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Buhari: I’m surprised by rising insecurity

We’re shocked by your admittance – Experts   President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed surprise at the current surge of security challenges across the country. The…

  • We’re shocked by your admittance – Experts


President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed surprise at the current surge of security challenges across the country.

The president spoke at the State House, Abuja, when he received a delegation of Eminent and Respected Citizens of Niger State led by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.

The president also made reference to the promise he made of ending the Boko Haram crisis and frowned at threats by other armed groups.

The president said “harder times” await bandits whose disruptive activities have brought sorrow to Nigerians, kept many away from their means of livelihood, and heightened insecurity in parts of the country.”

In a statement released by his media aide, Femi Adesina, via his verified Facebook page, Buhari said, “I was taken aback by what is happening in the North West and other parts of the country. During our campaigns, we knew about the Boko Haram. What is coming now is surprising.

“It is not ethnicity or religion, rather it is one evil plan against the country. We have to be harder on them. One of the responsibilities of government is to provide security. If we don’t secure the country, we will not be able to manage the economy properly,” he said.

 Daily Trust recalled that Buhari had shortly after his inauguration for first tenure promised to end the Boko Haram crisis before the end of December 2015.

Shortly after the promise, the Nigerian security forces in collaboration with the Multi National Joint Task (MNJTF) from Chad, Cameroon and Niger reversed the pre-2014 setbacks and Boko Haram occupation of some communities that were left not reclaimed by the outgoing ex-President Goodluck Jonathan administration. The joint forces degraded the insurgents and forced them to the fringes of the Lake Chad, Sambisa forest and Mandara mountains.

However, soon after the feat, other lesser criminal activities including herders/farmers clashes, kidnapping, banditry and communal clashes became recurrent stories and also overstretched the Nigerian security forces that were deployed to nearly 30 out of the 36 states of the federation.

And in the last few months, the terrorists in the North East with ISWAP loyal to ISIS and Boko Haram loyal to Abubakar Shekau, have equally resurfaced and sacked many communities,  subdued many military formations, abducted many people and made many major roads inaccessible.

The statement by Adesina quoted Buhari as saying the onslaught of bandits in the North West also affected agricultural output in some parts of the country in spite of the favourable weather for farming.

The president said the poverty level in the country will be significantly controlled by diversifying into agriculture instead of the heavy reliance on oil. He, therefore, urged more Nigerians to embrace agriculture.

He said the discovery of oil and gas reserves in the Chad Basin, Benue Trough and some parts of Bauchi and Gombe states will further bolster current efforts to strengthen the Nigerian economy.

Former Governor Babangida Aliyu who spoke for the group said activities of bandits had rendered many people homeless while others could no longer go to their farms. He thanked the president for taking a more decisive action by directing aerial protection by the military.

The Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, who assured the president of continuous support, prayed to God to give him strength and wisdom to handle the affairs of the country.

Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi who spoke to journalists after their meeting with President Buhari said the current security architecture cannot guarantee security.


‘It’s shocking Buhari is lamenting over insecurity’

Security experts spoken to yesterday said it was shocking that President Buhari said he was taken aback by the spate of insecurity in the country.

“I am still confused by the lamentation of the president,” said Salihu Bakhari, a retired military officer and security expert.

“The president should instead speak on his concrete plans to turn the tide against the violent crimes against the Nigerian people.

“Everybody is saying that the present security architecture is not working. The two chambers of the National Assembly have spoken, traditional and religious leaders have also spoken. Even the international community said the security system has failed in Nigeria, so what is the president waiting for?

“I strongly feel he should rejig the system by first changing the service chiefs who are long overdue and have run out of ideas. He should also revisit the arrangement with the MNJTF especially with Chad which has collapsed. He should also procure equipment. The dry season is the only window we have in confronting the terrorists, once the raining season sets in, the challenges will further deteriorate” Bakhari said.

Another security expert said “disgruntled elements” within the military are sabotaging the fight against Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping and other crimes.

“Some officers are no longer putting in their best because they feel cheated, they feel stagnated in one place. You can’t fight war from Abuja, officers in the fringes are not happy,” he said.

On his part, a security and intelligence expert, Dr Amaechi Nwaokolo told Daily Trust that Nigeria had never totally defeated terrorism, saying the sudden escalation of security breaches was not surprising.

He said tackling insecurity does not involve rhetoric, like putting a timeframe or saying they have been technically defeated.

He said Nigeria needed to deal with the root causes of terrorism, noting that it was not enough to deploy the military but addressing the problem of radicalization and recruitment of insurgents.

Also commenting, security analyst Chidi Omeje said, “I am not comfortable with the statement. The commander-in-chief should know better than ordinary Nigerians because he is in the position to receive security information.


Community policing key to tackling insecurity – Senate

The Senate said yesterday it will pursue the implementation of community policing vigorously.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan stated this in his address at the resumption of plenary after a six weeks’ recess.

Lawan had on Monday said the current security systems had failed and should be restructured owing to the prevalence of killings and abductions across the country.

“Recently, the security in the country had deteriorated and the attendant loss of lives is not acceptable,” Lawan told lawmakers, who, at a closed-door session, deplored the insecurity in the country and resolved to debate on it exclusively on the next legislative day.

Lawan said, “For a long time, major stakeholders in the security of our nation and police authorities appear to achieve consensus on the necessity of introduction of community policing in the country.

“The Senate is going to pursue the implementation of community policing vigorously. To this end, the police authorities will be invited to brief and update the Senate on the progress made so far,” he said.


We’re having sleepless nights – Reps

The House of Representatives has also lamented about the security situation in Nigeria. Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the House spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu (Abia, APC), stated that the security situation in the country was ‘alarming.’

“We will look at what pains you and pains us, that is insecurity in the land; it is alarming,” the lawmaker said.

Kalu stated the position of the House while briefing journalists in the National Assembly after the lawmakers adjourned plenary to honour one of their deceased colleagues, Mohammed Fagen-Gawo.

“We can no longer discuss about it in low tones. The cries of those that have lost their lives are giving us sleepless nights and something needs to be done about it.”

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