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Nigeria > Nigeria
Nigeria’s Council of State meeting discusses security challenges
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By Victor Iluyemi
July 12, 2012 19:37:46pm GMT      |      Views: 464

 Abuja (WorldStage Newsonline)--The security situations in Plateau State and Mali dominated discussions at Nigeria’s National Council of States meeting held at the Presidential Council Chambers, Abuja, on Thursday, according to sources.

The council which was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan comprises of former Heads of State and Presidents, governors, Former Chief Justices of the Federation as well as the leadership of the National Assembly, is the highest National Advisory body for the Federal Government.

However, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari as well as Ibrahim Babangida were absent while the three other former heads of State, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, CHief Ernest Shonekan and Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar were present.

Though there was no official briefing at the end of the meeting which lasted for about three hours, it was however learnt that major security issues especially the situation on the Plateau was discussed.

The National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki it was gathered briefed the Council on issues of "National Security especially the situation on the Plateau and also the situation in Mali and its implications on National Security".

Chief Justice of Nigeria Alfa Belgore who was the chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Review of outstanding constitutional issues, also briefed the Council on the report submitted by his committee to the President on Tuesday.

Council also received briefing on the 2013 National Honours Lists.

Also present at the meeting were Former Chief Justices of Nigeria Mohammed Uwais and Alfa Belgore, Senate President, David Mark and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal.

The recent coup d’état in Mali has plunged the country into crisis with armed groups seizing the vast north. Tuareg rebels spearheaded the attacks in Northern Mali but have now been pushed aside by the Islamist fighters linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

The group have also enforced Sharia and destroyed all ancient cultural treasures which they consider idolatrous.

Already, the interim government which took over from the junta is incapacitated in the face of the armed groups, and has been ordered by West African mediators to form a more inclusive unity government by July 31.

Besides, the United State has announced a $10million Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund to respond to the crisis surrounding the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled Mali or are displaced within the country.

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