From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari issued marching orders on Monday to Nigeria’s Armed Forces to synergise if the ongoing war on insecurity across the country is to be won.
President Buhari gave the order when he received the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya, who was at the Presidential Villa with the Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd), to be formally informally introduced and presented.
Relating part of the conversation between the President and the new Chief of Army Staff in an interview with NTA after the meeting, Magashi speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, said the President also gave new tips on how to win the protracted war on insecurity in the country.
According to him, President Buhari pointed out to Gen Yahaya that the nation’s security has been under serious pressure, even as he (Magashi), assured Nigerians that a lot is about to change with security operations in the country.
‘He told him that there’s a lot of pressure on security and… we can learn from his experiences and apply them to our modern operations and I think we have taken the advice seriously.
‘The issue of synergy among the security forces was also stressed and I’m sure there will be a lot of changes as regards the security operations in this country.
‘The President received us, offered some advice on how we can go about doing this operation and the entire security of the country. We assured him that we will do our best to bring an end to the problem of insecurity in this country.
‘He’s very happy, he thanked Mr President for giving him the opportunity to serve as the Chief of Army Staff and promised that he will bring all his experiences to bear in collaboration with his colleagues; Chief of Air Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, to be able to do this country proud.
‘The President is really having confidence in the new set of people that he has appointed. We wish them the best of luck,’ Magashi said.
Asked about what the armed forces are doing to restore peace to the North West region, Magashi pointed out that the armed forces have just been rendering a supporting role to the police, who is constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of keeping civil peace.
He said the main concern of the nation’s security agencies is the terror activities mutating in the North East, categorically noting the growing concern with the activities of the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP).
‘In the northwestern part of the country, you know that the more concern we have is the insecurity of banditry, kidnapping, and other criminalities. We are taking the challenge, but you know, really, this is the constitutional responsibility of the police, we are only an aid to the police and we are giving maximum cooperation to the police in order to see an end to this banditry and insecurity in the North West, otherwise I think it’s quite different from the North East.
‘In the northeast, it’s Boko Haram issue and we’re up and doing to ensure that we bring an end to this Boko Haram issue, especially with this development of ISWAP,’ he said.