National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has said President Muhammadu Buhari never ordered a blanket dismantling of checkpoints from the highways.
Sambo’s explanation goes contrary to what Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Malam Aliyu Ismail, told State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting President Buhari had with the security chiefs and officials of the Ministry of Defence at the State House.
The officials were to brief the President on arrangements made so far in the implementation of decisions reached during the Lake Chad Basin Commission, and after the meeting, Ismail told the journalists that: “The President has instructed the Chief of Defence Staff to get the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector-General of Police to remove all the military men along the roads across the country.
But Dasuki said yesterday after a meeting with top security officers in his office in Abuja that military roadblocks in flashpoints will continue to be maintained while those in relatively peaceful areas will be dismantled but soldiers will still be positioned in those areas while not blocking roads.
He said it is both conventional and a global practice for governments to increase security measures whenever insecurity is heightened and appealed to citizens to endure attendant inconveniences as they are temporary.
Dasuki said that the essential security checkpoints in vulnerable areas are “necessary inconvenience” to ensure criminals and terrorists do not have easy passage.
He cited some arrests made recently including that of a mastermind of bomb attacks in some towns who were nabbed by Nigerian troops at such checkpoints.
While condemning indiscriminate proliferation of security checkpoints by unauthorised bodies, he said “We will continue to ensure that the necessary or essential security checkpoints are not avenues for extortion, indiscipline and other forms of corrupt practices that can exacerbate traffic flow and cause road accidents.”
He added that the government is deploying new sophisticated scanners and detectors in some areas to ease traffics and to identify movements of strange objects, concealed weapons and criminal suspects.
“With effective use of technology which minimises physical contacts between security personnel and citizens, the time spent at designated security checkpoints will ultimately be reduced,” he said. He said that whenever necessary, the soldiers will mount their points to conduct security screening in emergency situations and for quick response.

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