President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed not to leave office as a failure at the end of his second term in office in 2023.
He made the pledge during a crucial security meeting attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, security chiefs and some cabinet Ministers at the Presidential in Abuja on Thursday.
According to Metro Times, National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), conveyed the President’s pledge to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting which lasted more than five hours.
He disclosed that during the meeting, the service chiefs briefed President Buhari on the security situation in the country.
Monguno said although the military has “recorded successes”, the president is determined to achieve a turnaround in the fortunes of the country.
Metro Times Learnt that, a lot of successes have been recorded. Large numbers of people are surrendering in the north-east as a consequence of the relentless efforts of the armed forces, intelligence and security agencies. He said.
“This is very, very evident. We’ve never had such large numbers of people defecting from the other side, back to the Nigerian side, mainly, as a result of many issues within the theatre, issues of infighting among the various factions of the terrorist groups.
“But the new drive of the armed forces, the police, and the intelligence agencies, there’s been greatest cooperation, greater synergy and intelligence sharing, as well as our partners in the regional intelligence fusion unit.
“So the president was briefed, the president is quite happy that there’s been tremendous success, especially with the advent of the new service chiefs and inspector-general of police.
“And he’s also made it very, very clear that he’s not ready to exit government as a failure. He is not going to tolerate that; he’s made changes and is ready to make further changes if he is not satisfied. He is completely determined to ensure that there’s a turnaround in the fortunes in the theatre of operations.”
He added that “the atmosphere is improving” in the north-east and north-west, but “a lot has to be done”.
The NSA said the issue of hunger in the country, which he described as an “emergency situation”, was also discussed at the meeting.
He said: “The president is not oblivious to the pains of the people and is working with the vice-president and other members of council, the relevant ministries, departments and agencies of government to address this issue.
“As far as it’s concerned, it’s also an emergency situation that people should not be left to wallow in hunger, and in despair, this is something that he’s also going to look into. And he’s going to use all the necessary, all the relevant tools at his disposal to address the issue of widespread hunger.”
The NSA revealed that the meeting also addressed the recent killing of travellers at Rukuba, near Jos, Plateau State.
“We also addressed the issue in plateau – the recent killings, and the President has given certain directives to address that.
“He (Buhari) also expressed confidence in the efforts of the Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau,’’ he added.
On the reported mass surrender of Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast, Monguno stated that President Buhari would soon take a firm decision on the matter.
“Yes, there are plans. But I don’t want to immediately divulge what has been decided on those plans till the President takes a firm decision on the plans.
“But definitely that is one of the things that he intends to address – the number of people surrendering.
“And it’s not just in Nigeria, even in northern Cameroon, you have equally large numbers of people, you know, surrendering to the bonafide agencies of government,’’ he said.
He attributed the successes being recorded by the security agencies to the regional cooperation between the various countries and the agencies of those countries involved in tackling the menace of the insurgents.
He, therefore, called on Nigerians to forge a sense of oneness, unity, and put aside whatever suspicions, apprehensions or agitations so as to consolidate the gains being witnessed in the fight against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes in the country.
“In the context of the 21st century, you can’t deal with these emerging crises in a cut and dried manner.
“We have to use everything at our disposal, all the elements of national power, including the population, the wider community needs to work with the security agencies to deal with these problems. Responses have to be fast.
“We can’t act on stale intelligence. And that is why as things are happening, right from the grassroots level going all the way up, the local government, the state governments, and then of course, the Federal Government has its own parts to play.
“People should not cover for those who they have identified, unscrupulous, undesirable people, it is very, very important that we share because in today’s context, the highest value of intelligence doesn’t necessarily need to come from the agencies of government.
“It could come from any other tangential organisation, institution or group,’’ he said.
In another development, President Buhari has approved recommendations of a committee to review “with dispatch, 368 grazing sites, across 25 states in the country, and to determine the levels of encroachment.”
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
He said the committee was chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Garba said, among others, the committee had recommended the collection of field data collection on 368 Grazing Reserves across 25 states to assess encroachment and encroachers, stakeholder engagements and sensitization.
He noted that the Committee also recommended production of maps and geo-mapping/tagging of sites, analysis of findings and report preparations as well as design appropriate communication on grazing reserves and operations.
“The number of the grazing reserves and states were deduced from considerations of existing security concerns and other pre-existing socio-economic conditions,’’ he said.
The presidential aide quoted President Buhari as directing that the assignment be undertaken with dispatch to bring more understanding on the grazing reserves, and implementation.
Members of the committee include, Governor of Kebbi State and Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council, Atiku Bagudu, Governor of Ebonyi and Chairman of NEC Sub-Committee for National Livestock Transformation Plan, David Umahi, and Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu.
Others are; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Mahmood and Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye.
The Technical Sub-Committee consists of representatives from the seven members of the main committee in addition to representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Surveyor General of the Federation, National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA).
The presidential aide revealed that, among its terms of reference, the Committee was to collate from states and confirm the status of all Grazing Reserves.
It would also assess the percentage of available land and those with existing encroachment complications for case-by-case resolution in partnership with state governments and the FCT.
He said the Committee would also make recommendations for gazetting of ungazetted grazing reserves and create a data base of National Cattle Herders and ensure that Grazing Reserves are well communicated to all stakeholders.
Shehu stated that the inaugural meeting of the Committee was held on May 10, 2021.
Source: Metro Times