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IBB seeks support to end insecurity

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Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.

‘I’ve been advising quietly on how to curb menace’
Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.) has solicited the support of Nigerians for the Federal Government to effectively tackle insurgency, banditry and end terrorism in the country.

He disclosed that he had been advising the Federal Government quietly on how best to curb insecurity in Nigeria.

Babangida, who spoke in the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in an interview monitored in Kaduna, yesterday, said: ‘It has become necessary for citizens and government to synergize and work together to fight insecurity that had bedeviled the nation for a couple of years.

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On whether the politicians were effectively playing their role to end insecurity, he said there were several things they had to put right, adding: “If they agree to sit down and think over everything, I believe success will be achieved.”

He pointed out that it was important to rally round the soldiers and other security agents, support them and let them know that Nigerians were behind them, stressing that they should be provided with all they require, emphasise that this was their country and that they have no other better country than Nigeria.

Babangida said the Nigerian military needed modern and sophisticated weapons to combat the insurgents and bandits, insisting: “They also need to be trained on how to use modern weapons and not just to give them weapons.”

On whether he had ever advised the Federal Government on ways to end insecurity in the country, which has now crept into Niger State, he said: “We give advice as we can, but we don’t make noise about it. We don’t always announce what we say.

“We should unite and support those in power, because we are all working towards achieving the same goal. Above all, we need peace and a harmonious relationship between the leaders and citizens.”

Citing the case of the civil war for three years, he said every government had its experience on insecurity, but if Nigerians unite and the people support the government, it would do its best.

Speaking further, he explained that during the war, the Federal Government bought what was necessary and that those who fought were made to understand that this country was the best for them.

“It is not only Nigeria that is facing insecurity, many countries have this kind of problem and some had it for 10 years, but through concerted effort, they overcame. I believe we can get out of this challenge.

“Both citizens and those in government are trying, but we should know that it is not an easy task,” he stressed.

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