By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
Progressive governors, yesterday, accused President Goodluck Jonathan of paying more attention to his re-election in 2015 than tackling soaring security threat to lives and property in the country.
The governors, who made the accusation in reaction to Monday’s massive attack on the Nigerian Air force base in Maiduguri, blamed the development on what they called “lack of security agenda’’ by Mr. President, whom they claimed was more obsessed with winning the next presidential poll than tackling rising insurgency in the land.
The statement, which was signed by the Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum, Mr. Salihu Lukman, noted with concern that the security situation in several parts of the country had continued to deteriorate despite the extension of the State of Emergency in some states and the trillions of naira supposedly spent on security.
The governors said, “The most recent attack was particularly telling as it shows that President Goodluck Jonathan has no security agenda and is only focused on retaining power beyond 2015. The result of this criminal negligence is the unabated slaughter of lives. Clearly the security structures set up in the region have been overwhelmed.
“The PGF calls on the President to reassess his security strategy and focus more on the critical issues of the day. Obviously, the strategies and tactics currently adopted by the President and security agencies drafted to the region have been ineffectual, just as they leave much to be desired.
“While we commiserate with the Government and people of Borno State, we call on the Federal Government to immediately overhaul the tactics and rules of engagement of the security agencies deployed in Borno and other states.
“The President, who also doubles as the Commander-in-Chief needs to get a firmer grip as well as ensure coherence in the management of the various tiers of security interventions in the affected states. His obsession with 2015 is a dangerous diversion at a time when real courage and statesmanship are needed.
“We, on our own part, shall continue to offer support to our colleague, Governor Kashim Shettima and to provide necessary humanitarian assistance in these extremely difficult times.
It will be recalled that insurgents descended heavily on the Borno State capital on Monday morning inflicting serious casualties on the people in the process although the security agencies also fought back, killing many of the gunmen.
The security agencies reportedly lost some of its men and equipment including aircraft and buildings.