Abraham Smith, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday that he was working hard to secure the country, especially from the hands of the bandits and kidnappers in the North-West.
The President met with the governors of some northern states at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, who were there to discuss security challenges with Buhari and call for more actions by the Federal Government.
The governors were led to the meeting by the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari. They took turns to brief Buhari on the peculiar situation of each state.
Besides Yari, the other governors in attendance were Kashim Shettima (Borno); Simon Lalong (Plateau); Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna); Aminu Bello-Masari (Katsina); and Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto).
The list also included Muhammad Abubakar (Jigawa); Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); and Abubakar Sani-Bello (Niger).
Buhari claimed to have a 24-hour watch over the security challenges of the country, assuring the governors that he would not let the nation down.
He stated, “The security of the country is on my mind 24 hours of the day. I get daily and weekly situation reports. I have listened to your brief.
“I will look into your recommendations. I am acutely aware of the situation, but I have learnt more today.”
The President also blamed the situation of today on corruption in the Armed Forces in the past, which he said had left the country with “terrible effects.”
He spoke further, “If you follow the efforts we are making within the system, you will see that we have curbed much of the corruption that is there.
“See the recoveries that we have made – money and landed property. We are not going as fast as we want under the system, but we will keep trying to improve it.”
A State House statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, contained Buhari’s comments at the closed-door meeting.
Although the governors acknowledged the Buhari administration’s efforts in combating Boko Haram in the North-East, they observed that the latest twist in banditry and kidnappings in the North-West did no one any good.
For example, Masari, in an interview with State House Correspondents, expressed concerns over the banditry in the North-West, saying that the governors stressed this at the meeting with Buhari.
He said, “The issue that brought us to the President is about the rising insecurity in the North-West, North-Central, and North-East.
“North East is known for Boko Haram insurgency, but of recent what was known to be cattle rustling in North-West and some parts of North-Central has turned out to be something different from what we had before.
“So, this concern made us to come and brief the President so that urgent action would be taken in order to curb this deadly menace of banditry, which is graduating into an insurgency. You know the North-West has a vast forest area going to North-Central and then even going out of Nigeria.
“So, we need to act quickly and decisively so that it doesn’t turn into something else like what we had in the North-East.”
The Katsina governor confirmed that District Head of Daura, the President’s home town, who was kidnapped weeks back, had yet to be released.