*Buhari convenes security meeting
By Chesa Chesa
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja convened a meeting with heads of security agencies to review the security challenges facing the country and strategies for surmounting them, particularly in the Northeast.
The meeting was Buhari’s first official engagement since his return to the country last Saturday after spending two weeks in London, United Kingdom, on vacation.
A day after his arrival, reports emerged that terrorists scores of villagers in Mailari in the Guzamala region of Borno State at around 2 a.m (August 19, 2018)
Reuters quoted a survivor, Umar, as saying he had counted 19 dead people, including his younger brother, while an aid worker at a camp who received some survivors, put the death toll at 63.
Emerging from the closed-door meeting that lasted two-and-half hours, Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, told State House correspondents that the reports reaching government about latest developments in the Northeast were worrisome, although “absolute decision” had been taken at the meeting.
He did not specify what the latest counter measures would be, but he declared that security had improved in other hotspots like Benue and Zamfara states.
According to the minister: “Mr President, he just came back, so we briefed him on all the activities we had while he was away. It’s an update of the August 2nd meeting.
“We have seen that there is a lot of improvement in the security situation in the country more especially in Zamfara and Benue state and in the Niger Delta.
“In the North East we are having worrisome report, we have looked into it critically and we have taken absolute decision.”
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, also told journalists that the President was updated with ongoing security operations across he country, especially the new operations in Benue, Zamfara, Taraba – Operation Whirl Stroke, and Operation Saradaji.
He said: “We gave the extent of successes in these operation 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 (Buhari) 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.”
Aside Dan-Ali and Olonishakin, others at the meeting were National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Abubakar; Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; and the Acting Director-General of Department for State Services, Matthew Seiyefa.