INSURGENCY: FG INAUGURATES ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON HAND OVER OF LIBERATED COMMUNITIES.
Following the decision to return reclaimed territories liberated from Boko Haram to civil authority, the federal government on Tuesday inaugurated an Inter-ministerial Advisory Committee on the Planned handing over of areas freed by the military to civil law enforcement agencies in Abuja.
Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali while inaugurating the committee, disclosed that the move was not only part of government’s efforts to consolidate on the gains achieved so far by restoring civil authority in the liberated areas but also, to bring hope into the liberated communities.
Emphasizing that the ministries of Defence and Interior are working together to ensure that all consolidated areas are ready for occupation within the shortest possible time, the minister also said government was concerned about the condition of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in the country.
The committee which has two weeks to conduct its assignment in the first instance, has as its terms of reference, the following; ‘to ascertain areas liberated from the terrorists by Nigerian forces; to confirm the presence of civil populace in these areas; and to confirm the presence of Law enforcement agencies at those locations as well as their capacity to protect civilians’.
The committee is also to ‘access the potentials of government support to the security and law enforcement agencies in the face of attacks by insurgents.
“You are also expected to consult with the state governments, traditional and religious leaders, heads of the security agencies and intelligence community” the minister said.
He then urged the committee to be very fair and objective in discharging the national assignment entrusted on them.
Members of the committee which has Major-General AT Umaru (rtd) as Chairman are Maj-General JS Bindawa (rtd), Alhaji Haliru Adamu, DIG Abdullahi Shettima (rtd), NEMA representative, NSCDC rep, Umar Sanda, AIG Idris Ibrahim, Nigeria Immigration Service, Professor Biu, Gp Capt JA Opara, Col I. Ajose, Mohammed Indabawa, Nigerian Navy rep and Major General F. O. Ali from Defence HQ.
Meanwhile, the Defence Minister and his Liberian counterpart Browney Samukai yesterday commenced talks on collaboration between the armed forces of the countries in countering insurgency in the West African region.
Samukai who made this known during a visit to the Nigeria Minister of Defence yesterday in Abuja, said Liberia is ready to partner with Nigeria in fighting insurgents in the north east.
He stated that: “in whatever way Liberia can help from the military side, we are more than glad to partner with you in that regards.”
“It is our hope that our discussions will go further to broaden peace within the region and to join the people Nigeria in supporting your effort against terrorism and extremism,” he added.
Samukai also noted the importance of maintaining bilateral relations in spite of the winding down of an eight year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Liberia and Nigeria on rebuilding the Liberian Armed Forces this June 2016.
He said: “It is important that we continue our bilateral discussions within the context of the draw down so that our two countries strategic interest can continue to be maintained and to also appreciate the intent of the MOU we have signed some years ago.”
On his part Nigeria’s minister of Defence promised government support to ensure peace in Liberia, noting that government is also working on updating the MOU with Liberia.
He said: “we are making it current, and we are looking at how best the two armed force will partner in fighting this global menace of terrorism in the eastern part of our country.”
He also said: “Nigeria consider Liberia as a key partner, we rely upon each other, the relationship is waxing stronger each day, Nigeria will continue to support Liberia so that the rank and file and officers of that country will stand anywhere in the world.”
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