July 21, 2014
Ben Agande, Abuja.
The Federal government Monday condemned the registration of Nigerians resident in states other than their state of origin and deportation of Nigerians to their states of origin by some state governments, warning that the move is capable disintegrating the country.
Addressing state House Correspondents after the meeting of the National Security Council monday, the Director General of the Department of States Services, Mr Ita Ekpenyong said the council directed that the practices must be stopped forthwith as every Nigerian is free to live in any part of the Country without molestation.
The decision by the Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha to register all Northerners in Imo state has sparked widespread condemnation in the country as the move is seen as ethnic and religious profiling.
Several states in the southern part of the country have also allegedly repatriated northerners living in their states to the northern part of the country.
Mr. Ekpenyong who was in company of the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar also revealed that a meeting of the National Council of state would be convened next week to address these issues.
He said the president has directed that no security Personnel should be involved in the registration or relocation of persons by state governments or any group in a state.
He said: “Council discussed in detail the issue of registration of Nigerians in any part of the country, being subjected to registration, being subjected to deportation, being taken away from one part of the country to the other.
“Council discussed the reaction by some groups in Kano State and other parts of the country.
“Council observed that this threat was more potent than Boko Haram and could disintegrate the country. And we take this very seriously, for people to deport people, for people to take people from one place to the other, for registration of indigenes no matter where they are. No matter where they are they are free to settle anywhere they like.
“Council resolved that the issue of registration of Nigerians anywhere in the country and deportation should stop forthwith. To re-emphasis the importance, the President has attached to this that is why he asked the IGP and I to address the press, this must stop forthwith.
“Security operatives should not be involved in anybody trying to register people and anybody trying to deport people security operatives must henceforth not be involved if Police, DSS is found to be involved it will be severely dealt it.
“Also Youth groups trying to forment 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 steam this from getting out of control. As a matter of fact to show the urgency, the Council of State meeting will be held anytime next week to discuss this issues” he said.
On the abduction of the Chibok girls, security chief insisted that security agencies know where the girls are but are only being careful in effecting their release.
“The issue of Chibok girls, government is making efforts. We know where they are but we don’t want to endanger their lives that is the truth we want to take it gradually and release them at the appropriate time. We know where they are you can go to bed with that” he said.
The Director General of DSS noted that a lot is being done in the fight against terrorism, noting that many attacks have been foiled due to the vigilance of security agencies.
“The fight against Boko Haram is ongoing. We keep saying that the fight against Boko Haram is like football. You know when the Germans played Argentina, it was only that one goal they scored that everyone is remembers, the other goals that were stopped nobody will remember.
“There are several things government is doing, there are several attacks government has stopped but nobody will remember those ones because we don’t tell you but several things are going on” he said.
The National Security council meeting is attended by the Chief of Defense Staff and all the service Chiefs, the Inspector General of Police, the Directors General of the Department of State Services and the National Intelligence Agency.
Others in attendance were the Ministers of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Police Affairs, the National Security Adviser
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