By Alex Agbo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigerian Army to withdraw soldiers from military checkpoints in secure parts of the country and concentrate more on ending the Boko Haram insurgency.
He gave the order on Monday after his meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs and Heads of National Security Agencies at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.
It was his first meeting at the Villa where he resumed work for the first time since inauguration on May 29.
Speaking after the meeting, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Defence, who briefed journalists, quoted President Buhari as saying, however, that military check-points could be retained in areas outside the North-Eastern states where the military considered them absolutely essential for the maintenance of national security.
According to the Permanent Secretary, the president reaffirmed his administration’s total commitment to ending the Boko Haram insurgency in the shortest possible time.
He also said President Buhari welcomed the progress report he was given on the implementation of his order that the Military Command Control Centre be relocated to Maiduguri.
President Buhari also expressed satisfaction at the progress made so far in the implementation of the decision of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to fast-track the deployment of the Multinational Joint Task Force based in Ndjamena, Chad.
The defence and security chiefs who met with the President and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for over three and half hours, also briefed them on the refurbishment of existing military platforms and the acquisition of new weapons for the Armed Forces.