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Those behind insurgency in North-East responsible for escalating banditry, kidnappings, says Fayemi

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PHOTO: NAN

Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi, yesterday, said that those behind insurgency in the North-East region of the country were responsible for the escalating banditry in the North-West and kidnappings in the South-West of the country.

He stated this after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Fayemi, who said he was in the State House to discuss sundry issues, including economic and security, also gave indication that President Buhari would soon approach the National Assembly to seek more fund to facilitate equipment for the Armed Forces to aid efforts to tackle insecurity.

He said that winning the war against insecurity would require more than just military operations, noting that besides making sincere efforts to reach the roots of the various forms of security crisis facing the nation, leaders need to show political will and take political action to address the issues that had created the room for insecurity.

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He noted that some of the issues that brought about the current situation and require political will to address, include poverty, inequality, social disconnection between leadership and the youths.

Commending the President for effective changes in the nation’s security architecture, he said that the step would not automatically bring answers to the security questions until other required factors join to work with the military solution.

He said: “Well, first of all, let me say that the President has taken the right step in changing the leadership of the security services. I, as you would recall, was one of those speaking on behalf of my colleagues that argued for that to happen. So, I think the President has done the right thing.

“We never suggested, even at the time we were arguing for a change of guard in the leadership, that that was going to be an automatic transformation of the security situation, simply on account of change of leadership.

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“I can tell you, and I don’t think I’ll be breaching any confidence, that one of the good news I came away with from the President now on this issue is that he’s already informed the National Assembly that they will be receiving a special request from him on procurement of equipment on an accelerated basis for security services because that was one of the issues that we put before him and he was very categorical that yes, we have a point.

“Some of the equipment that had been procured are on the way.”

They have not arrived, but they will soon arrive. There is also a need to buy more equipment and he is going into government-to-government partnership with a number of countries and that would necessitate an accelerated clearance from the National Assembly.

“Having said all of that, I also don’t think we’re naive enough to think that it’s simply a military action that will resolve all these security challenges. They have root causes and the root causes require political will, political action on our part against poverty, inequality, the disconnections between our youths and the government because these are some of the things that have pushed younger people into harm’s way and into becoming cannon fodder for those who don’t have the interest of our country at heart and are ready to destroy the country.

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