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Aregbesola Sets Agenda, Charges Ministry Officials on Deliverables, Dismisses Calls for His Resignation

By Seun Adams

In a resilient and more determined swag, the Federal Government has charged security agencies across the country to serve and protect Nigerians through tightening every loose end in a proactively collaborative security architect geared at Nigeria’s internal security and safety.

This is coming following the call from a section of the media, that the Minister superintending the Ministry, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, should resign his appointment, this the national newspaper averred, is a result of the spate of recent jailbreaks across the country.

However, answering State House reporters, on Thursday, apparently on the call for his resignation, he said, such calls were unnecessary and cannot be enough reason for him to resign his position as Minister.

As part of efforts to curtail jailbreaks, FEC on Thursday approved necessary funding for the procurement of forty-nine Green Marias and also okayed the 2021 Finance Bill already before the National Assembly for approval.

Aregbesola, who has shown verve to be on top of the game, dismissed the notion that jailbreaks were occasioned through bankruptcy or lack of preparedness to nip such emergencies, adding: “The jailbreaks did not happen as a result of lack of preparedness, but situations that were occasioned by series of factors.

He however, added that government is deploying all that is necessary to make the correctional facilities impregnable.

Meanwhile, Aregbesola, has tasked the heads of agencies and ministry office to put in their best in ensuring the safety of every Nigerian, urging them to form alliance

He gave the charge at the 2nd retreat of the Ministry on Thursday in Ilorin, Kwara State.

He, said: “At the back of our mind, we must never forget, above all things, that our main purpose is to serve the people by strengthening internal security and give all the people resident in the country the peace of mind they deserve”, the minister said at the event.

“It is also important for the 4 agencies to forge strategic alliances with other agencies, especially in light of new security challenges to our facilities and the nation at large. 

“This retreat should also afford us critical and creative thinking and original solutions and ideas. Everyone should speak freely but creatively and intelligently. No one should be a bench warmer,” the Minister told the gathering.

On the recent spate of external attacks on the Custodial Centres of the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, the Minister noted that men of the underworld have capitalized on the general insecurity in the country to lead unconscionable attacks on her facilities, but overnment is rising up to the new challenge posed by these attacks.

“I must address the scourge of recent vicious attacks on our custodial facilities. Men of the underworld have capitalised on the general insecurity in the country to lead unconscionable attacks on few of our centres. 

“Our gallant officers and men of different security agencies have given their all, including sacrificing their lives to protect these centres. May God grant those who have died eternal rest and comfort the family they have left behind. As a government, we will continue to support the families of our heroes.

“We are in extraordinary times as a nation. We are facing unique challenges that will define how we live, moving forward. As a result, there is no shortage of work to be done, or responsibilities to bear. The Federal Government is rising up to the new challenge posed by these attacks.

“We have commenced retraining of our officers to respond to these attacks, whilst providing more sophisticated weaponry for their use. We have invested in the construction of 3,000 modern capacity custodial centres in each of the six geo-political zones,” the Minister noted.

Setting agenda for the retreat, the Minister noted that there is an urgent need to put in place well thought-out policies and programme that would ensure effectiveness and efficiency toward improving internal security, according to the mandate handed down by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“In order to achieve President’s mandate, there is an urgent need to put in place well thought-out policies and programme that would ensure effectiveness and efficiency toward improving internal security.

“There is need to determine where we are on the delivery of internal security, the challenges and the limitations. These would enable us develop plans and strategies with timelines for effective service delivery.” 

According to him, the Ministry, agencies and its private sector stakeholders on (PPP), must work towards improving, ensuring and maintaining relative public safety and security of all Nigerians and foreign nationals’ residents in country, adding that timely processing of applications for Business Permit and Expatriate Quota Positions in a manner that would promote transfer of skills to Nigerians and create employment while enhancing internal security; Prompt processing of all citizenship related applications and encouragement of wider spread of Marriage Registries nationwide.

In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaibu Belgore, stated that the Ministry will serve as a means of evolving solutions to the several security challenges facing the country.

“This retreat will serve as a platform for the Ministry and Agencies to evolve solutions for the various internal security challenges affecting the nation. The topic of this retreat has been carefully selected to illuminate the focus of the Ministry’s mandate and identify our challenges.” Belgore, said.

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