Buhari orders security chiefs to step up anti-terror battle


•Kwara police seize vehicle filled with knives

•Yobe restricts movement as Adamawa cancels Sallah homage to traditional rulers

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday directed the security agencies to step up their battle to secure the country.

He gave the directive during the Security Council meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The meeting was held amid reports of security  threats ahead of today’s Eid-El-Kabir celebration.

Many states are taking steps to guarantee a hitch-free celebration.

The Kwara State Police raised the alarm of a security threat, accusing politicians of planning to disrupt the peace. They claimed to have intercepted a vehicle-load of knives.

The government of Yobe State announced a restriction of vehicles movement from 10pm last night till 10am today.

In Adamawa, the government banned the homage to traditional rulers usually made during celebrations.

Minister of Defence Mansur Dan Ali said the security situation in the Northeast “is worrisome”.

He explained: “We have looked into it critically and we have taken absolute decision.”

Apart from the minister, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gabriel Olonisakin attended the meeting alongside   National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno, Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff Ibok Ekwe Ibas and Chief of Air Staff Abubakar Sadique were also at the meeting.

There were also National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director-General Ahmed Abubakar, Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris and Department for State Services Acting Director-General Matthew Seiyefa.

Gen Olonisakin.told reporters that the security chiefs briefed the President on the security situation, adding:

“We just had two and half hours meeting with the President and Commander-in-Chief. We reviewed the security situation across the country in all the geopolitical zones and, of course, we made all our comments, especially the new operations in Benue, Zamfara, Taraba Operation WISE Stroke, and Operation (Saradaji).

“We gave the extent of successes in these operations and we are to continue in this line of action in these operations.

“All the operations were reviewed and all the issues concerning the operations were dealt with. And he directed that we should continue to step up our game to ensure that the nation is safe and people go about their daily activities in a very safe manner.The minister added: “This is a normal routine security briefing with Mr President; he just came back, so we briefed him on all the activities we had while he was away. It is an update of the August 2 meeting.

“The decision that has been taken is that we have seen that there is a lot of improvement in the security situation in the country, more especially in Zamfara and Benue states, and in the Niger Delta.

The Adamawa Government cancelled its usual Sallah homage to traditional rulers and other stakeholders due to insecurity and emergencies created by flooding.

Commissioner for Information Ahmad Sajo said: “After due consultation with the Chairman, Adamawa State Council of Emirs and Chiefs, the Adamawa State Government has directed that the usual Sallah homage be cancelled.

“The cancellation was due to a number of reasons which included insecurity and the emergencies created by flooding which washed away a number of bridges and rendered many families homeless.”

He however urged traditional rulers, prominent citizens and critical stakeholders in the state to use the Sallah period to sensitise the people on the importance of peace, unity and security.’’

A statement by Director of Information and Press Affairs to the Yobe State Governor Abdullahi Bego said the restriction on vehicle movement would begin by 10.00pm on Monday through 10.00am today when all prayers have been concluded on Eid grounds.

“This is to inform members of the public that following a security meeting he had with heads of security, intelligence and law enforcement in the state, His Excellency Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has approved the placement of a 12-hour restriction on vehicular movement across the state as part of preparations for a peaceful and hitch-free Eid-el Kabir prayers tomorrow Tuesday 21st August 2018.

“The restriction begins from 10.00pm tonight to 10.00am tomorrow(Tuesday).

“The public is kindly advised that no vehicle will be allowed within or near Eid prayer grounds except those on special duties.”

Kwara State Police Commissioner Aminu Saleh said in Ilorin: “Feelers have it that the Sallah will be disrupted. We want to inform you that we are looking and we are watching. We already identified three modes of dressing that we will look out for.

“It was discovered that the plot is being coordinated by top politicians of the major political parties in the state. Checks also indicated that preparatory for the offensive, they have concluded to hire mercenaries from within and outside the state to meet at designated points.

“We have intercepted a vehicle loaded with knives. I don’t know whether they needed these knives to come and slaughter rams in Ilorin.

“I am sure every household has a knife to slaughter their animal. We don’t need fresh knives here. We don’t want to lose the life of anybody for the purpose of Sallah and Durbar celebrations.

“We are sounding this note of warning for those of them who are bent on disrupting the celebrations. They must take this warning very seriously as we are not going to compromise any disruption of both celebrations.” Saleh also cautioned against hate speech.


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