President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday held a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, with North-East Governors’ Forum (NGF), Service Chiefs and other critical stakeholders to discuss the rising spate of insecurity in the country.
The meeting which was convened at the instance of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, had in attendance – the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari; Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas.
Also at the meeting are – Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; and Director-General, Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi.
Governors of North-East Nigeria present at the meeting include – Babagana Zulum (Borno); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Bala Mohammed (Bauchi); Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe); Darius Ishaku (Adamawa); and Mai Mala Buni (Yobe).
In his remarks, President Buhari said, “We have problems of resources and security. You know what we inherited. The people of the North-East will appreciate what this administration has done.
“The general report I am getting, other from the conventional ones from the intelligence sources, is that the Army should do better and this is the truth.
“It is so often coming to me that I have to believe it. I listened to your representation, the governor who is on the hotspot now in the North-East, Adamawa, Bauchi and the rest of them are enjoying peace. I hope they are respecting the sacrifice made by the military.
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“I assure you that the government is doing its best. Lack of resources has hit us very hard. COVID-19 is a phenomenon. It has no respect for colour, you can’t smell it, you can’t see it, you can’t hear it. America and us are the same. It is a fantastic phenomenon. I think we should all go back to God.
“I assure you North-East governors, especially the governor of Borno, that we go to bed and wake up thinking about you and how to secure our country. That is the fundamental responsibility of a government; security. In our party, we recognize this. We campaigned on three fundamental issues: security, economy and fighting corruption.
“Nigerians, we thank God, understood us and they voted for us. In 2019, we went round the whole country, saying the same thing and apologizing for not doing better, but we are doing our best. I think Nigerians believe us and we did our best.
“It is true that we lost some states as a ruling party in a developing country, which is normal. I am proud of that because we are impartial, that is why as ruling party, we lost some states. That means we have our own mistakes.
“Some of those that defeated us are sitting here. We know we are a developing country but we respect our country, otherwise, with the use of Army, the police and the rest of them, we could have overrun you. We just wanted to show that we are humane and we are Nigerians. We will continue to do our best”, he said.
Recall that in a communique issued at the end of a closed-door meeting on Saturday, August 8, 2020, the North-East Governors’ Forum (NGF), amongst other things, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to bridge the manpower deficit in the military by allowing the Police to carry state of the art weapons and be provided with strategic equipment like high-velocity tear gas, trackers and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) to bolster the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.
Hopefully, the concerted efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari, the North East Governors and the Service Chiefs will culminate in improved security situation across the country.
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