The Federal Government on Tuesday agreed to collaborate with some state governments to curb the escalating cattle rustling in the country, especially in the North-West and North-East Geo-political Zones.
The agreement followed a meeting held at the Ministry of Defence, between the security Chiefs and some Governors from the Northern States.
The Head of The Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Danladi Kifasi, told newsmen that the meeting was held at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari
Danladi said the president mandated him to call the meeting following the request by Gov. Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State.
In order review, discuss and come up with modalities leading to the effective tackling of the current security concerns affecting Kaduna State and its neighbouring Katsina, Zamfara and Kebbi and Niger in the North West, Plateau, Benue and Nassarawa States
The essence of having your Excellencies is to have first hand information as well as your views about the activities of these bandits and the way forward.
"While the Chief of Defence Staff, the service, the Inspector General of Police the DG SSS and the Commandant General of the Civil Defence, will share their ideas about tackling the challenge," he said.
Also briefing newsmen, Gov. El-Rufai said that issues of mutual and common interest were discussed, and far-reaching decisions were reached at the meeting.
“We are looking at forests that have become the haven of bandits in our states, this have been expanded to look at other forests in the North central that had also being a source of banditry and criminality. We are discussing with the ministry of Defence, the IGP and Commandant of Security and Civil Defence Corps to address issues of security and the forests ."
"We made substantial progress in our discussions with the security chiefs," the governor said.
He said the governors of each of the states affected have put in place post-operation plan, including dealing with Internally Displaced Persons, activating the State Emergency Management Agencies to deal with any emergency
He said the governors would also ensure the presence of law enforcement in and around the forest so that civil population will continue to live in peace.
“So we have a comprehensive strategy in place not only on the military operation but also on how to ensure that there is peace and security at the post-operations," El Rufai said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Ismaila Aliyu, the Governors of Kaduna state, who led the Governors of Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Nasarawa, Benue the Deputy of Zamafara state, while other states sent representatives.
Also in attendance were all the Service Chiefs, the Inspector General of Police, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and a representative of the Director General of the State Security Service.