Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, presided over the first security meeting of this year at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday. National security issues, especially the attempted bombing of an American airliner by Farouk Muttallab, and the recent crisis in Bauchi, were foremost on the agenda.
The meeting, which held behind closed-doors, had all top security chiefs and ministers of some key ministries in attendance.
Issues discussed included the decision to carry out 100 per cent screening at the nation’s airports including all vehicles entering or leaving the airports.
The parley was also said to have called on Nigerians to show understanding, as the new security measures will be enforced to the letter irrespective of who was involved. It also evaluated the presidential amnesty programme and assured that the Federal Government will carry through the process of rehabilitation and resettling of all disarmed former militants and assured that the government will implement the post-amnesty programme.
Top Presidency sources noted that the meeting said the amnesty programme, had led to significant improvement in the country’s oil production from 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 2 million bpd. The source said the security body observed that going by the current market price of crude, the nation would benefit immensely from the amnesty deal.
The Inspector General of Police, it was learnt, also briefed the meeting on the recent crisis in Bauchi State and noted that besides the skirmishes, the nation was relatively peaceful. The meeting, the source said, agreed that religious crises posed serious concerns to the government and advised religious leaders in the country to impress on their faithfuls the necessity to shun violence and embrace peace.
On the issue of election, the meeting noted that the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State was a test case for the government and stressed the need for it to be free and fair along the lines of President Yar’Adua electoral reform agenda.