Insecurity: Flush out all criminals in your state, Buhari tells Akeredolu
PRESIDENT Muhammad Buhari, yesterday, asked Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to flush out all the criminals in his state, especially the forest reserves.
He also told the new service chiefs in a close doors meeting that the country was in a state of emergency.
Akeredolu briefs Buhari
Although the governor failed to grant State House correspondents an interview at the end of his close doors meeting with the President at Aso Rock in Abuja, his Information Commissioner, Donald Ojogo, disclosed the President’s call in a statement issued in Akure.
The statement read: “The governor seized the opportunity of the meeting to brief the President regarding the precarious security situation in the region, especially Ondo State.
“The governor met with the President at a meeting; and it centered on the issue of security concerns in the Southwest, especially in Ondo State.
“It was a huge opportunity for the governor to put the records straight as regards the erroneous impression that Governor Akeredolu had asked all Fulani and herdsmen to vacate the state.
“The meeting afforded both leaders a great window to explore ingenious methods to tackle the issue of insecurity in the region.
“In particular, Governor Akeredolu sought and, indeed, obtained the President’s support and encouragement to flush out criminals in the forests of Ondo State.”
The President also told the service chiefs that it has not been easy to fulfill the promises he made to Nigerians 2015 which were to secure the country, revive the economy, and fight corruption.
Admonishing the new service chiefs to be patriotic in discharging their duties, he also told them to serve the country well.
The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, said: “We’re in a state of emergency. Be patriotic, serve the country well, as your loyalty is to the country.”
He congratulated the service chiefs on heading their various services, adding that “there’s nothing I can tell you about the service, because you are in it.
“I was also in it, and I will pray for you. I also assure you that whatever I can do as Commander-in-Chief will be done, so that the people will appreciate your efforts.
“You know the stage we were in 2015, you know the stage we are now, and the undertakings we made. We promised to secure the country, revive the economy, and fight corruption. None has been easy, but we have certainly made progress.”
The President also charged the Service Chiefs to be concerned about the morale of their officers and men, saying they should be made to feel physically and professionally secure.
He pledged that Government would do its best in terms of equipment and logistics.
The Service Chiefs, who were led to the meeting by the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retd), are: Major-General LEO Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral AZ Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice-Marshal IO Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
Buhari’s meeting with the new service chiefs at the Presidential Villa, was to strategise on the way forward for the nation’s security.
The President also had a meeting with Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, his counterpart in Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, and the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, over the security situation in the South-West, especially in Ondo and Oyo states, with a call on Akeredolu to flush out all criminals in his state.
The new service chiefs at the meeting with the President include Major-General LEO Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral AZ Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal IO Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
Vanguard learned that insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes nationwide topped the agenda at the meeting.
Recall that the President on Tuesday, announced appointment of the new service chiefs, following the groundswell of opposition that trailed the continued stay in office of their predecessors without commensurate improvement in security in the country.
President Buhari also met separately with the Oyo state governor over the tension generated by herdsmen attacks in his state.
He had met with the Ooni, Oba Ogunwusi, over the same insecurity problem in the South West on Tuesday night.
Why I came to see Buhari — Oyo gov
But addressing State House correspondents after his meeting with the President, Governor Seyi Makinde said he came to brief the President to be sure he (Buhari) had accurate information on the insecurity situation in Oyo State, given the amount of fake news flying about.
“There has been a lot of fake news all around and I wanted to be sure that Mr. President clearly has first hand information from me, which I did. We also exchanged ideas on what we need to do better, some of the programmes we have put in place to ensure this security issue is tackled. So, that’s basically why I came here.”
On the specific issues he discussed with the President, the governor said: “Well, one of the issues I discussed with Mr. President is that Oyo State land mass is quite big, Oyo State is close to 29,000 square kilometers.
“If you take all the states in the South East geo-political zone of Nigeria, they are still not as big as Oyo State, and the state right now only has two mobile police squadrons.
“So, I requested for more mobile police squadrons to be deployed to Oyo State and also ask for support for joint security outfit because the underlying issue here also has to do with limited opportunities.
“The tension will definitely go down if a lot of our youths are gainfully employed. So, I briefed the President on what we are doing in that regard.”
When asked about his disagreement with the activist, Sunday Igboho, on the ultimatum for Fulanis to leave Oyo State, the governor explained: “Well, we have a history of living together peacefully among all the ethnic groups that are present in Oyo State.
“For instance, what triggered all of this was that Dr. Aborode was brutally murdered. That is criminal, but on the other hand, Seriki, Alhaji Kabir, has been staying in that same place for 40 years.
“So, quite frankly, the people we are after are criminals. They are the bandits, hoodlums, armed robbers, kidnappers. Those are the true enemies of the state and those are the people we will go after.
“The constitution of Nigeria guarantees that you can live in any part of Nigeria, you just have to be law abiding, obey the local laws in such areas. That is what we are pushing and will continue to push as a government.”
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