Tuesday, 22 July 2014

FG Warns States Against Registration, Deportation Of Some Ethnic Groups

The Federal Government on Monday warned state governments involved in the registration and issuance of identity cards to members of other ethnic groups resident in their domains to stop forthwith.

 The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Security Council summoned by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja to discuss the issue.

Mr Ita Ekpeyong, the Director-General, State Security Service (SSS), and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

 Ekpeyong said that the council discussed the reactions that trailed the controversial exercise and concluded that it posed bigger threat to the country’s unity than the Boko Haram insurgency.

“The council discussed in details the issue of Nigerians being subjected to registration; being subjected to deportation and being subjected to being taken away from one part of the country to another.

 The council discussed the reactions by some groups in Kano and other parts of the country.

“The council observed that this threat was more potent than Boko Haram and could disintegrate the country and we take this very seriously.

“The council resolved that the issue of registration of Nigerians anywhere in the country and deportation should stop forthwith.

 “To reemphasise the importance that the president has attached to this, is the reason he said both of us should address you. This must stop forthwith.“

 The SSS boss warned security operatives in the affected states not to be involved as anyone found aiding and abetting such exercise would be severely dealt with.

He also warned youth groups trying to cash in on the development to foment trouble to desist as government was taking serious notice of the situation.

 “Security operatives should not register people, security operatives should not be involved in trying to deport people. Security operatives must henceforth not be involved.

 “Any operative – police or SSS – found being involved in it will be severely dealt with.

 “And also youth groups trying to foment trouble because of this issue are hereby warned to desist from it because government is taking serious notice of it.

 “Government is doing everything possible to stop this from getting out of control.“

 Ekpeyong said that the Boko Haram insurgency and the abducted Chibok schoolgirls were the other major security issues discussed at the meeting.

 He likened the fight against terrorism to a football match where only goals scored were remembered, while those saved by the goalkeeper were easily forgotten.

 Ekpeyong said that the government was doing a lot to curtail the situation and would continue to prevent attacks planned against the unsuspecting public.

 He reiterated government’s assurance that security agencies knew the location the Chibok girls were being held and said that efforts were being made behind the scene to rescue them alive.

On his part, Abubakar urged Nigerians to be patient and to continue to support the government and security agencies in their anti-terrorism campaigns. (NAN)

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