The Council of State met at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday, with the rescue of 219 Chibok secondary girls, who had been in Boko Haram’s captivity since April 14, topping the agenda.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who presided over meeting and the National Security Adviser ( NSA),Colonel Sambo Dasuki, briefed the members on the on the progress of war against terror and at the end of the meeting, the council said it was convinced that the school girls would soon regain their freedom.
The council is a constitutional body that advises the president on the exercise of his powers with respect to maintenance of public order, National Population Commission (NPC), prerogative of mercy, award of national honours, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), census and the National Judicial Council (NJC).
The membership included the president, vice president, all former heads of government, all former Chief Justices of Nigeria, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, all governors and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, supported by his Edo and Kaduna counterparts, Adams Oshiomhole and Ramalan Yero, respectively, said the council believed that the issue before security forces was how to ensure that the girls were rescued with minimal casualty.
Akpabio said the council stressed the need for Nigerians to exercise patience on the rescue effort, as the nation’s security agencies “are on top of the situation.”
The council also deliberated on the appointment of certain commissioners in the NPC and the states that have not filled their quota were ratified and approved.
Akpabio added that the council was duly consulted in line with the constitutional provision for Ekiti, Yobe, Jigawa Zamfara and Kebbi states and their commissioners were ratified and approved.
Also speaking, Governor Oshiomhole observed that acts of terrorism were new in Nigeria and so, Nigerian military cannot be expected to readily deal with the menace.
Oshiomhole warned the media not to celebrate terrorism, as he feared that it could serve as an incentive to terrorists, even as he also admonished politicians to refrain from seeing the war against terror as a partisan issue.