Aregbesola assumes duty, talks tough on internal security challenge

THE newly appointed Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has sought the cooperation of the Service Chiefs under his ministry and other relevant stakeholders to end the internal security challenges confronting the nation.

He spoke when he paid familiarisation visit to the ministry soon after he was sworn in alongside other 42-cabinet by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Council Chamber.

Aregbesola who was accompanied to the ministry by the Osun State Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola was received with wide jubilation by the staff of the ministry.

He urged the respective service chiefs namely: Commandant-General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr Muhammadu Gana and Controller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr Mohammed Babandede and Controllers-General of Federal Fire Service and Nigerian Correctional Service, Liman Ibrahim and Jafaru Ahmed respectively to work in synergy in the effort to secure the country.

Aregbesola vowed that if it means “reinventing the wheel, greasing the wheel or discarding the wheel” to ensure that the security challenge is brought to an end.

While soliciting for maximum support of workers and agencies under the ministry, Aregbesola admitted that operations of the ministry in maintaining internal security was a new assignment to him requiring the collaboration of all to succeed.

He said President Buhari takes the issue of internal security seriously and that if that could be achieved the country would witness unfettered development.

He said apart from stories about the ministry on the pages of the newspapers, he had no idea of its policies and operations.

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“My relationship with the ministry is distant. What I know about the ministry is what I read in the newspapers,” he acknowledged.

Aregbesola, therefore, instructed Barr. Georgina Ehuriah, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, who had been in charge since the dissolution of the last cabinet, to continue running the ministry until Monday when he will formally take over.

“I will come to take over on Monday. I give the Permanent Secretary the grace to run the ministry till then. We will be ready by Monday to take on the huge assignment,” the former Osun State governor said.

Meanwhile, he has assured staff of the ministry and personnel of all paramilitary agencies under its purview of purposeful leadership.

He said: “I promise you a realistic, reasonable and commendable leadership,” while urging staff of the ministry to be ready for more work as he will be demanding much more from them.

Earlier in her speech, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry welcomed the minister to the ministry, adding that the ministry needed a focus person like him to lead it because of its strategic position in the security architecture of the country.

She said the proper handing over ceremony would take place on Monday.