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Expect changes in security operations in Nigeria, says Defence Minister

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday held his maiden meeting with the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Farouk Yahaya, directing the nation’s Armed Forces and security agencies to synergize in order to win the ongoing war on insecurity across the country.

This is just as Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), who formally introduced General Yahaya told Nigerians to expect “a lot of changes as regards to the security operations in this country.”

General Magashi told journalists after the meeting that the President gave new directives and tips on how to win the protracted war against insecurity in the country.

According to the Minister, President Buhari told the new COAS “that there’s a lot of pressure on security. And being an actor, at one point or the other, has given us a direction in which 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 to 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.”

Asked about what the armed forces are doing to restore peace to the Northwest region, Magashi pointed out that the military is actually rendering supporting role to the Nigeria Police, which 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 Northeast, 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 Northwest. Otherwise, I think it’s quite different from the Northeast.

“In the Northeast, it is 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.”

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