Security agencies restore ‘normalcy’ to Abuja-Kaduna highway as Buhari talks tough
Security agencies restore ‘normalcy’ to Abuja-Kaduna highway as Buhari talks tough.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to security chiefs to apprehend or neutralise all terrorists responsible for the Monday night’s train terror attack on Kaduna-bound train, during the week under review, has started yielding fruitful results.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nigerian leader gave the directive on March 29 when he summoned the security chiefs to the Presidential Villa, following the attack on the ill-fated train.
NAN reliably gathered that no fewer than 86 of the bandits were reported killed by a combined team of police and soldiers at various bandit-infected enclaves in Kaduna, Zamfara and Niger States after the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train on Monday.
The president met behind closed door with security chiefs few hours after Monday night’s terrorist attacks.
NAN reports that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, had on Tuesday, before the meeting with the president, visited the scene of the attack, where he ordered troops to intensify search and rescue operations as well as hunt down the terrorists.
At the meeting with the security chiefs, the president directed the immediate conclusion of all the processes for the implementation of the integrated security surveillance and monitoring solution for the Abuja to Kaduna railway line.
Buhari also directed the Nigerian Railway Corporation management to speedily repair the damaged lines and resume normal service without delay while the integrated security surveillance and monitoring solution should also be extended to Lagos to Ibadan railway line.
NAN reports that the Kaduna-bound train, which left Abuja at 6 pm on Monday, was attacked by suspected terrorists around 7.45 pm, with just 15 minutes’ drive before arriving Kaduna.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday in Abuja observed a minute silence in honour of the victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had earlier on Tuesday visited hospitals in Kaduna where injured victims are being treated.
Also on March 29, President Buhari declared open the second National Tax Dialogue Week, with the theme; ”Tax Harmonisation for Enhanced Revenue Generation”.
He expressed his administration’s commitment to ensuring an efficient tax administration to improve tax revenue in the country.
The president also expressed concern at the current tax system in the country, which was characterised by fragmented administration, multiple and sometimes, overlapping taxes.
President Buhari on Wednesday presided over the virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) where the Council approved N1.06 billion for the supply of eye-scanning lie detector and digital night vision goggles for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The Council also approved N29.2 billion for the completion and rehabilitation of road projects in some parts of the country.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who disclosed this to State House correspondents, said N9.4 billion of the amount is an augmentation for the Zaria-Funtua road linking Kaduna and Katsina States.
On March 31, President Buhari hosted his Nigerien counterpart, Mohammed Bazoum.
The two leaders engaged in bilateral talks in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Bazoum, who spoke to newsmen at the end of the bilateral talks, expressed appreciation to President Buhari for approving the US$1.96 billion Kano-Katsina-Maradi railway project.
Buhari had in February 2021 performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kano–Dutse–Jibia (Katsina State)–Maradi 284km rail project connecting Kano in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic, virtually.
The project, approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in September 2020, is believed to be crucial to rail development in Nigeria and in the West African sub-region.
It is being executed by Mota-Engil Group, a multinational engineering and construction company.
The project, with 15 stations along the corridor, would boost socio-economic activities in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States in Nigeria as well as Maradi in Niger Republic.
President Buhari had also virtually inaugurated the Second Tower of the Bank of Industry (BOI) building, in Abuja on Thursday where he lauded the Bank for creating more than nine million jobs in the last seven years.
He also commended BOI for disbursing over N1.24 trillion to 4.2 million beneficiaries in Micro, Small, Medium and Large enterprises.
Also on March 31, Buhari approved the reconstitution of the Governing Council of the National Institute for Labour Studies (NILS), with Mr Sam Onokohwomo (Kowho) as Chairman.
He also approved the reconstitution of the Board of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) with Mr Festus Keyamo as Chairman. Keyamo is also the Minister of State for Labour and Employment and supervisory minister of the NDE.
The president had on March 31, called for an end to the murders, kidnappings and sexual assaults by rival cult groups which have spread to other states, particularly in Ogun.
Also on Friday, Buhari received the President of Microsoft Corporation, Brad Smith, at the State House, Abuja, saying Nigeria is poised to welcome more initiatives and investments in digital technology.
He expressed appreciation to Microsoft’s US$200 million engineering hub of the African Development Centre.
Smith was accompanied by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami.
Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Friday updated President Buhari on security developments in his state following Monday night’s terror attack on Abuja-Kaduna bound train.
The governor, who was sober about recent happenings in his state, told State House correspondents that the president had reassured him that drastic measures were being taken to check the activities of terrorists and bandits in Kaduna state and beyond.
According to him, security agencies have been making frantic efforts to rescue victims of Monday night’s attack on a Kaduna bound train, from the hands of their abductors.
President Buhari on Friday joined world leaders in welcoming the month of Ramadan, the month of fasting and intense devotion for Muslims.
According to the president, the fasting period offers a unique opportunity to “feel the hunger experienced by the poor so as to feel what it is like to be deprived and marginalised.
President Buhari concluded the week with the hosting of Chadian leader, Gen. Mahamat Deby, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Nigerian leader received assurances from Deby that the transition to democratic rule in Chad Republic, put in place following the demise of the long-standing ruler, Idris Deby Itno, was on course.
Buhari and Deby later joined the Muslim faithful to observe Friday’s Juma’at prayer at the Aso Villa Mosque.
Deby, the interim President and Chairman of Transitional Military Council, Chad, last visited Nigeria in May 2021.