Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, has defended the statement made by the President, Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, over the issue of security in the country.
According to Adesina, the president’s statement was unduly misinterpreted by the general public and that President Buhari is “fully aware” and “in charge” of the situation.
President Buhari on Monday, during the visit of some delegates from Niger State, had said;
“I was taken aback by what is happening in the north-west and other parts of the country. During our campaigns, we knew about the Boko Haram. What is coming now is surprising.”
His statement spurred an uproar of reactions which propelled the senate minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, to request the resignation of the President.
Explaining the statement, Adesina said President Buhari’s statement only inferred that he was surprised about the emergence of banditry in the north-west, a region “almost homogeneous, made up of Hausa-Fulani and largely Muslim”.
“The reportage of the statement above was slanted to mean that President Buhari said he was unaware of the security challenges in some parts of the country. Far from it, except to the mischievous mind. The President is fully aware and fully in charge of all that is going on,” Adesina said.
“The statement by the President was clear enough, and these are the salient points:
“In 2015, we knew there was Boko Haram insurgency, particularly in the North-east, and we mentioned it in our campaigns. There are clear economic and cultural factors behind the clashes that sadly rocked many of our communities, be they the Fulani-Tiv or Fulani-Berom conflict, the Tiv versus Jukun and so on. By now, these conflicts are fairly under control.
“By 2019, banditry had surfaced in the North-West. It was surprising, as the area is almost homogeneous, made up of Hausa-Fulanis. The combatants are largely Muslim. This is what the President said he was surprised about.”
Adesina further cautioned the public against the deliberate misrepresentation of the president’s statements and comments which has the capacity to hurt the entire country.
“The point he made was that what is happening in the country is not about ethnicity or religion, it is plainly an evil plan against the nation,” he said.
“It is disingenuous that the earlier and later parts of the statement were downplayed, and the middle part misinterpreted to mean that President Buhari was unaware or surprised by the security situation in the country.
“It is all about our country, and deliberately misrepresenting the President hurts not just the country, but the mischief makers themselves, ultimately.”