By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Nigerian presidency on Wednesday disputed claims that President Muhammadu Buhari has nothing to offer in terms of tackling the security challenges confronting the nation.
Obasanjo had told leaders of socio-cultural organisations at a retreat on inclusive security organised by the Global Peace Foundation in collaboration with Vision Africa recently that Nigerians should stop looking for solutions for the security challenges confronting Buhari from Buhari.
“The truth is this: President Buhari has done his best; that is what he can do, if you expect anything than what he is doing, you are kicking a dead horse and there is no need,” Obasanjo said while asking Nigerians to focus on post Buhari era.
“We must not fold our hands…How do we prepare for post-Buhari era? Buhari has done his best. My prayer is that God will spare his life to see his term through but what do we have after Buhari? What should we do to make post-Buhari era better than what we have now? That is our responsibility. It concerns all of us,” Obasanjo said.
But the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a news conference in Abuja said the claim in certain quarters that President Buhari had nothing more to offer “is untrue, fallacious and smacks of dirty politicking’’.
According to the minister, President Buhari has done so much under very difficult economic and social conditions to tackle insecurity in the country and would continue to do much more to keep Nigerians safe.
“Since assuming office in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to make the issue of security a major plank of his administration’s policy.
“Today, we look at the current situation without wondering what would have been had this president not taken the bull by the horns as far as security is concerned.
“With the way insurgents were operating before this administration came into office, perhaps they would have achieved their aim of declaring an Islamic State in Nigeria, if President Buhari had not acted decisively.
“This is considering their control of swathes of land the size of Belgium, with their freewheeling attacks in almost a dozen states, including the FCT, which was hit at least five times.
“After all, in 2014, Boko Haram declared a caliphate in Gwoza after capturing Bama and Gamboru as well as other towns and villages in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
“They installed their own emirs, collected taxes and flew their flag before the military dislodged them,’’ the minister said.
On banditry and kidnapping, the minister said the president had also continued to provide quality leadership to ensure that security agencies decisively tackled the canker-worm of insecurity of any kind.
He stressed that no administration in Nigeria’s recent history had provided the security agencies with the hardware needed to tackle insecurity as that of President Buhari.
Mohammed said Buhari’s administration had also been exceptional in raising the morale of security men and women.
He added that the administration also deployed non-kinetic measures such as tackling poverty and shrinking the pool of those targeted for recruitment by insurgents and bandits
The minister cautioned against heightened commentaries on the security situation which he said was triggered “by genuine concerns in some circles and crass politicking or sheer absurdity in others’’.
He said while there was nothing wrong in citizens expressing their concerns over insecurity in the country, the use of incendiary and insulting words, especially by leaders could only overheat the polity and heighten tension.
Mohammed called on Nigerians to support security agencies and also to raise the alarm anytime they saw anything that hampered the safety and security of the citizens and the country. (NAN)