Minister of Interior Abdulrahman Dambazau has disclosed the federal government intention to establish a national guard to combat security emergencies in Nigeria.
He disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja when the Adjutant General of the California National Guard, U.S paid him a courtesy visit.
The minister, however. stressed that a lot of consultations would be done before any
decision is taken in that regard.
Dambazzau recalled that several years ago the government had planned the establishment of a National Guard, but the idea did not materialise because of a number of challenges.
He explained that the National Guard would help to fill the gap between the operations of the Military and the Nigerian Police in tackling security challenges and emergencies.
According to him, the military was becoming increasingly involved in dealing with some security threats in the country which is outside their constitutional mandate while the police might be overstretched in dealing with such issues.
He said Nigeria would continue to collaborate with the international community, including sharing experiences with the U.S Army in the training of Nigeria’s security personnel,adding that the visit of U.S military officials would help strengthen the cordial relationship between both countries, especially as regards security.
Earlier, the adjutant general, David Baldwin, a Maj.-Gen., said he and his team were in Nigeria to foster partnership between both countries.
He said that California as one of the biggest states in the U.S had its own National Guard like other states which is responsible security and emergencies.
He said the California National Guard will be involved in the training of Nigeria’s security agencies under the Ministry of Interior such as the Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Fire Service, NSCDC and Prisons to deal with security challenges/emergencies.
Mr. Baldwin said the training was designed for two to three years to equip the security personnel with modern trend in security and emergency operations.
On the establishment of a National Guard in Nigeria, he said that it was up to the Nigerian government to decide the modalities for the establishment of any security outfit.
He said the outfit is a very strategic and cost effective outfit that has helped the U.S in tackling security challenges and emergencies such as flood, fire and other natural disasters.