Posted by News Express | 9 December 2020 | 1,403 times
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), says his principal, on Tuesday, reassured governors of the 36 states of the Federation of his regime’s commitment to ending insecurity in the country.
Adesina said at a meeting today, the Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, and his North-East counterparts did not raise the subject of engaging mercenaries to combat Boko Haram terrorists in the region.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that Zulum made six recommendations to the Federal Government to defeat insurgency following the killing of 43 rice farmers in Borno by Boko Haram members last month.
The recommendations include the engagement of the services of the governments of Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic as well as the services of mercenaries to defeat Boko Haram terrorists.
In view of the rising killings in the country, the Nigeria Governors Forum under the Chairmanship of Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State met with the president on Tuesday at Aso Villa.
But the presidential spokesman said the Borno State governor and his colleagues from the North-East region, the theatre of Boko Haram heinous activities, did not make any recommendation to the president on the use of mercenaries.
Adesina spoke on Tuesday while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme monitored by The PUNCH.
He said, “It was quite a fruitful meeting. The governors of the 36 states were invited and near 100 per cent of them turned up. It was across parties.
“After the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi, spoke, then, he invited a governor each from the geopolitical zones and give an account of what was happening, security-wise in their zones.”
Adesina said each of the governors spoke on the security challenges peculiar to their regions – North-West (banditry), North-East (Boko Haram), South-West (kidnapping), North-Central (farmers-herders clash), amongst others.
“After that, Mr President responded and they reviewed the accounts together. Where promises were needed to be made, they were made and where explanations were needed to be made, they were equally made,” Adesina stated.
When asked whether the Borno State governor and his North-East counterparts requested that the president engage mercenaries to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency, Adesina said, “No, not specifically, that did not come up; no one governor from the North-East mentioned it in person; it was not something the meeting dwelt on.”
The spokesperson added, “The promise the president made was that more equipment were being procured and that some had come and the need to train our forces on the need to use them.
“He also encouraged the governors to work in close contact with the traditional authorities and local communities because intelligence is a big part of the thing. He encouraged them to work together so that those who sabotage the military by giving information to the other side can be encouraged to give information to the military.”
The president is expected to appear before the National Assembly on Thursday in view of the security challenges plaguing the country. “The National Assembly will determine the format of the forum,” Adesina stated. (The PUNCH)
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