President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday held a closed door meeting with the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
It was learnt that the meeting, which held at the Defence House, Abuja, was aimed at assessing the security situation in the country, against the backdrop of renewed attacks by the Boko Haram sect.
It was gathered that the President was concerned about the renewed attacks by the sect and the duo discussed ways of checking the insurgents.
Investigations also revealed that the meeting centred on ways of carrying out the President’s plan on the relocation of the military central command to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Buhari, had in his inaugural speech said, “The command centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. But we cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.”
After the meeting with the President on Monday, Dasuki, however, declined comments when approached by reporters.
The President’s media office, however, announced that Buhari would on Wednesday and Thursday, visit Niger and Chad in furtherance of his desire to subdue the sect.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the President would travel to Chad and Niger for talks on the Boko Haram menace.
This will be the President’s first official visit outside the country since assuming office.
According to Shehu, the two-day trip, will focus on “matters of security,” because Nigeria needs the cooperation of its neighbours to succeed in its campaign against the terrorist sect whose activities have so far claimed an estimated over 15,000 lives since 2009.
He said, “Buhari will go to Niger Republic on Wednesday and will spend a night there before proceeding to Chad the next day (Thursday).”
Contrary to the widespread speculations that the President will immediately relieve the service chiefs of their appointments, there are indications that he will hold a meeting with them within the next few days.
The service chiefs who were appointed on January 16, 2014 are the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah; the Naval Chief, Vice Admiral Jibrin Usman; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu.
Investigations by one of our correspondents revealed that the President’s pronouncement directing that the military should move its command and control centre for the ongoing operation against the sect in the North-East, has ignited serious interest in military circles.
It was gathered that the decision had caused disquiet within military circles.
A security official who spoke to one of our correspondents on the condition of anonymity said the statement was politically reassuring but could pose tactical challenges.
The official explained that since the military was involved in multiple operations across various theatres within Nigeria, it would raise tactical issues to move the command and control centre to one theatre of operation.
He observed that the Americans had Africom command for Africa based in Germany and they had another base in Oman for the Gulf States; stressing that moving the DHQ to Maiduguri was not necessary.