President Muhammadu Buhari has said state governors must work more with traditional rulers and community members to improve local intelligence gathering that will aid the work of security agencies.
He gave the charge on Tuesday at the presidential villa, Abuja during a meeting with 36 state governors on the issue of security.
President Buhari, who listened to presentations by a governor from each of the six geo-political zones on their specific security challenges, recalled that in the old order communities identified newcomers and passed information to constituted authority.
Buhari stated: “The sub-region is no longer safe, more so with the collapse of the former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi’s regime and the cross border movement of weapons and criminals.
“Governors must work with traditional rulers. Try and work with traditional rulers to boost intelligence gathering.”
He also confirmed that plans are in place to reopen the nation’s land borders as soon as possible.
The president explained that the closure of the nation’s land borders was partly an attempt to control the smuggling in of weapons and drugs.
A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) quoted him as saying: “Now that the message has sunk in with our neighbours, we are looking into reopening the borders as soon as possible,” he said.
Giving an overview of the security situation in each of the zones, the President said his administration had done well in the North East and South-South, adding that the South-South situation was still worrisome.
Buhari said: “Every day I get situation reports about illegal refineries and the blowing up of pipelines. You must stop local rogues from sabotaging oil installations.’’
Addressing the issue of banditry and kidnapping reported in each of the geo-political zones, President Buhari said “security is important and we must secure the whole country. We are thinking very hard on the issue of kidnapping. We will make it possible for the military to get to the bandits and kidnappers and eliminate them.’’
President Buhari gave assurances that the country’s military will continue to get the support they needed to fight criminals.
He added: “I am not going to the public to speak about the vehicles and equipment we have ordered. What I can say is that the military received armoured cars and other equipment and they are training the trainers. More of such equipment, including military aircraft, will come in.’’