Buhari meets with the 36 State Governors; the why?

Nigeria is presently embellished in security crisis which has become an unending challenge, not only by defying security measures but making a mockery of the efforts of the law enforcement agents and the millions of naira annually budgeted by government as security votes. Although, insecurity is not a problem that is unique only to Nigeria because other nations also face the challenge. However, the main point of departure is the way the social menace is managed.

Not to go far back in time, insecurity was also an issue also faced in Jonathan’s regime and Buhari told him to step down as he could not manage the issue. Now, the same thing is happening in Buhari’s tenure and he probably has forgotten what he told Jonathan to do when that happened.

The rice farmers that were killed in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents have become alarming and disturbing to the peace of the Nation. It was reported that the insurgents attack killed no fewer than 43 rice farmers. The terrorists were reported to have tied up the farmers, who were working on rice fields, before slitting their throats. Although a member of the state Civilian Joint Task Force who assisted some of the survivors, put the number of people killed at 43, the United Nations on Sunday said 110 rice farmers lost their lives during the attack. Either 43 or 110, the news remains that people who went to farm and search for means to feed people and be fed were killed in such a brutal way.

Few days back, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met behind closed doors with the nation’s 36 state Governors on the security challenges across the country.

The meeting sprung forth after members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) last week agreed to meet with the President as soon as possible to address the security challenges in the country. During the meeting, the president urged the state governors to work more with traditional rulers and community members to improve local intelligence gathering that would aid the work of security agencies.

It is a different thing to acknowledge the importance and roles of community leaders in the country and another thing to leverage on their roles. This is what we also suggested during the #ENDSARS protest when the North thought the protest was against the northerners rather than them to participate in the protest, they were totally against it.

We then suggested that there is a need to collaborate with like minds and people with great intellect in the north who can carry the message to their community leaders, Almajiri leaders and they can now relay the message to the community members as the members have a high degree of respect for their leaders and would want to do as they say.

The state governors decried that the police and other internal security operatives have not been functioning to full capacity since the #EndSARS protests in parts of the country, noting the attendant security exposure to the safety of lives and properties of the people. As a result, the governors agreed to pay close attention to the conduct of Police Officers across the country in order to get them and others fully back to work.

On banditry and kidnapping, Buhari expressed that “security is important and we must secure the whole country. We are thinking very hard on the issue of kidnapping. We will make it possible for the military to get to the bandits and kidnappers and eliminate them.’’ He explained that the closure of the nation’s land borders was partly an attempt to control the smuggling in of weapons and drugs.

On the issues raised on #EndSARS protest and its hijack by hoodlums to cause mayhem and destroy private and public property, Buhari warned against recurrence, saying that no responsible government would allow such to happen. He said, “We do not stop anyone from demonstrating, but you don’t set up roadblocks and smash windscreens. Which government will allow that?”

The president mentioned that he was disgusted by the coverage, which did not give attention to the policemen that were killed, the stations that were burnt, and prisons that were opened.

It is well known that the protest started as a peaceful protest but it was obviously hijacked by hoodlums. People who we do not know or are not sure of sponsored the hoodlums to hijack the protest as they were seen coming out of their cars with sticks to attack the protesters. It did not even start with properties; they started attacking the peaceful protesters by causing disunity and harm. Then they went from that to burning their cars. It then turned into a bloody protest.

Buhari also noted that the foreign press’ coverage of the #EndSARS violence was not balanced, citing specifically the CNN and BBC for omitting the number of policemen killed, police stations that were razed, and the prisons that were thrown open for inmates to escape. If Buhari said this about the CNN and BBC report, then he was not balanced when he gave his speech after the Lekki shooting and violence. He came out and did not acknowledge the citizens that were injured or those that lost their lives, he only made mention of the police men and stations that were burnt. He gave no attention, not on word to citizens or youths that were victims of the violence.

Since, Buhari already spoke for the policemen, CNN and BBC spoke for the youths as well.

The meeting which was held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja was also attended by the Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi and the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno, among other top Federal Government officials.

December 18, 2020

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