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As president, I won’t play politics with security – Bello

By Seye Olumide (Ibadan) and Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja)
09 April 2022   |   4:15 am
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has said he will not tolerate buck-passing in matters of security, if voted in as Nigeria’s president, but will ensure that governors secure their states.

Yahaya Bello

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has said he will not tolerate buck-passing in matters of security, if voted in as Nigeria’s president, but will ensure that governors secure their states.

While noting that the president could not be in every state of the federation ensuring security of life and property, he said states would be empowered to rise to the challenge. 

While fielding questions from journalists at the 2nd GYB Seminar for Political and Crime Correspondents and Editors in Abuja, yesterday, Bello promised not to play politics with the security challenges in the country.

He said: “I refuse to politicise insecurity. Buhari is a man, who loves truth and reality. I will let you know that the president loves this country. This insecurity is not a thing of the president, though we should not pass buck because that is why we came on board. It is a failure of successive administrations.

“Let me remind us, once again, that certain military and police hardware were non-existent or were last purchased in the administration of former President Shehu Shagari. After the bomb blast in Ikeja cantonment, did Nigerians ask whether the arms and ammunition that detonated and killed people were ever replaced since then?”

According to the governor, after the various decays, the foundation was shaky and the president spent a lot of money to buy equipment. He added that the president would not sit in Aso Villa and carry arms to secure schools and roads. 

His words: “Some of these crimes that we see today are more than what we see on the surface. I will never come out here and point out flaws. Whatever lapses I observe, it is for me to let the President know. 

“I will never be that governor, who will come out and say that the president did not secure my schools and roads. That is why, as the chief security officer of Kogi, I ensure that I brought the rate of crime from down. The president is assisting me to succeed in that area.”

If all the governors, as chief executives, are doing what they are supposed to do, he added, the president’s job would have been easier. 

Bello pledged: “If I become the president, I will make every chief executive of the various federating units to sit up and do their jobs. I will not tolerate any lackadaisical attitude or passing of buck to the centre. I will ensure that various federating units are strengthened. 

“Majority of some of these crimes are politically-motivated, especially the recent ones we are witnessing. However, the issue of security can never be brought out to the public, so you would not expose your country to danger.”

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