Ejiofor Alike in Lagos and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has accused the federal government of fueling the menace of insurgency in the country with its interest to pay ransom to insurgents rather than killing or arresting them.
The governor alleged that the continued insurgentsâ€™ activities in the country is a manifestation of internal aggression and not external one as the people were made to believe.
Speaking at a press conference in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Fayose said the governmentâ€™s alleged failure to tackle the challenge of insecurity over the time and adoption of an option of paying ransom are indications that insecurity challenge has become an internal problem caused by those who are allegedly profiting from it.
According to him, â€œWe donâ€™t have external aggression but an internal one. We are calling on the international community to look beyond Boko Haram or herdsmen. The international community should come for a fact finding as well as dig deeper into the killings in Nigeria.
â€œThis is beyond what Boko Haram or herdsmen are doing. It is more of what the government has failed to do on time. Nigerians are becoming helpless. Benue State people need international intervention; they need support. We want to believe that the president has lost it. His approach has been a cosmetic.
â€œHow would you want us to believe that the Nigerian army cannot engage herdsmen or Boko Haram? It seems that the reason for the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari to secure Nigeria has been defeated in all areas, including corruption and fight against Boko Haram to secure Nigeria among others.
â€œYou can all see the situation, Nigerians are angry and hungry on a daily basis as they are being killed by their own brothers.
â€œI canâ€™t understand why the federal government cannot take a stand to engage the so called herdsmen. They flaunt their weapons on the social media and the government looks away. Currently, the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government of President Buhari is paying lip service to the challenges of security of Boko Haram and herdsmen.â€
Fayose urged Nigerians to challenge the President to act decisively, saying: â€œSteps must be taken; Nigeria must realise that if we fail to challenge the government on this, it would be a sad story for the coming generation.
â€œPersonally, I am worried as a Nigerian that we are no longer safe in our fatherland.
â€œThe presidentâ€™s visit to Taraba State is simply political. After the president left, Taraba people were also killed. I canâ€™t believe that after three months of the killings, the president only went to the troubled part and spent only one or two hours and left. It is unfortunate.â€
Asked if the governorsâ€™ forum has advised President Buhari on what to do, he said: â€œThe Governorsâ€™ Forum is not the Commander in Chief of the country. The present government is not taking advice. How do you explain a situation where our president is saying governors should tell their people not to block cattle route in this 21st century?
â€œWhen we are faced with the challenge of people carrying AK 47 in the name of rearing cows, we are talking of cattle routes in the 21st century! The defence for cows has become more important than that of human beings.â€
Meanwhile, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on New Media, Mr. Reno Omokri, has faulted the federal governmentâ€™s negotiation with terrorists, saying that the group cannot be trusted.
Omokri said in a statement wednesday that it is a mistake for the country to negotiate with terrorists, adding that any negotiation or ransom payments will only come back to haunt the country as evidenced in a recent video by Shuaibu Moni, a Boko Haram commander.
He said he watched a video by Shuaibu Moni, who was reported by the media to have been freed in exchange for some 82 kidnapped Chibok girls in a deal allegedly brokered by the Swedish government.
According to him, the fact that a Boko Haram commander released by the Buhari government can threaten Nigeria proves that the government should not negotiate with terrorists or pay ransoms to them.
â€œBy doing so, you become the major financier of terrorism knowingly or unknowingly. In this video, Mr. Moni threatened Nigeria and vowed to show the country that Boko Haram is still fully in control of Sambisa Forest, contrary to claims made by the military and President Buhari. This latest video proves the futility of negotiating with terrorists. Terrorists cannot be trusted and any negotiation or ransom payments will only come back to haunt you as we have seen in Mr. Moniâ€™s latest video,â€ Omokri added.
Omokri alleged that under the Buhari administration, nearly a thousand so called â€˜repentantâ€™ Boko Haram members have been freed.
â€œHow many of them were truly repentant? How does a government justify releasing hardened criminals who by the principle of Taqiyya, are permitted by their extremist interpretation of their religion, to deceive their enemies in order to undermine them? Has the Buhari government offered the same liberty to repentant IPOB members, Shiites and other minority/religious activists? What is so special to the Buhari administration about Boko Haram that this government keeps on releasing members of one of the most deadly terrorists in the world?â€ he queried.
Omokri called on the Buhari administration to put a stop to this unusual practice of releasing deadly terrorists.
â€œI also call on the government to halt any payments to Boko Haram or any other terrorist group if they have been making such payments.Who knows whether it was moneys paid as ransom to Boko Haram or individuals freed by the government that were used to facilitate the kidnap of the Dapchi Girls and the recent killings of United Nations staff in Rann. Again, I urge the federal government not to unwittingly become a lifeline to Boko Haram,â€ he added.