By Chijioke Okoronkwo
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed security agencies to stop the flow of illegal arms into the country, Chief of Naval Staff(CNS), Vice-Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, has said.
Ibas communicated this while briefing State House correspondents after a meeting between President Buhari and Service Chiefs on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to Ibas, the president is happy with efforts the security agencies are making to tackle the security challenges confronting Nigeria.
The Chief of Naval Staff said that Buhari urged all concerned authorities to step up their efforts and stop the inflow of illegal arms into the country.e
He said that the meeting was a follow up to the meeting the service chiefs had with the president two weeks ago.
“Of course, basically the meeting was to further reappraise the actions taken after the last meeting; you all recall too, the spate of insecurity particularly armed banditry, kidnapping and robbery has been specifically on the increase in some parts of the country.
“The briefings were to the effect that we had better responses from the military and security agencies in those areas that we have earlier mentioned; this is particularly because of the improved synergy among the various agencies that are providing information and intelligence.
“Furthermore, we have also had members of the public voluntarily offer information to the areas of the security challenges.
“I think on the whole, the president was happy with the security situation, the efforts that the armed forces and the security agencies are carrying out to tackle the security challenges.
“Another area of concern was the arms inflow into the nation. It is only God perhaps that can police such an expanse of border that we have.
“That is an areas that the president has directed that we do all that we can to ensure that we block the gaps and those security areas that we also need to address.’’
He said that the solution to the security challenges was to identify other means and strategies of addressing the nation’s porous borders.
According to him, it is the military’s responsibility to defend the country but there are other agencies of government that are responsible for manning the various border openings.
Ibas said the option would be surveillance in the air among other things being considered.
On security at Wednesday’s presidential inauguration, Ibas said that the committee inaugurated to handle it had briefed, adding that he believed the committee was prepared in terms of security.
He said he did not know it the meeting was a valedictory one even as it came a day before the end of Buhari’s first term.
Other service chiefs in attendance were the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin; and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Chief of Naval Staff and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The outgoing Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali also attended the meeting