President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday presided over a meeting of security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, as part of the ongoing efforts to engage military and intelligence community towards addressing Boko Haram insurgency.
Confirming this development in a tweet in Abuja on Sunday, the president’s aide on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, said all the service chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim and the Director-General of the Department of State Security Service (SSS, also called DSS), Yusuf Bichi were part of the meeting.
“All the Service Chiefs, IG of Police and DG of DSS were at the State House this morning. As President Buhari said (Saturday) yesterday, in the coming days, he will be engaging the Military and Intelligence Chiefs in extensive discussions on the next steps we shall be taking,’’ Mr Ahmad said in the tweet.
President Buhari had pledged on Saturday to ensure that the loopholes which led to the fatalities are blocked once and for all.
On 18 November, the Al Barnawi faction of Boko Haram attacked the 157 Task Force Battalion based at Metele in the northern part of Borno state, killing scores of Nigerian troops.
The military authorities are yet to give the specific number of casualties. But the terrorists said they killed at least 118 soldiers.
Mr Buhari in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu in Abuja on Saturday, reiterated his administration’s commitment to the security of military personnel and other citizens.
“No responsible Commander-in-Chief would rest on his oars or fold his hands to allow terrorists to endanger the lives of military personnel and other citizens”, Shehu quoted the president as saying.
“Our loyal forces have proved their strength over the terrorists and we are ready to give them all the needed support, in terms of equipment and manpower, to succeed in ending the renewed threat.
“In the coming days, I am engaging the military and Intelligence Chiefs in extensive discussions on the next steps we shall be taking.”
The president noted that fighting terrorism had taken a global dimension which necessitated international collaboration among states facing similar security challenges.
He, therefore, reassured Nigerians of his continued commitment to their security and of his efforts to sustain the momentum in the previous significant successes recorded against the terrorists.
The president, however, advised Nigerians against making a political capital out of the national tragedy, stressing that “members of the armed forces are one family, commonly committed to the security and safety of all Nigerians.’’