Why President Buhari Ordered The Removal Of Military Check Points
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, ordered withdrawal of the military from internal security operations as part of a comprehensive review of national security operations. The President’s order came as it emerged that Nigeria and four other countries in the Lake Chad sub-region had for the first time evolved a united military strategy against the regional menace, Boko Haram.
In ordering the withdrawal of military checkpoints, the President ordered that the police should take firm control of internal security henceforth.
Addressing State House correspondents after a meeting between the President and service chiefs, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Alhaji Ismail Aliyu said the President directed the security chiefs to liaise with the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force to finalise arrangements for Police to effectively take over internal security.
The three service chiefs were led to the meeting with the President by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.
According to the permanent secretary, the meeting with the security chiefs was to give them the opportunity to brief the President on the implementations of recent decisions reached on the fight against insurgency.
He also said that the military high command briefed the President on the relocation of the command centre to Maiduguri as directed on the day of his inauguration.
According to the permanent secretary, the Armed Forces is ready to perform its responsibilities of ensuring that the insurgency in the North-East is brought to an end.
On the removal of military roadblocks, the permanent secretary said the President has directed that the military and the Police liaise for the Police to take full control of internal security.
“The President has instructed the Chief of Defence Staff to get the Chief of Army Staff and Inspector-General of Police to remove all military men along the road across the country,” he said.
“The Nigerian Armed Forces are very ready, we have briefed him (President). One most interesting thing about it is that we are going out much happier because he has shown to us that he is still a soldier, he has updated and enriched our strategic plans.
Movement of Military Command Centre to Maiduguri
“The second item that was discussed is the movement of the command centre to the North-East. We have briefed him on how far we have reached on that and he has given us some additional assignment, but very soon the centre will be on.
“I also want to assure Nigerians that with what we have come out with from this meeting we are very enthusiastic that the issue of Boko Haram will soon be over. He has given us hope that we will see peace and security in the very near future”, the permanent secretary said.
Asked what will be done differently from what is being done, Alhaji Ismail said with greater cooperation from Nigeria’s neighbours, Boko Haram would have no hiding place.
“Now we have come as a united front; we have Chad, Cameroon, Benin and Niger. We have all strategised and we are coming out with one type of strategy that we are going to address the Boko Haram with unlike before”, he said.
He explained that the absence of Inspector General of Police, the Directors-General of the DSS and NIA from the meeting was because “this is not a national security meeting, this is a briefing meeting by the Ministry of Defence on the operationalization of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the relocation of the command control centre to the North East, so it is something restricted to the Ministry of Defence” he said.