By Deji Elumoye
Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi, has declared that those funding the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East are also the brains behind banditry and kidnapping being perpetrated in the North West and South Western parts of the country.
Fayemi, who is Governor of Ekiti state, spoke with newsmen on Monday evening after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja stressed that there is a direct correlation between Boko Haram insurgency and banditry as well as kidnapping in certain areas in the country.
He said: “There is a direct correlation between insurgency in the Northeast, and what we’re seeing manifesting itself as banditry in the Northwest, or kidnapping in the Southwest. Some of the people involved in these are also the ones responsible for insurgency.
“They are using the resources that they make from kidnapping for the activities that they’re conducting in the Northeast. So we need to take a comprehensive look at all these things and not treat them in compartments. We must treat them as a comprehensive issue and then tackle them collectively”.
Fayemi further submitted that the myriad of security challenges facing the country cannot be solved by only military action saying “I don’t think we’re naive enough to think that it’s simply a military action that will resolve all these security challenges.
“They have root causes and the root causes require political will, political action on our part against poverty, against inequality, against the disconnections between our youth and the government because these are some of the things that have pushed younger people into harm’s way and into becoming cannon fodder for those who don’t have the interest of our country at heart and are ready to destroy the country”.
He added that the President assured him that a supplementary budget will soon be sent to the National Assembly to take care of procurement of additional equipment to address the security situation in the country.
“I can tell you and I don’t think I’ll be breaching any confidence that one of the good news I came away with, from the President now on this issue is that he’s already informed the National Assembly that they will be receiving a special request from him on procurement of equipment on an accelerated basis for our security services, because that was one of the issues that we put before him and he was very categorical that yes, we have a point, some of the equipment that had been procured are on the way, they haven’t arrived, but they will soon arrive. There is also a need to buy more equipment and he is going into government-to-government partnership with a number of countries and that would necessitate an accelerated clearance from the National Assembly”.
He also commented on the issue of autonomy for state judiciary and legislature saying although the state governors are in full support of it but was against the Executive Order issued earlier on by the President to that effect.
“The principle of autonomy itself was not in contention, that governors agree, and indeed, very supportive of autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary, but what we were working out is the framework.
“What we objected to at the time was what led to the intervention of Mr. President, that the Chief of Staff should coordinate an exit from that logjam, was that we felt that these were issues that were constitutional in nature and we really did not need an executive order for us to achieve the collective wish of the President, as well as the government.
“What the meeting that you saw hold focused on was the mechanics for achieving legislative autonomy and judicial autonomy and very soon you will hear the full details of that. In a matter of one or two weeks, we’ll come out with the full entire gamut of the agreement that we had with the speakers and the representatives of the judiciary in states”, Fayemi said.