Nigerian Governors have disclosed that those behind insurgency in the Northeast have been identified as sponsors of the escalating banditry in the Northwest and kidnappings in other regions of the country.
Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this to State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday.
Fayemi, said he was in the State House to discuss a range of issues, including economic and security with the President.
“There is a direct correlation, I’ve said this to you before, between insurgency in the Northeast, and what we’re seeing manifesting itself as banditry in the Northwest, or kidnapping in the Southwest. Some of the people involved in these are also the ones responsible for insurgency.
“They are using the resources that they make from kidnapping for the activities that they’re conducting in the Northeast. So, we need to take a comprehensive look at all these things and not treat them in compartments. We must treat them as a comprehensive issue and then tackle them collectively”, he said.
According to him, President Buhari would be approaching the National Assembly soon for more funding for the equipment of the armed forces, to aid better and more successes in the efforts to beat insecurity back.
He, however, observed that winning the war against insecurity would require more than just military operations, noting that besides making sincere effort to reach the roots of the various forms of security crises facing the nation, leaders need to show political will and take political action to address the issues that had created the room for insecurity.
He said, “Well, first of all, let me say that Mr. President has taken the right step in changing the leadership of the security services. I, as you would recall, was one of those speaking on behalf of my colleagues that argued for that to happen. So, I think the President has done the right thing.
“We never suggested, even at the time we were arguing for a change of guard in the leadership, that that was going to be an automatic transformation of the security situation, simply on account of change of leadership.’’
We were not that naive to think that would happen, however, precisely because there’s been a change, you can see that there is also a concerted effort.
Answering a question on the threat to the nation’s food security programme by the security situation, Dr Fayemi said much is being done to see to it that the solution to the farmers/herders crisis, which he said would address most of the threat to the fear being harboured by farmers.
“We’re very concerned about that and that’s one of the issues that came up in my conversation with Mr. President this afternoon. For us, it’s no use giving just verbal assurances, farmers need to see concrete action on the ground, dedicated to protecting them in doing their business.
“That’s why majority of our states are very focused on the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) that would at least confine those who want to graze their cattle to a dedicated space rather than
roaming around and destroying crops, which then result in the kind of conflicts that we’ve had between farmers and herders,” he said.