Insecurity: Buhari Has Done A Lot, Has More To Offer, Lai Mohammed Replies Critics
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has faulted criticism that President Muhammadu Buhari has nothing more to offer in tackling insecurity, saying it is untrue and smacks of dirty politicking
The Minister, while addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said the reaction was necessary because the polity has recently been awash with heightened commentary on the security situation in the country.
“President Buhari has done so much, under very difficult economic and social conditions, to tackle insecurity in our country. Not only has he done so much. President Buhari continues to do much more to keep Nigerians safe. To say he has nothing more to offer is untrue, fallacious, and smacks of dirty politicking.
“By boosting the number and capacity of our fighting forces, Mr. President is putting them in good stead to tackle insecurity not just during the life of his Administration but long after he would have left office,” he said.
Lai Mohammed added that “no Administration in Nigeria’s recent history has provided the security agencies with the hardware needed to tackle insecurity as that of President Buhari.”
According to him, President Buhari has raised the morale of security agents and also recently commissioned naval boats and ships in the latest effort to enhance the nation’s maritime security.
“The army, the air force, and the police, among others, have also been receiving modern hardware to strengthen their arsenal,” he added.
He said President Buhari has continued to make the issue of security a major plank of his administration’s policy since its assumption in 2015.
“This is not a surprise, considering the fact that the fight against insecurity is one of the three priority areas of the APC-led Federal Government.
“Yes, the security situation has continued to pose a great challenge, but amidst the cacophony of voices – some genuinely concerned about the situation and others ready to exploit it for selfish ends – it is easy to forget where we are coming from. Today, we only look at the current situation, without wondering what would have been had this President not taken the bull by the horns, as far as security is concerned.
“With the way, the insurgents were going before this Administration came into office, with their control of a vast swath of land the size of Belgium, with their freewheeling attacks in almost a dozen states, including the Federal Capital Territory which was hit at least five times, perhaps they could have achieved their aim of declaring an Islamic State in Nigeria if President Buhari had not acted decisively. After all, in 2014, Boko Haram declared a Caliphate in Gwoza after capturing Bama and Gamboru as well as other towns and villages in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa. They installed their own Emirs, collected taxes, and flew their flag before the military dislodged them.
“Yes, banditry and kidnapping have added to the state of insecurity, President Buhari has also continued to provide quality leadership in order to ensure that our security agencies decisively tackle the cankerworm of insecurity of any hue.”
Buhari’s administration, according to the Minister, has not concentrated on the kinetic measures alone. Non-kinetic measures have also been strengthened, he said.
“The establishment of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to coordinate all humanitarian affairs in Nigeria is a major effort at tackling poverty and shrinking the pool of those being targeted for recruitment by insurgents and bandits,” the minister added.
“Of course, the Federal Government’s unprecedented and massive investment in infrastructure is also aimed at boosting socio-economic well-being of the nation and further reducing poverty, which is a major cause of insecurity.”
He stressed that President Buhari has not relented, constantly presiding over meetings of security chiefs to get an update and also issue necessary directives, and not missing any opportunity to offer succour to his countrymen and women, when necessary.
The President, he argued, has also continued to work with neighboring countries and Western partners to tackle insecurity, especially terrorism. With the entire Sahelian region experiencing a devastating surge in terrorist attacks, more so in the wake of the Libyan crisis, it has become even more imperative for Nigeria to step up regional cooperation to more effectively tackle insecurity – and that is what Mr. President has been doing.
“President Buhari is leaving a legacy of security, infrastructural development, economic prosperity, and social cohesion for Nigeria,” Lai Mohammed said.
“This may not seem obvious today, amidst daunting challenges, but posterity will be kind to this President.”