…Express solidarity with Zulum over attack by Boko Haram
By Henry Umoru
Governor of the 36 states of the federation yesterday raised alarm over the precarious security situation in the country, seeking to meet President Muhammadu Buhari to find a way to quickly nip the problem in the bud.
The governors’ alarm came against the backdrop of last weekend’s attack on the governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum by Boko Haram insurgents on his way to Baga to visit internally displaced persons, IDPs.
Aside from this, there had also been massive killings of people in South Kaduna, the North East where Boko Haram reigns supreme and other parts of the country where bandits, herdsmen and kidnappers have continued to maim and kill people.
The governor also resolved to have marathon sessions with all the security chiefs, including the National Security Adviser, NSA, General Babagana Monguno, retd; Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu; the Director- General, National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; and the Director- General, Department of State Service, DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi to discuss what they described as very worrisome development.
Also expected at the meeting are the service chiefs.
They include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Marshal Ibok- Ete Ibas.
The governors in a statement signed by chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, and governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, said Boko Haram’s attack on Governor Zulum had brought to the fore the need for the federal government and states to work together to deal with the sect’s threat to the country’s corporate existence.
Fayemi said: “On our part, the NEC sub-committee on security will be meeting tomorrow (today) and rising from the resolutions, thereof, will soon dialogue with Mr. President and the nation’s security chiefs to discuss this worrisome and rapidly degenerating situation.“”We are appalled by the worsening security situation in the country generally, in spite of all the efforts of government to end it.“”On behalf of the 36 state governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the platform of the NGF, I write to express our solidarity with you and the people of Borno State, following the attack last Wednesday by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect.“”This is one unwarranted attack too many. It epitomizes our collective vulnerability and the fragility of the country’s security architecture.
“Although you emerged from this incident unscathed, we note with regret the injuries sustained by two members of the Civilian Joint Task Force and a police officer attached to your convoy and do accordingly pray for their quick recovery.
“Mr. Governor, Forum members are resolutely behind you in your effort to rid Borno State of these dastardly and wicked agents of evil.”
Recall that the insurgent group had intensified their attacks on both military and civilian targets in the last two weeks which culminated in the attacks on the governor.
Similarly, the insurgent group also fired bombs at Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, killings some people and damaging several properties and other valuables. This was also followed by another round of bombing which led to the death of a couple and some other civilians.
Boko Haram’s operations in the country, which started in 2009, has claimed over 30,000 lives and properties worth billions of naira.
Their activities have propelled Nigerians’ call for sack of the service chiefs who they said had ran out of ideas to deal with the insurgents.
In the North West, no fewer than 63 persons were also killed by herdsmen in Southern Kaduna in Kaduna State, even as bandits have continued their killing spree in such states as Katsina and Zamfara.