The National Security Council on Tuesday vowed to deploy more decisive measures with a view to averting a repeat of the EndSARS protest while also dealing with the deteriorating insecurity in parts of the country.
Addressing State House Correspondents shortly after a meeting convened by President Mohammadu Buhari in Aso Rock, Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi said the Council was worried by the emerging development and is determined to arrest the situation.
Dingyadi said the meeting during their closed-door, noted with concern the increasing cases of armed banditry particularly in the northwest and northeastern part of the country and resolved to adopt a more decisive approach to tame the situation.
“The meeting agreed to be more proactive in dealing with the situation in a more decisive manner.
The meeting noted the need to pay greater attention to the police in the discharge of its functions to maintain peace in the country, in the areas of equipment and modern technology.
While commending the government’s efforts aimed to reposition the Nigerian Police to perform more effectively, the Minister said the Buhari-led administration was poised to support the security agencies to end all forms of protests so that peace could return to all parts of the country.
“Mr. President assured Nigerians that he will do whatever it takes to ensure the repeat of ENDSARS protests does not occur in Nigeria again.
“All stakeholders will be involved in the Process of maintaining peace in the country, particularly the youth, community leaders, traditional rulers, politicians, public servants, religious leaders etc
“The Federal Government will continue to maintain its bureaucratic, humane and just postures in handling security matters in the country.
On how soon Nigerians should expect improved security, the minister said “We have our timelines, we have our targets and we are working towards achieving those targets.”
On the recent ENDSARS protests, he said “the government will continue to dialogue, it will continue to listen and will continue to carry all stakeholders along in ensuring that there is no repeat of what happened that destroyed a lot of properties, public and private, individuals in this country.”
Continuing, he explained that the “decisive action means, it’s an all-inclusive action that is going to be taken to ensure that in terms of technology, the equipment we can face these challenges head-on.”
On the menace of banditry, the minister of Police Affairs said government had degraded them and their activities tamed.
He said, “You see, these bandits have already being degraded. So, there is no way they resuscitate themselves and take over. I think they have already been degraded, what they are doing is just hit and run kind of tactics.
“So, we don’t see any sign of them coming to takeover or overpower, I think they have been well degraded and they are just trying to show their presence in a very cowardice manner.
On concerns that the police have abandoned the Abuja-Kaduna and plans to ensure peace return to the route, Dingyadi said a joint patrol had begun with a view to secure and return sanity to the road.
“That place is being monitored 24 hours. There are police and the army who are on a kind of joint patrol on 24 hours basis. We also have our own separate police formation that is also on that road. I think it is an over statement to say that that place is not being secured.
“People are still following it, we agree that there have been cases of attacks but these are normal things these people do whenever they have opportunity and we are equal to the task.
“So, police and security personnel will continue to monitor this road and all other places to ensure that peace is to a very large extent maintained in the area.”
The minister said the authorities were working to ensure a 24 hours surveillance across the states to provide security for the citizens.
“We cannot be everywhere because of our number, equipment but we are doing all we can to ensure that we cover as much as we can and to protect as many lives as we can to ensure that there is peace in this country,” he said.