The security meeting earlier reported to be pholding in Aso Rock, Abuja , the seat of power in Nigeria has been concluded. One surprise that came out of the meeting is that contrary to popular expectation, it did not discuss the likely extension of state of emergency in the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
When it adjourned some minutes after 6:00 pm, four state governors and Mohammed Gausu, minister of defence addressed the press. The governors are Babangida Aliyu, Niger; Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti; Theodore Orji, Abia and Kashim Shettima, Borno. According to Gausu, the meeting was a networking arrangement to engender cooperation among the three federating units- federal, state and local governments- in the war against terror. He said the issue of state of emergency did not feature in the agenda of the meeting.
That was not what Nigerians expected. There were reports, prior to the meeting called at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan that top on the agenda of the meeting was the likely extension of the state of emergency in the three states that have been bedeviled by attacks from the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents.
The belief is that security chiefs had submitted a report to President Jonathan asking him to declare a total state of emergency that will affect the powers of the elected officers of the states concerned. The logic, as stated by the reports , is that lack of total control of the environment by the security chiefs hindered proper application of emergency rule.
That speculation was further reinforced when the service chiefs turned up for the meeting. It was assumed that they came to defend their submission. In fact, they were not alone. Heads of all para military agencies including the federal road safety commission were at the meeting.
The governors said the para military agencies were invited so that they will be made to realize that their agencies are henceforth expected to collaborate on the fight against insurgency.
Though the security agencies were commended for their efforts so far, they were asked to improve on cooperation and sharing of information. While the Borno state governor stressed the need to equip the security agencies with hi-tech facilities, they all said the meeting was a confidence building effort. They also condemned Murtala Nyako, governor of Adamawa over his letter critical of federal government.
By Anayochukwu Agbo/Abuja