President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed surprise and disappointment with the deteriorating state of security in North-West Nigeria.
Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, who said this in a statement on Thursday, pleaded with the country’s elite to show understanding as his administration was working hard with available resources at its disposal to address insecurity in the country.
He said the military were making efforts to tackle the situation, but it would take a ‘very long process’ to achieve the desired results.
“The elite should make the attempt to understand the military. If we order for weapons and armored vehicles, it takes time for the manufacturers. It takes time to ship them and when brought here eventually, they are taken to training institutions, train the trainers before sending them to the field. This is a very long process,” the statement read in part.
“I expect Nigerians to be more understanding on the issues involved, looking at the time and available resources.
“For example, when we came in, in the Northeast, ask people in Adamawa and Borno States and the South South in terms of security. Without security, you can’t do anything. Our big surprise and disappointment are what is happening in the North-West and we are dealing with it.”
The North-West region, which comprises Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara, has, in recent times, been plagued with the menace of banditry, terrorism as well as conflicts between herders and farmers. School children have, in most cases, been at the receiving end of criminals as they are kidnapped for ransom.
More than 600 students have been kidnapped from schools in the region since the beginning of this year. Recently, there have been kidnaps of 29 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, and those of Greenfield University, both in Kaduna State.
Students from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation were released after an undisclosed amount was paid as ransom.
Some of the students of Greenfield University are, however, not lucky as five of the kidnapped students were killed following failure to meet up with the sum of N100 million ransom.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as social-political and civil society organisations has continued to criticise the manner the Buhari’s administration is handling the country’s security. They have asked him to sit up or resign to give way to a more competent hand.