A plot to weaken national security, sabotage the anti-terrorism war and cause disaffection among military chiefs may have been uncovered.
Also, Nigeria plans to collaborate with Britain to battle the Boko Haram insurgency. There has been a rumour in military circles that Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ibrahim Ola Sa’ad has thrown in the towel. But Admiral Sa’ad, fresh from a trip to Britain, has dismissed the rumour as the handiwork of “fifth columnists” planning to cause disaffection in the system —according to sources, who did not name such people.
A source quoted the CDS as saying: “I did not know where this came from but I have not tendered any notice of voluntary retirement and I am also not sick to have warranted such an action.
“I am not frustrated on this job. I am not suffering from any terminal ailment and I am putting in my best to address security challenges facing the nation.” The CDS went to the UK for bilateral talks with his counterpart.
The source added: “I think we are securing the understanding and cooperation of world powers on how to fight terrorism. “The UK CDS visited Nigeria and Admiral Sa’ad decided to reciprocate by going to London to compare notes with his counterpart.” Upon his return, the CDS told anxious aides and relatives that he was not going on voluntary retirement as being speculated. He said neither contemplated voluntary retirement nor sent a notice to the President.
Worried by the resurgence of Boko Haram insurgency, the Federal Government may overhaul security in six flashpoints. The isolated states are Kano, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Plateau and Bauchi. Also, preliminary investigation into the luxury bus bomb explosion in Kano revealed that it is a 59-seater vehicle which was already steaming to take off before the suicide bomber struck. As part of steps to curtail terrorism in the sub-region, Admiral Sa’ad, will today in Cotonou meet with other security chiefs in West Africa.
A source, who pleaded not to be named because of the security implications, said: “Since the bomb blast occurred in Kano, President Jonathan has been meeting with the CDS, service chiefs and other members of the National Security Council. “The President believes that a decisive action must be taken to protect lives and property in all parts of the country, especially the flashpoints. No one was happy with the death of innocent Nigerians. “The government has mandated security agencies to overhaul security in the flashpoints.
So, we are likely to witness sweeping changes in Kano, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Plateau and Bauchi.” Responding to a question, the source added: “There will be more intra and inter networking, scaling up of intelligence gathering and 24-hour surveillance in these flashpoints. “The security overhaul will go beyond the state capital; it will be extended to all local government areas in the affected states.”
The CDS will meet with other security chiefs in West Africa on the situation in Mali, the Boko Haram and Ansaru threats, and the Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb. The source added: “The meeting in Cotonou on Monday (today) will focus on enhanced collaboration because of the likely spillover of the insurgency in Mali to other states in the sub-region. You must have read of the alleged discovery of terrorist cells in Lagos.
“Once Nigeria is under terrorist siege, other West African countries may not be spared. It is also sad that some nationals of some countries in the sub-region have been implicated in the suicide missions in Nigeria. “So, the era of a country standing aloof is gone. We need far-reaching collaboration to tackle terrorism in the sub-region.” Preliminary probe into the luxury bus bomb explosion in Kano has confirmed that it was a 59-seater vehicle. There are fears that there could be some other occuppants numbering 15 to 30.
A security source in Abuja said: “The fully-loaded bus was already steaming to take off before the suicide bomber struck. There were a few attaches said to be between 15 and 30 inside the bus.
“All those in the bus were trapped and burnt to death. Some of the victims in hospitals were mostly those within the vicinity of the bus. A few other buses awaiting loading were also torched. “We are still trying to work on the manifest of those on board. Investigation is ongoing. The forensic analysis of the carcass of the bombed vehicle has started.”