Tackle banditry on major highways, Buhari tells security forces

President Muhammadu Buhari has again directed security agencies to urgently address the resurgence of kidnapping and other crimes on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and on other roads across the country.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said the president gave the directive while presiding over the meeting of the National Security Council, held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.

Aregbesola, who addressed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, said the police and other security agencies had been mobilised to intensify surveillance and patrols in pursuit of the criminals.

“Abuja-Kaduna belt was discussed specifically, but we appreciated the fact that we are in the season of festivity.

“All agencies committed to providing security for Nigeria and the maintenance of law and order have been ordered to improve on their activities.

“They have also been ordered to intensify surveillance and minimise, if not eliminate any threat to law and order anywhere in Nigeria,’’ the minister said.

He said Mr Buhari particularly ordered the armed forces and other security agencies and intelligence organisations, not to rest on their oars.

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This, the president noted, was in spite of the progress and efforts being made to eliminate insurgency, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, and all the other criminalities.

Mr Aregbesola quoted the president as saying that: “we are not yet where we should be. Nigerians deserve to live in peace. And until we achieve that, we will not rest.’’

The minister assured that Nigerians would soon witness serious security improvement as specific orders had been given to all security agencies to tackle security challenges across the country.

He said: “specific orders have been given to all security agencies. We’ll see an improved response to all those challenging the sovereignty of Nigeria in whatever form and creating insecurity anywhere.

“The Council today took a firm decision on what to be done.

“I am convinced that with the renewed charge to our security agencies from the military to the police, to intelligence organisations and all other security forces, certainly Nigerians will feel and live better going forward.’’

In attendance at Thursday’s National Security Council meeting were Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, and the National Security Adviser retired Major-General Babagana Monguno.

Others were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, and Service Chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force as well as the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba.

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