Military operations are to be enhanced, following an order from President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday.
He gave the order during the National Security Council meeting with top security chiefs, led by Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, at Aso Villa.
On Monday, the President, in a broadcast, promised a rough time for those he described as “terrorists and criminals (who) must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that majority of us can live in peace and safety’’.
He also told the armed forces not to let the success achieved in the last 18 months in the fight against insurgents “be a sign to relax”.
Gen. Olonisakin told reporters after the meeting that the military would enhance its operations in line with the President’s directive.
”We are going to enhance our operations in all the areas that we need to do that.
“He has given the necessary directives which will be carried out by the military and the security agencies.
“He also directed that we must ensure that lives and properties of the citizens are protected and we must make sure that we secure the whole nation and also that troops that are outside carry out their jobs effectively,’’ Gen. Olonisakin said.
He added: “We have been meeting with Mr President for the last three hours.
“We updated him on all security issues around the country, within the country and outside the country where our troops are (operating).
“He has been receiving regular briefings from the acting president and he has been going through the print media and electronic media to follow the happenings in the country,
“At the meeting, he directed on some areas we should look at so as to enhance our operations in the country.”
“In his address (broadcast) he talked about the unity of the nation, which is non-negotiable. We have all been fully instructed to ensure that that directive is carried out to the letter,” he said.
Asked what the President said about IPOB’s secret service, the General said: “The issues of threat, all security threats were treated one after the other, ranging from terrorism to kidnapping, herdsmen/farmers clash, to IPOB issue. Comments were made as to what to do as regards those issues.”
On whether troops were being mobilised to the southeast, he said: “Every security like I said, is being treated and we are going to enhance our operations in all the areas. We need to do that.”
Asked if the President was worried about Boko Haram, despite the military’s efforts, the Chief of Defence Staff said: “On the Boko Haram issue, you all know it is an asymmetric warfare. It is not that the Boko Haram has stepped up their game, it is just the issue of suicide bombing that has been the problem and, of course, we are also working with the security agencies and the intelligence agencies to make sure that we address that menace.”
At the meting were: National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno, Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Alhaji Lawal Daura; Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Air Vice Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) and Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris.
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Ekwe Ite-Ibas was represented.