Security crises: Targeted $1tr economy in danger, says Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu on Friday charged security forces in the country to expedite action against bandits terrorizing the country, warning that the nation’s target of a $1 trillion economy would be in jeopardy should the situation persist.

He was addressing security chiefs and heads of intelligence agencies at a Presidential Security Briefing at the State House, in Abuja.

He spoke on a day terrorists killed at least 17 people and kidnapped 58 others in three communities in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State; and suspected Boko Haram members killed a pastor of the Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN) in Kwari, Geidam Local Government Area of Yobe State in a fresh wave of banditry in parts of the country.

A different gang of bandits struck in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),abducting seven members of a family and killing a policeman.

However, the man who succeeded Abubakar Shekau as Nigerian leader of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) has been killed in a raid by troops in Borno State.

Ba’a Shuwa was killed along with several of his fighters during an offensive by the troops on Tuesday.

Reports from Ankara yesterday said Turkish defense industry companies Asisguard and Nurol Makine are in the process of supplying Nigeria with 13 armoured vehicles to secure roads often targeted by terrorists.

Tinubu ,at the security briefing, said while good progress was being made with the elimination of some security threats across multiple theatres, success would ultimately be defined by a final conclusion to the multi-dimensional menace.

“We have too many investments that we need to make now in soft and physical infrastructure, in social security, in MSME empowerment, and other growth enablers,” he said.

He added: “we are pursuing a $1 trillion economy in the next few years, and our efforts will be undermined if we do not finally wrap up our progressive onslaught against enemies of progress. Be encouraged. The confidence of our people in your capacity is rising, and they are appreciative of the sacrifices of our men and women.

“The success you are recording is undeniable. Nigerians are seeing it, but the avoidable errors, as witnessed recently in Kaduna, are unacceptable and cannot be repeated. I am pleased that coordination between all agencies has dramatically improved over recent months, but there is no room for celebrations until we can end this; until we can bring our troops back to their own localities, and until we can free up resources for our critical economic expansion programme.”

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said his principal asked the armed forces to deliver on his objective to ensure the nation achieves a sustainable production of two million barrels of crude oil per day, including condensates, within the first quarter of 2024.

“I do not play with my intelligence reports. I have multiple lines of sight. The Navy and sister branches must step up their game to achieve our aims for the benefit of all Nigerians. All malign actors will be aggressively uprooted from our midst. Those working against the national agenda from within and without will meet justice. Your task is clear. We will sustain our momentum. Failure is not an option under my leadership,” the President warned.

The President also commended the Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF), the Commander of the Brigade of Guards (BoG), and his Chief Personal Security Officer (CPSO) for their dedication and commitment in the discharge of their assignments, which has earned them a promotion.

Speaking at the decoration of the PAF Commander, Air Commodore Olayinka Olusola Oyesola, with his new rank of Air Vice Marshal in the Nigerian Air Force; Commander, BoG, Adebisi Olusegun Onasanya, who was promoted from Colonel to the rank of Brigadier-General; and the Police CPSO, Usman Musa Shugaba, who is now a Deputy Commissioner of Police after being promoted from his prior rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, President Tinubu said he was very impressed by the officers’ “loyalty and dedication to duty”.

“Nigeria calls all to serve. We are the servants of the country, not the masters as you have seen. Your stewardship as leaders in your various categories is reflected in the assignments and responsibilities you have undertaken. I hope that Nigeria will continue to recognize your service to motherland,” the President said.

The newly promoted officers were decorated by the President who was assisted by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Bala Abubakar; the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja; and the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, respectively, in the presence of the spouses of the elevated officers.

The event was witnessed by the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle; the Service Chiefs; Heads of Intelligence Agencies, as well as presidential aides.

Speaking on behalf of the officers, AVM Olayinka thanked the President for the promotion of the officers and for the privilege to be of service to the nation. He assured the Commander-in-Chief of their continued loyalty and commitment to duty.