The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor and governors of oil producing states on Friday, met to discuss ways to addressing the prevailing security challenges affecting oil production in the country.
Irabor, while welcoming the governors, expressed the Federal Government cooncern about the trend in the security situation in the oil producing states, saying the meeting was at the instance of President Muhammad Buhari.
He said that the meeting was in the light of the current challenges that in the oil and gas sector, adding that the nation was currently bleeding and thought it necessary to reverse the trend.
He said he decided to lead all the heads of security and intelligence agencies as well as the group general manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited to the meeting with the governors.
“So, given that the issues demand quick action, as mandated by Mr president, we have come to engage with you and the requirement would involve the whole of society.
“So, as critical stakeholders in Niger Delta, we believe that our framework would come up with two people at the door to address the current issues, you will be playing critical part.
“It is for this reason that we have chosen to engage with you, as directed by Mr President,” he said.
Irabor expressed the belief that the outcome of whatever approach they came up with would be a win -win for every Nigerian.
Responding on behalf of the governors, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, commended the CDS for convening the meeting, adding that the governors were also worried about the happenings in oil facilities around the states.
Okowa said the governors knew that there had been challenges, saying there had been a sharp drop in oil production from the various facilities.
He said the meeting would give them the opportunity to share ideas with the various agencies of government in charge of security and those in charge of the management of various oil companies in the nation.
The governor said the meeting would provide them the opportunity to see how the states could collaboratively work with security agencies to check the excesses of those involved in oil bunkering and other crimes in the region.
“I do think that this collaboration is a very welcome idea and that it will give us the room for even greater collaboration because it requires a stakeholders’ approach to this very challenging issue.
“As for us, the more oil and gas we are able to produce the better for our states because to a very large extent it will improve the revenues that we have from federal allocation.
“And beyond that too we do believe that if we are able to put a stop to what is going on in our environment, it will be a lot more cleaner than what it is.
“This is because outside the economic challenge we also do realise that the issues that are currently going on are actually those that affect the health of our people.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governors of Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers and Abia were present, those of Edo, Imo and Ondo were represented by their deputies.
Also, heads of security and intelligence agencies present were the CDS, Inspector General of Police, Directors-General of the Department of State Services, National Intelligence Agency and the Chief of Defense Intelligence.
Others are the Controller-General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as the NNPC Group General Manager and other top officers.
The meeting is being held behind closed door as at the time of filing this report.
Economic: Defence Chief Warns Coup Advocates
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, has warned against advocating for a coup due to economic hardship, emphasizing patience and the superiority of democracy.
He made this known on Thursday while speaking with journalists at the Nigerian Army 6 Division Headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, after commissioning some building projects.
General Musa urged individuals promoting military takeover to cease such statements.
The Chief of Defence Staff had earlier commissioned the newly constructed Entrance Gate and Officers Transit Accommodation at the 6 Division Headquarters.
Protests have occurred in Ogun, Oyo, Kano, Niger and some parts of the country in the last few weeks over the hardship experienced in the country as Nigerians lament food inflation, high cost of living, amongst other harsh living conditions occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy, forex crisis, amongst others.
Security: Bill To Introduce State Police Scales Second Reading
A Constitution Amendment Bill to introduce state police has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill, which was sponsored by 13 members of the House, enjoyed support from majority of the lawmakers in the green chamber who believed that concerns of political victimisation by state governors, should take the backseat to the current state of insecurity across the country.
Last week, President Bola Tinubu and 36 state governors considered the creation of state police as solution to the menacing security challenges like kidnapping and banditry ubiquitous in the country.
State police has been a subject of controversy since the Seventh National Assembly and has failed to make it through the amendment phase.
Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had recently restated their position on state policing, as the solution to the country’s worsening security situation, lamenting that Nigeria is “almost on the road to Venezuela”.
Also, regional socio-political groups such as Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum, and the Northern Elders’ Forum, have repeatedly called for state police as solution the myriad of increasing security challenges confronting the nation.
Already, states in the South-West geopolitical zone have formed the Amotekun while their counterparts in the South-East also created state-owned security outfit Ebube Agu. The Benue Guards has also been operational in Benue State in the North Central while states like Katsina, Zamfara and other bandit-prone sub-nationals have also come up with similar state-established outfits.
However, these outfits have not been effective as anticipated as they don’t have the backing of the Federal Government or the Presidency while states continue to demand that Amotekun, Ebube Agu and others are granted license to bear assault rifles like AK-47 to confront lethal gun-toting marauders.
Insecurity: Nigeria To Intensify Patrol Of Its Borders -Security Chiefs
Nigeria security chiefs on Tuesday gave an indication of intensive patrol of the nation’s borders in a bid to tackle security challenges in the country.
Specifically, the security chiefs said more men will be deploy to the nation’s borders.
There was also an assurance from the ministry of finance that more funds will be released expeditiously to purchase sophisticated equipment to fight insecurity.
Worried by the insecurity in the country, the Nigerian Senate summoned the Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawale, Minister of Police Affairs, Ibrahim Gaidam and Minister of Interior Tunji Ojo.
Rising from 9 hours meeting, the senate expressed concern about insecurity, saying it was affecting food supply and other aspect of the economy.
Briefing newsmen shortly after the close session, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sen. Yemi Adaramodu said
the security chiefs answered questions posed them satisfactory.
“We got assurance from the security chiefs that the border patrol will be intensified and that the borders must be manned by more men”.
He said one of the major resolutions was to urge the Federal Government to make citizenship registration in Nigeria, compulsory.
“We also spoke about standardization, authentication and unification of the nation’s identity system via NIN and BVN” Adaramodu added.
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