Nigeria’s military high command on Thursday, declared that the Armed Forces of Nigerian (AFN) was ready to contain any threat to a successful handover of power on May 29.
It said the military and the intelligence agencies were working round the clock to ensure a smooth hand over even as it recorded some arrests of suspected arms smugglers.
It also deplored the alarm raised by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, that terror attacks might threaten the May 29 presidential inauguration.
The military, however, said the alarm by the Kaduna State chief executive was “unnecessary”.
The governor, had through his Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, while presenting a security report at the Government House, stated that terrorists could take advantage of the transition period in May 29 to launch bloody attacks in the country, and warned against the activities of the terrorists during the transition period.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, the Director, Defence Media Operations (DDMO), Maj Gen Musa Danmadami, recalled security advisories issued by the United States and the United Kingdom and wondered why critical stakeholders had continued to make the Nigerian populace more apprehensive, insisting that the military remained at alert and already to neutralise any threat.
“Just like the general election have come and gone, winners have been announced, people are just being apprehensive by insinuating the security situations that are not there. You will recall that there was a US advisory warnings but up till now, there is nothing to show that, and we are still waiting for the consequences. People have been predicting that this country would finish but nothing has happened.
“Members of the armed forces like I always tell you, will continue to be on standby, we are not resting on our oars to ensure that peace and security of this country is sustained. I can equally assure you that the intelligence community too are working round the clock just like the armed forces are also working round the clock to ensure that there is peace and tranquility,” he said.
He disclosed that there were a lot of follow-up operations on a daily basis after the just-concluded general election and people moving ammunition from one point to another to commit havoc were arrested.
“I can assure you that there are a lot of follow-up operations going on every day. People are being arrested, people who are on the verge of trying to commit crime are being arrested, people who are moving ammunition from one point to the other to go and commit havoc are being arrested everyday as it was reflected in the brief for today.
“We are working round the clock, both the intelligence community and the Nigeria’s Armed Forces of Nigeria are working round the clock to make sure we nip these things in the bud and if it happens, we respond to it appropriately. So, there should be no fear, people should not be afraid that when they hand over there is going to be calamity all over the place. I can assure you that we are ready to address whatever calamity that wants to come up, we are ready for that.
“People should just go about their normal duties and forget about all this apprehension people are creating unnecessarily. There is no cause for alarm, everything is under control. On the long holiday, as usual, there was no problem, Easter came and went, the same thing, Sallah will come and go, and definitely there won’t be any problem. There may be one or two isolated cases but they will definitely be addressed,” he assured the people.
He however, called on the intelligence agencies to quickly expose those funding militant groups and by extension terrorism.
“Funding of militant groups, there are a lot of schools of thought as per who is funding terrorism in Nigeria. I’ll allow the intelligence community to do that, that is not my job to do,” he said.
On the latest attacks in Benue State that claimed hundreds of lives, he denied that the military was not up to its responsibility in containing the attacks.
“Anybody telling you that story is telling lies. The army will not see people coming to attack a location and sit back. In most our briefings we tell you, most times we get information and we respond, most at times before we get to that location unfortunately the people have committed their mayhem and then will disappear.
“Sometimes, we follow them up in a pursuit operations and have an encounter with them and in the process some of them are eliminated while some people are arrested. You may find out that it is possible that those people came in uniforms, not everybody, people are carrying AK-47 all over the place,” he said.