THE National Security Council, NSC, yesterday, revealed it was considering a nationwide ban on motorcycles and mining to cut off the sources of funds for terrorists.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, in company of the Interior and his Police Affairs counterparts, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Mohammed Dingyadi, respectively, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said tthe meeting was focused on the logistics used by terrorists.
Malami said the logistics include motorcycles used by terrorists for movement, collection of ransom and mining, which provides them the money to fund their arms supply.
He said the Federal Government was now looking at ways to inhibit their actions by blocking the sources already identified.
Malami noted that terrorists had moved from the conventional ways of funding their activities to mining and ransom taking, adding that this had made it necessary for the government to act.
The AGF stated: “The issues deliberated border on one, the logistics being used by the terrorists, Boko Haram and bandits among others in the act of executing their unfortunate act of terrorism and terrorising the country.
“It was extensively deliberated upon as to what needs to be done for the purpose of ensuring that their means of logistics are indeed adequately considered and necessary steps are taken in degrading their capacity to move around.
“So, discussions were carried out, deliberations made and sizeable resolutions in that direction were equally developed.
“The government would look into that possibility with particular regard to restriction on use and distribution of motorcycles, which is the most conventional logistical means being deployed by terrorists.
“Again, issues of funding of the terrorism and the terrorism acts were discussed and deliberated upon and considered. As you rightly know, recently the government under the leadership of President Buhari had indeed, passed, assented to certain bills inclusive of the money laundering, prevention and prohibition act among others.
“A resolution was equally developed on the need to address frontally, attack and ensure at the end of the day that other considerations being put in place by terrorists in terms of funding their activities are equally addressed.
“With that in mind, the government is looking at what measures to take in terms of addressing, bridging and blocking associated sources of funding, including payment for ransom and, indeed, the mining activities and the possibility or otherwise of suspending for the time being, mining activities, are being considered as well, by the government.”
Lack of will to act on intelligence, cause of Kuje Prisons attack
Also speaking, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, affirmed that substantial efforts went into gathering of intelligence before the recent attack on Kuje Prison but regretted that there was the absence of will to act on it.
Aregbesola, who said preliminary investigation on the attack had been submitted to the president, assured that all those found to have shirked their responsibilities at the end of the ongoing investigation, would be punished.
“We are on to find all those whose action or inaction led to that unfortunate incidents and by then, those who have shirked their responsibilities will have to face the consequences of their actions.”
He lamented that despite their presence on ground during the attack on the facility, security agencies did not fully do what was expected.
He said: “I have to say that we noticed they were not fully conformed. So, incapacity in terms of will, that’s what we mean by whoever was responsible for the failure of defence and security and the breach of that institution’s facility will face the consequence.”
The Minister also assured that the federal government was taking necessary measures to stop the inflow of arms and ammunition used by terrorists.
He said the government was strengthening the nation’s land borders to prevent smuggling of light weapons and importation of contraband goods.
“As of today, we are strengthening our borders to prevent any importation of arms and dangerous materials that can threaten the integrity of the nations and security of our people.
“This is not limited to Immigration alone, all security forces are at alert at various levels.
‘’Do not take your mind off the fact that we have a vast territory and that whatever is happening within Nigeria must be put in the context of what’s happening in the region.
“The federal government is not unaware of the need to strengthen the border forces.”