The Nigerian government is procuring more equipment in its bid to overcome the security challenges in various parts of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
President Buhari disclosed this to members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at a security meeting held on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
His special adviser on media and publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, gave an update on what was discussed at the meeting during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“The promise the President made was that in terms of equipping, more equipment were being procured – some had come and there was the need to train our forces to use them and more will come,” he said.
President Buhari also appealed to the governors to work with the traditional and local authorities in their various territories to tackle the security challenges across the country.
He stressed the need for a smooth relationship between the state authorities and the grassroots leaders to boost intelligence gathering.
The President, who stated that intelligence gathering was key to the nation’s security, stressed that people must be discouraged from sabotaging the efforts of the security forces.
“He (Buhari) also encouraged the governors to work in close contact with the traditional authorities and the local community because intelligence is a big part of the thing and he encouraged them that they should work together with the traditional authorities and the local communities so that those who sabotage efforts of the military, particularly through giving information to the other side, can be encouraged to give adequate information to the military so that the security situation can be tackled,” Adesina said during the political show.
Asked if the issue of engaging mercenaries and recruiting young Nigerians from the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) into the Nigerian Army came up at the meeting, the presidential aide responded, “No, not specifically; that did not come up.”
He added, “But I know one governor from the North East mentioned it in person, but it was not something the meeting dwelt on.”
The governors, led by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, met with President Buhari a week after the forum held a virtual meeting.
They had resolved to meet with the President over the killing of over 40 farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents, and the disturbing security situation of the nation.
Members of the Senate, who were also worried about the Borno massacre, had asked the President to replace the service chiefs with new ones with fresh ideas.
They also recommended among others, the provision of state-of-the-art equipment for the military and recruitment of over 10,000 youths from the Civilian JTF into the army to defeat the insurgents in the North East