Perhaps distraught by the hue and cry of Nigerians from all walks of life decrying herdsmen killings across the country, the Presidency has advised Nigerians to ignore what it calls ‘crocodile’ tears by leaders from the Northern part of the country where people have lost their lives to herdsmen killings and the Boko Haram Insurgency.
The Presidency took a swipe at the Northern leaders who recently faulted President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s way of handling the nation’s security challenges, describing them as ‘selfish leaders.’
This latest salvo from the Presidency comes after certain leaders from the North including leaders of some socio-cultural organisations led by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), had issued a communiqué accusing the Buhari’s administration of incompetence in handling the security situation in the country.
The Presidency however responded through a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who said the Presidency considered the communique as the shedding of crocodile tears by selfish leaders from the North.
The Presidential spokesman further said the leaders felt alienated after a transparent and accountable system halted their disproportionate survival on resources of the state; he therefore urged Nigerians to ignore them.
“The Presidency urges Nigerians to ignore the unholy alliance by these groups who are stepping up their assault on the All Progressives Congress administration. The Presidency notes with dismay that the refrain about President Buhari not doing anything about security in the country had turned into the number one fake news item,” parts of the statement read.
The Presidential spokesperson further reiterated that it was sad and misleading for anyone to say that President Buhari had not responded to the security challenges in the country while referring to a press statement recently issued by the President’s Special Adviser, Femi Adesina, highlighting the Buhari-led administration’s achievement in tackling security challenges.
Mr Adesina had released a statement titled “Combating Insecurity in the Country: Lest We Forget – Presidency’’ where he listed ongoing security operations by the Federal Government to tackle insecurity in the country.
These operations include; (1) Nigerian Army’s Exercise Ayem Akpatuma covering Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger States launched in February to tackle cases of kidnappings, herdsmen/farmers’ clashes, among others; (2) Nigerian Air Force establishment of three new Quick Response Wings (QRW) in Taraba, Nasarawa and Benue States respectively, and deployment of Special Forces personnel.
Mr Adesina’s Press release further highlighted President Buhari’s approval for the establishment of a new Battalion of the Nigerian Army, as well as a new Police Area Command, in Birnin Gwari Local Council in Kaduna State, in what he described as part of measures to scale up security in response to the banditry affecting the area.
The Presidential Spokesman further added that those claiming that President Buhari has not done anything about security challenge are spreading fake news being peddled by selfish politicians with interests in keeping Nigerians incensed.
The Presidency has come under fire recently for its apparent sluggish response to the security challenges in the country; especially in the North-east and the middle-belt where Boko Haram and killer herdsmen hold sway. Boko Haram have resumed its campaign of taking over territories while herdsmen killings have continued unabated across the country.