President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved the sum of $1 billion for the procurement of security equipment to fight insecurity in the country.This was disclosed by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, after a meeting between the president and security chiefs at the presidential villa.
The country has been facing security challenges, including Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast, herders/farmers clashes in the North Central, militancy in the Niger Delta and cattle rustling in the Northwest.Disturbed by the growing spate of insecurity, the National Economic Council (NEC) had approved federal government’s request to withdraw the $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to combat insecurity in the country.
Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, disclosed NEC’s approval after the Council meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on December 14, 2017. Also, the Senate had on November 7, 2017 resolved that the ECA, which was created by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2004, was illegal and should be abolished.
The Defence minister told State House correspondents after the meeting with the president that Buhari eventually gave approval for the purchase of more equipment for the military worth $1 billion. Dan-Ali said, “This is a normal meeting of security agencies in the country. As usual, we discussed the current activities that affected most of the states in the federation like Taraba, Zamfara and other states.”
On what to expect after the deployment in Zamfara, he said, “Well, as usual we have operationalised a division in Sokoto. There will be a Brigade in Katsina and another Brigade in Zamfara that will take care of security situation in that area.” On how that will resolve the issue, the minister said, “Of course, the strength of security personnel has increased, including the Air Force and additional quick response group. They have added enough manpower in that area.”
Fielding question on Leah Sharibu’s release, Dan-Ali said, “We are making all available efforts to see that the girl is returned safely”.