‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
Daily Courier – The Presidency has rejected some views expressed in a report published in Financial Times (UK) on the protracted security challenges in Nigeria.
The federal government’s reservation was communicated by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, in a letter to the Editor of the paper, he disagreed with the use of the rising banditry in the country as proof that the government was in slumber.
The UK paper had said: “Muhammadu Buhari may go but it’s not the leader who matters, the system itself must change”.
The letter dated February 6, 2022 and released by the presidential aide read: “We wish to correct the wrong perceptions contained in the article ‘What is Nigeria’s Government For,’ by David Piling, Financial Times (UK), January 31, 2022.
“The caricature of a government sleepwalking into disaster (What is Nigeria’s government for? January 31, 2022 ) is predictable from a correspondent who jets briefly in and out of Nigeria on the same British Airways flight he so criticises.
“He highlights rising banditry in my country as proof of such slumber.
“What he leaves out are the security gains made over two Presidential terms.
“The terror organisation Boko Haram used to administer an area the size of Belgium at inauguration; now, they control no territory.
“The first comprehensive plan to deal with decades-old clashes between nomadic herders and sedentary farmers – experienced across the width of the Sahel – has been introduced: pilot ranches are reducing the competition for water and land that drove past tensions.
“Banditry grew out of such clashes. Criminal gangs took advantage of the instability, flush with guns that flooded the region following the Western-triggered implosion of Libya.
“The situation is grave.
“Yet as with other challenges, it is one that the government will face down.”