Armed ViolenceNews

Heads of Nigerian Intelligence Services Visit Northwest Amid Protests

On Wednesday, the National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Major- Gen. Babagana Monguno led a joint police and intelligence services team to assess the security situation in the Northwest and to commiserate with the governments and people of Katsina and Sokoto states over the recent armed attacks by militias on communities.

Monguno led a team comprising Yusuf Magaji Bichi, the Director-General of the Department of State Services responsible for domestic intelligence and Ahmad Rufai Abubakar, Director-General, National Intelligence Agency responsible for foreign intelligence operations.

Others on the team were Air Vice-Marshal Mohammed Saliu Usman, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, and Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police.

Monguno said he was on an assessment and consultative visit to the two states on the directive of President Muhammad Buhari.

The NSA said the president was extremely worried about the security situation in the Northwest and stressed that security was a collective responsibility of all stakeholders

Mungono also noted that part of the team’s mandate was to meet with the state governors and other stakeholders to enable the development of strategies for the way forward and proffer solutions to the unfortunate occurrences in the area.

The presence of the heads of domestic, foreign and military intelligence is connected with the transnational and multidimensional nature of the violence, killing and kidnapping perpetrated by terrorist groups (bandits) that have displaced over 200,000 displaced in Northwestern Nigeria

HumAngle recently exclusively reported about a propaganda video message sent by one of the terror groups in the Northeast region wooing armed groups in the Northwest region to collaborate with it.

The president had approved a joint military and police operation for the Northwest zone but many residents and civil society groups said the government needed to do more to stop the protracted violence in the region.

The people in frustration embarked on street protests in Katsina State last week to demand immediate action to end their pains and Wednesday a coalition civil society groups called for mass action against killings in the zone.

Other groups, including the Northern Elders Forum and the Association of Arewa Traders, called for action against the killings and alleged that there was a deliberate effort by the government to destroy the people and their economy.

In one incident two weeks ago armed criminals killed over 70 persons in attacks on communities and in another the bands killed more than 81 in Zamfara State.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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