Buhari Admits Security Situation Very Disturbing, Tells Military to do Better

Muhammadu Buhari

•Says some people in his government have abused trust
•Northern governors condemn attack on Zulum

By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja, Seriki Adinoyi in Jos and Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday described the security situation in the country as “very disturbing”, and urged the military and the police to do much better, adding however, that his administration had done its best in view of what he inherited in 2015.

He also assured Nigerians that more resources would be provided for the military, police and other security agencies to “deal with the unwanted security situation in some areas of the country.”

The President made the remarks in an interview with State House Correspondents after observing Eid prayers with his family and aides at the State House, Abuja.

The President’s declaration is coming a few weeks after he threatened heads of security agencies, including service chiefs, that their best was not enough, and two days after an attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, who was on his way to an IDP camp outside Maiduguri.

The President said much had been achieved on security and that given the situation he inherited in 2015, Nigerians ought to understand that his administration had done its best.

“Nigerians know that we have done our best. However, what is coming out of the North West and the North Central is very disturbing,” the President said.

In a press statement on the discussions, the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu quoted Buhari as saying that all the security agencies, including the military, and the police were working hard to tackle insecurity.

“We are making available resources to them to even do better. From the reports I am getting, they could do much better…they could do much better. But we are keeping them on the alert all the time to do their duties, said the President.

Buhari also spoke on corruption, saying an anti-graft agency was set up to fight corruption, as those put in position of authority by both the past and present administrations had abused trust.

He, however, insisted that all corruption cases would be uncovered and thoroughly investigated.

“This is why we put the commission (of investigation) in place. There has been abuse of trust by people trusted by the previous administration and this administration,” he said.

He lamented the waste of resources allocated to the development of the Niger Delta and its people, saying that corruption in the region had been unhelpful, especially “if you recall there is the 13 per cent derivation.”

Buhari warned against vandalism of oil pipelines in the oil-producing areas, which he said often resulted in environmental pollution.

According to him, those engaging in such activities are doing more harm than good to their people and communities.

“Those who are blowing pipelines and interfering with the production of petroleum products are hurting their people more than the rest of Nigerians because majority of their people are fishermen, fisherwomen and farmers.

“Now if they pollute the land and the waters, the fish goes into the deeper sea where the people cannot go and they cannot grow anything. They are hurting their immediate communities more than any other thing,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Boko Haram insurgents have continued attacks in the North-east, while bandits have persisted in ravaging the North-west and the North-central.

On Thursday, multiple explosions from mortars fired by suspected Boko Haram members hit Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, leaving many injured.

The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Aliyu said yesterday that the death toll from the attack had risen to six, and that 27 people were injured.

Aliyu said the dead included a female at Gwange II and five others who were hit by the explosives at separate locations within the city.

He said following the incidents, the command in collaboration with other security agencies had deployed a total of 7,000 personnel to secure the entire city for the Eid-el-Kabir celebration in order to prevent breach of peace.

The Commissioner said the personnel, comprising the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), and Special Protection Unit (SPU), were deployed in 31 designated mosques for the EId-EL-Kabir congregations.

Northern Governors Condemn Attack on Zulum

In a related development, the Northern Governors Forum has condemned the recent attack on the convoy of one of its members, Governor Zulum, describing the act as callous and reprehensible.

Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, in a statement yesterday, described the attack on Zulum, who was on his way to Baga town in Kukawa Local Government Area to personally distribute relief materials to internally displaced persons for the Sallah celebrations, as another desperate attempt by criminal elements to sabotage the efforts of the governor towards reducing the suffering of vulnerable persons that have been traumatised by terrorists.

Lalong, in the statement said: “This regrettable attack shows the desperation by enemies of peace and humanity at large to jeopardise all efforts, over the years, towards making life easier for victims of violence in the state.

“The Northern Governors Forum strongly condemns this attack and stands with Governor Zulum who has demonstrated courage in personally reaching out to people in need despite the dangers. We urge him not to be deterred as he keeps working with security agencies to protect the lives and properties of the people.”