President Muhammadu Buhari has approved new security measures for the Southeast and South-South regions of the country.
This was one of the outcomes of the series of security meetings held in the last eleven days and concluded on Tuesday in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, disclosed this to State House Correspondents after the meeting.
He, however, declined to give details.
The president also approved a memo presented by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), on the control of drugs, which he said are enablers of Insecurity, but did not also elaborate.
The NSA said the meeting stressed the need to address the security challenges in the country particularly those that have arisen in the last few months.
Among those who attended the meeting were the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha; the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; and the National Security Adviser, NSA, Major-General Babagana Monguno.
Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Defense, BashirMagashi and Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola were also at the meeting.
Others were the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Ishiaka Oladayo Amoo.
Shoot-on-sight order will worsen insecurity in South-East, says Igbo group
A think-tank of Igbo intellectuals and professionals, Nzuko Umunna, on Tuesday, wrote an open letter to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, over the alleged shoot-on-sight order against Igbo youths to the soldiers in the South-East and South-South.
It said such an order amounts to a declaration of war on Ndigbo if it was true.
The open letter titled, “shoot-on-sight order and ongoing extra-judicial killings in the South-East zone”, was signed on behalf of the group by Dr. N Odumuko and Dr. P. Mbanefo.
The letter was copied to the Chief of Defence Staff, Minister of Defence, Chief of Staff to the president, United Nations Agency on Human Rights, Human Rights International and United State’s Embassy in Nigeria.
Others copied are the High Commission United Kingdom, the French Embassy, Russian Embassy, Amnesty International, Nigerian Human Rights Commission, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Embassy of China, Israeli Embassy and African Union.
It read in part, “We feel duty-bound to inform you that there is palpable fear over a ‘shoot-on-sight directive reportedly given to army troops in the South East in recent days, a scheme for which new batches of men were moved over the weekend.
“By some accounts, this directive seems to have been given unofficially in a hush-hush manner, making the situation all the more ominous.
“A shoot-on-sight directive is tantamount to an order to extra-judicially exterminate innocent citizens as there is no telling who might be part of the collateral, unintended casualties. Throughout history, such military strategies or policies have always run the risk of going contrary to all accepted conventions and protocols on the rules of engagement, particularly the Rome Statutes
“In fact, it can be read as Genocide whereas in this case, there is a clear and evident danger of such action resulting in high casualties.
“If the speculation of a Shoot-On-Sight order were to bear any atom of truth, then it amounts to a declaration of war on the area. However, even if, for any reason, the Federal Government is minded to declare war on the South East or a part of it, there are standard international conventions and protocols that must be observed.
“One of such is the requirement to publicly and unambiguously declare that a war situation has arisen in such a place so that those who wish to, especially the civilians and innocent citizens, can withdraw from such a place. That has not been done.
“But it is our well-considered contention that there does not exist in the South East of Nigeria any peculiar situation which does not exist in even worse forms in other parts of the country to warrant or justify such a Shoot-On-Sight order.”