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Confusion as FG gives states marching orders to secure forest reserves

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There was confusion yesterday during a meeting between the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Boss Mustapha and secretaries to state governments when Mustapha, advised the 36 states to secure their forest reserves.

The SGF’s counsel was coming against the backdrop of barrage of attacks by hoodlums and bandits across many states.

States governments are hamstrung by the fact that only the federal government has control over Nigeria’s armed forces who have the sole mandate to protect lives and properties of Nigerians.

He said criminals had turned the hitherto pristine forest reserves in the country into an operational base and hide-out from which most of their activities were launched and sustained.

He said this in Abuja yesterday at the first quarter 2021 meeting of Secretaries to State Governments of the 36 states and the Federal Capita Territory, themed ‘The Role of Secretaries to the State Governments in Strengthening Sub-National Level Security Architecture.’

He urged the 36 states and the FCT to evolve political structures that would tackle insecurity and other challenges facing the country.

He said there was the need for the states to revisit the 1976 Dasuki Local Government Reform as it would be a good solution to the many security challenges and other problems in their states.

“The Dasuki Reform is still the best for the LGAs and remain a good solution to the barrage of challenges we’re all facing in our states.

We’d all agree that in the recent past, Nigeria has been confronted with an inexplicable escalation of violence resulting in insecurity across the Nation.

“It not only serves as a drain to our national resources, but creates a climate of uncertainty and challenges the ability of the Nation to provide a convivial atmosphere for its citizens to go about their everyday normal businesses.

The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, said: “If you disengage community leaders, you’ll not have the type of intelligence you need, right now, security agencies appear not to able to work with each other, everybody wants to be the one to deliver and it can never work. We’ve been trying to work to see that there is unity of purpose, unity of operation”.

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