The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) will take over the fight against Boko Haram insurgents from the Nigerian Military by in the year 2020.
YaahooJournalist reports that the development is in compliance with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari who has also ordered the withdrawal of military troops from areas affected by the insurgency.
President Buhari gave this directive following the execution of 10 Christians by the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) on Christmas day.
YaahooJournalist understands that the Nigerian Police whose major task is providing internal security in the country will be taking over from the military by the first quarter of 2020
The Nigerian President who presided over the Security council meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital made the decision to withdraw troops in order for the military to focus on external threats and create strategies to neutralise them.
The Security Council, however, said that the military would first conduct a threat assessment to determine the specific areas where the troop withdrawal would cover.
This online news platform understands that the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, gave the details shortly after the meeting while addressing State House correspondents.
The Chief of Naval Staff said that the withdrawal will allow the military to focus on its primary duty of defending the nation against external aggression and respond adequately to emerging threats.
His words; “You will recall that the various operations in the country in the North-East, North-West, North-Central, the South-East as well as the South-West where all members of the Armed Forces are taking part as well as the intelligence agencies, have ensured that we all enjoyed a better holiday period that has just been observed.
“We also recall that in those areas where the military has been able to achieve the desired objectives, from the first quarter of next year, the civil authorities will be preparing to take back those responsibilities as the military draws back its forces from those areas to enable it to focus its attention on other emerging threats and areas of concern.
“Basically, most of the internal security challenges that we have are supposed to be the responsibility of the civil authorities, the police in particular.
“However, so long as Nigeria is not engaged in war outside, it means whatever internal crisis that we have the responsibility rests with the police.
“In the circumstances that the military has to come in to stabilise the situation, it is only proper that once one area has been dominated by the military and the situation has returned to normal, that the Nigeria Police takes over the responsibility.
“And in this instance, we also have the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, which is supposed to support the police in this regard.
“You will recall also that Mr President recently approved the recruitment of about 10,000 Nigerians into the Nigeria Police Force, hoping that once these Nigerians get the appropriate training, they will be in the position to fill the gaps.
“You are aware that Nigeria is such a big country that we cannot tie down the military even in those areas that the deliverables have been achieved and the objectives achieved..
“I think I better make it very clear that an assessment of what the military will do will be based on the situation on the ground. It is not expected that the military will withdraw when it is apparent that there is still some threats in such locations.
“I am sure we are also aware that the nation is procuring equipment for the military. It is expected that before the second quarter of next year, most of the equipment shall be in place. It therefore means that all our hands are put on the ground looking at the technology-backed surveillance that will enable the military to react more efficiently and effectively.
“With that, it is also believed that the Nigeria Police will take the lead in containing security in such areas that must have been assessed to be in the right place to sustain. I don’t believe that a responsible military will want to withdraw when it is apparent that there is still risk that cannot be overcome by the police.”