By Ismaila Chafe
After a meeting with security chiefs, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja departed for Bauchi.
The held behind closed door was also attended by Minister of Defence, retired Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari, who presided over the meeting which lasted for about four hours, immediately departed for Bauchi, Bauchi state, on official engagement.
In a statement at the end of the meeting, the minister of defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said he updated the National Security Council on security situation in the country.
The minister said that he also reminded the council that the nation’s armed forces in collaboration with other security agencies were doing all they could to address the turbulent security situation across the country.
He said: “In order to forestall future security incidences in Zamfara, Sokoto and Birnin-Gwari axis Operation SHARAN DAJI has been extended to cover up to the fringes of Niger boarder.
“The operation has recently been reinforced witlh more troops from the Nigerian Armed Forces, Nigeria Police and Department of State Services and is supported by the Intelligence, Surveillance and Recognisance Wing of 207 Quick Response Group of the Nigerian Air Force.’’
Dan-Ali noted that the joint operation had successfully arrested some suspected armed bandits and recovered arms and ammunition.
He announced that security agencies had been directed to checkmate the criminal activities along Abuja-Kaduna highway through increased patrols along the axis to address cases of attacks and kidnappings.
The minister also reiterated the need for the deployment of the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in all areas liberated by the military in the North-East.
He said this had become imperative in order to consolidate on the gains of military operations as well as to enable the military push forward in its clearance operations.
Dan-Ali stated that he informed the council that Operation DELTA SAFE had sustained its operations against illegal activities in the Niger Delta region with resultant reduction in illegal oil bunkering, militancy and pipeline vandalism.
The minister, however, requested for provision of more equipment for the armed forces in order to sustain the tempo in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges across the country.
Other members of the National Security Council include Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin; the Chief of Army State, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar and Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas.
Others are the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; the National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Lawal Daura and the Director of National Intelligence Agency (NIA).