but the interim, there is need for us as a government to ensure that we provide a way out to tackle the security challenges. In the intermediate and the long term, we should be able to come up with some strategies, the road map to ensure that we secure the lives and properties of Nigeria.”

Asked if the issue of service chiefs’ sack came up, he said: “We discussed everything that matters as far as the issue of security of this country is concerned. We believe that it is imperative that we are able to provide those necessary equipment and welfare for the armed forces of this country and the police, to ensure that they are able to operate and performed efficiently and effectively.”

He lawmaker, who said the president, was very much concerned about the deplorable security situation further said there was need to prioritise the welfare of security personnel and those of their families.

“You are asking the military, the police to go and fight insurgents, kidnappers and bandits; you also need to do something for their welfare. How do they live? Where do they live? What is the condition of the schools for their children, and so on and so forth? So these are issues that are very important and could have very impact outcomes when we are able to do the right thing and we will do them,” he said.

 Also expressing similar view, Speaker Gbajabiamila said: “Many of us identify that something drastic has to be done, there’s also the school of thought that says since we are talking about banditry, kidnapping, and murders, what have the armed forces got to do with that, anywhere in the world?

“So, the question then arises that if he changes the service chiefs, does that address the issues of kidnapping and banditry? The army, navy and air force are outfits set up to tackle external aggression. It is the police that is set up for internal security, such as we are all witnessing.

“That’s talking about service chiefs, has the Inspector General of Police met up with his responsibilities? The question is if we now narrow it that to the Inspector General to Police, many will argue that he has done a very good job and many will argue with you that he’s hamstrung, straight-jacketed, there’s very little he can do in the face of no equipment, no funding and we explained to Mr. President that we have to increase funding, we have to recruit more.”

 NAF

 Meanwhile, as part of its efforts to deal with contemporary security challenges in the country, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Monday commissioned another Canine (K-9) Wing in Bauchi bringing to two, the number of K-9 Wings under the NAF 057 Provost Investigation Group.

 A statement by Director Public Relations & Information Nigerian Air Force Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said ahead the commissioning, the NAF had trained 20 Air Provost Personnel, alongside 20 Military Working Dogs (MWDs).

 “The specialist trainings included explosive and narcotic substance detection, waterman-ship, navigation and rappelling.

“The establishment of the Wing now brings to 40 the total number of MWDs inducted into the Service since inception of the current NAF administration,” the statement said.

 Commissioning the K-9 Wing, which comprises an administrative block, handler accommodation and Kennel Building, Chief of the Air Staff  Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, represented by Chief of Administration Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Mohammed Idris, stated that the commissioning was yet another milestone in the commitment of the NAF to opening and expanding new frontiers, towards providing the required secure environment for air operations to thrive.

“The NAF, for the first time, undertook the training and enlistment of 5 Special Operation Dogs to further push the options for engagement of MWD in the Service. He attested to the impressive contributions and capabilities that the Special Operations MWDs have brought to NAF ground operations and Base Defence efforts as evidenced during the various counterterrorism exercises conducted by the Service in 2019.

“The decision to situate the K-9 Wing in Bauchi, stemmed from the imperative to have the MWDs directly supporting NAF counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations in the North-east, as well as integrating them in the activities of the Special Operations Command,” he said.

 Earlier in his welcome address, Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Special Operations Command (SOC) Air Vice Marshal Charles Ohwo, said the event was another milestone in the continuous drive to project air power across the spectrum of internal security challenges in the country.

 According to him, the K-9 Wing would further support measures to sustain the momentum and resolute determination to achieve the end state of protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians.

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