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$1bn for security: ”No irony in NEC”s approval” – Shettima

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima has debunked claims that there was irony in the decision of the National Economic Council to spend $1billion from the…

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima has debunked claims that there was irony in the decision of the National Economic Council to spend $1billion from the Excess Crude Account to fight Boko Haram despite decimation of the insurgents.

Citing global best practices, he argued that the best time to strengthen a country’s military is not when it is suffering defeat or weak but rather when it is strong and winning wars.

The governor was responding to questions from journalists in Kaduna yesterday amid criticisms that have trailed the approval of the money.

“I think those saying this need to have a better understanding of what National Security entails. The fact that Boko Haram is incapacitated is even the more reason why we should strengthen our military because the best time to make your military strong is when you are in position of strength not when you are weak,” Shettima said.

The governor cited the 2017 Global Peace Index which‎ ranked Denmark and Switzerland amongst the first ten safest and most peaceful countries in the world.

Denmark has a population of five million people while Switzerland has 8.3 million, but both are spending three billion dollars and 4.8 billion dollars respectively to strengthen their military, the governor said.

The two countries, unlike Nigeria, face no serious security challenges, he added.

Shettima said Nigeria, with a population of 180 million, is threatened by declining Boko Haram fighters, kidnappers, ethnic militias, armed robbers, and piracy.

“Are we going to wait until Boko Haram regroups and begin to attack the military before we strengthen our armed forces?” he queried.  

He said Nigeria must invest heavily not only on military hardware but also on intelligence gathering.

‎Shettima therefore cautioned against playing politics with Nigeria’s security, saying the lives of every Nigerian is beyond APC, PDP and all political parties put together.‎

The governor said, “The NEC that approved that fund had Governors from different political parties. As responsible leaders, Governors know what security entails because every Governor deals with one or more security issues.

“Before you hear of one security incident, many might have been averted through proactive intelligence gathering and actions, and these cost money”. ‎

“The President Buhari we all know will not preside over a situation where monies meant for arms will be shared or misappropriated by anyone for whatever reason.

“President Buhari has proved to be more than sincere in all his efforts so far, in fighting Boko Haram. I am on ground. If President Buhari doesn’t show commitment, I will be the first to tell Nigerians because I will never keep quiet and allow the people of Borno to be dying because in my silence.”

 

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