Garba Shehu
Garba Shehu

Nigeria’s security architecture undergoing restructuring, says Presidency

NEWS DIGEST – The Presidency says the current national security architecture is undergoing re-equipment and reorganisation.

In an interview with The Nation Newspaper, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu assured Nigerians that end to terrorism and banditry in Northwest is in sight.

The North has been reeling under serious terrorism and bandit attacks which have taken a turn for the worse.

There have been daily attacks, including kidnapping for ransom, insurgency, killings and incessant farmer-herder clashes, among others.

In a renewed wave of terror, gunmen on March 26 attacked facilities at the Kaduna Airport, killing an airport worker.

Two days later, terrorists blew up rail tracks on the Abuja-Kaduna route, killing eight passengers, injuring 41 people and abducting many.

However, the Presidential aide appealed to families of the train attack victims to be patient, assuring them that efforts were on to rescue their loved ones.

He said much was being done and that the result would soon be apparent.

On the Boko Haram/bandits’ alliance and the impression that the security agencies had failed to carry out President Muhammadu Buhari’s orders, Shehu said the current security crisis was a recent development.

Quoting the international terrorism index, he said the Northeast security crisis, which the administration inherited, had been degraded by 90 per cent.

“This is why the military – the defence establishment, is re-strategising. They are reorganising with new technologies.

“We are hoping that in the coming weeks, people will see the real difference. We’re hoping incidents, such as the rail bombing, will never again happen,” Shehu said.

On success recording in Northeast, he said: “Virtually all the major roads in Borno State have been re-opened. All the major markets have been re-opened.

“Trading across the border has resumed and if you see what the international terrorism index indicated recently, more than 90 per cent of Boko Haram terrorism is no longer happening.

“So, that is to say, that things are happening and Nigerians should appreciate the fact that the military, the intelligence and the police are working hard and they are getting results.

“I’m not denying that there has been a spike recently in some states, particularly Kaduna, Plateau, Niger Benue, and to some extent, Zamfara, which has witnessed a calming down of the situation for some time.

“Essentially, you’re talking about the government’s success in degrading sustainable threats, such as Boko Haram.

“That is not to say that there are not occasional threats; they might strike from time to time and this is in the nature of symmetric warfare.

“But the government is preparing well, is planning well, is making acquisitions – drone technology, airpower.

“We’ve just been given approval by the Americans to buy nearly $1 billion worth of military hardware – 12 helicopters.

“So, we’re getting somewhere and you know that the Super Tucanos have come; the drones, we have got two more.

“They were being assembled and the operators were being trained. All of these things are being hastened.

“Changes have happened in commands in the manning of this dangerous axis and the results will show.

“So, Nigerians should be patient with the administration. We are getting results. It may take time, but we’ll get there,” he said.