President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that new military weapons and aircraft would arrive Nigeria soon to aid the military in tackling insecurity, particularly in Northern region.
Buhari said that the weapons and aircraft were being arranged for shipment from Jordan, China, and the United States and that they would boost resources at disposal of Nigerian military to end activities of terrorist groups and bandits in Nigeria.
The president appealed to Nigerians for patience on insecurity, saying, the new weapons and aircraft after its arrival can only be manned by trained fighters and pilots who must first receive appropriate training.
He stated these on Tuesday after a three-hour meeting with State Governors in Abuja where all parties agreed for a joint strategy to bring various conflicts to an end within time limits and that the field commanders’ should take measures to protect civilian communities as a confidence-building mechanism between the military and those communities.
Through a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president attributed the spike in level of insecurity across the country on the porous borders that have become routes for movement of small weapons into Nigeria.
Buhari accused the military of relapsing its security and intelligence gathering activities, noting that to address these, the service chiefs have been directed to meet within themselves and deliberate on reasons for the challenges and strategies that could be used to address it.
While querying the service chief’s competence, he stated that these terrorists were in the localities and that the military should have halted their source of small weapons and arrest perpetrators.
“We have said enough on the need for them to rejig their operations. I am glad that there are better synergy and cooperation which are very important. I have directed the Service Chiefs to meet among themselves in-between the National Security Council meetings.
“The services have resources; yes, they need more, and mobility, and are doing their best, but there is a need for better gathering and interpretation of intelligence. Our intelligence-gathering must be improved,” the president added.
He noted that if the military had done their duties effectively, the achievements recorded on the fight against terrorists earlier could have been sustained with intensified intelligence gathering and other warfare techniques.
The President, who expressed satisfaction with the level of Naval activity in the Gulf of Guinea, using newly-acquired equipment, directed them to comb hard-to-reach areas of Lake Chad where Boko Haram terrorists have found new havens, as well as the forests now inhabited by bandits, must be accessed and rid of nefarious elements.
“The Chief of Defence Staff has spoken about their study of the forests and their potential danger to security. We must make sure we follow the bandits and terrorists, but there must not be deforestation in view of the climate situation,” he added.
The President, meanwhile, dispel assumptions that the terrorists in Northeast had far more weapons and money than the government, adding, what is left of them are mere scavengers desperate for food, raiding shops and markets, and killing innocent persons in the process.
Buhari also expressed satisfaction with the level of support from neighbouring countries in the war against terrorism.
“They are cooperating with us. On Boko Haram, we are making progress with Benin, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon,” he said while restating that intelligence-gathering must improve to be able to track small arms in the Northwest, North Central and Northeast States.