President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the purchase of equipment worth $1 bn for the military. The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, stated this in an interview with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that Buhari had with security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
“What I can add after all that I have said is to inform you that of recent, our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, gave approval for the purchase of more equipment for the military, worth $ 1bn” the minister said. Although Dan Ali did not disclose the source of the money, the National Economic Council, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had in December 2017 approved the withdrawal of $1 bn from the Excess Crude Account to fight insecurity.
The minister described the meeting with the President as a “normal meeting of security agencies in the country.” He said issues concerning security situation in some states, including Taraba and Zamfara, were discussed. On what to expect after the deployment of troops in Zamfara, Dan Ali said, “We have operationalised a division in Sokoto. There will be a Brigade in Katsina and another Brigade in Zamfara that will take care of security situation in the areas.
“Of course, the strength of security personnel has increased, including the air force additional quick response group; they have added enough manpower in that area.”He said efforts were being intensified to secure the release of Leah Sharibu, the Dapchi schoolgirl still being held by Boko Haram because she allegedly refused to renounce Christianity.
However, the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council did not hold on Wednesday. As of the time of filing this report, no official reason was given for the cancellation of the meeting which usually holds every Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Buhari presides over the FEC that has Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; all ministers and some presidential aides as members.