President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the recruitment of 6,000 additional policemen as part of fresh measures to address the nation’s security challenges including the farmers/herdsmen clashes across the country.
The President made this known in a special interview session with Voice of America, Hausa service, in Washington, United States yesterday morning.
President Buhari, who is in the U.S. on the invitation of the American President Donald Trump, revealed that additional security measures were being put in place to check cases of insecurity in Nigeria.
“We will put in place more measures to check insecurity in the country including increasing the number of policemen and train them.
“I have approved the recruitment of 6,000 policemen by the police authorities and I directed that those recruited must come from all the 776 local government areas of the federation.
“Even if it means recruiting one person each from the 776 they should do that instead of going to motor parks, railway stations or market for the recruitment exercise.
“I gave (Police authorities) them this directive,” he said.
The president, who expressed reservation on the call for the establishment of state police as being advocated by state governors, said Nigerians must abide by constitutional provision in regard to the matter.
It would be recalled that the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, had in February said creation of state police would help in addressing spate of insecurity in the country.
Yari, who is also the Zamfara State Governor, said this at the end of a two-day summit organised by the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Review of Current Security Infrastructure in Nigeria.
He said: “Today we have reiterated the position of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
“And the position of the security summit we held in August, that there is a need for the state police; we can say it is the only answer.”
However, President Buhari maintained that the creation of state police would not augur well for the finances of the states, adding that some of them were finding it difficult to meet their financial obligations to workers and other state needs.
“We must carefully look at the position of the nation’s constitution on the issue of state police before we take final decision on the matter if the constitution allows state police so be it.
“But don’t forget that many times the Federal Government gave out what we referred to as bail out to state governments for payment of workers’ salaries. How many states can pay salary promptly? and you want to add more financial burden to the states.
“It is not proper to employ a person, train him on how to handle weapons and then refuse to pay him – you can imagine what would happen in such situation,” he said.
On his purported comment on youth while in London, President Buhari dismissed the report, saying that the media only preferred to interpret and report what they like instead of concentrating on developmental journalism.
He said: “You know Nigeria’s population is now between 180 and 190 million and 60 per cent of this population is youth that is 30 years down ward.
“You know in the North most youths are uneducated or school dropouts. If not because we had good harvests in the last two farming seasons the situation would have been deteriorated.
“These youths even if they travel out of the North for greener pasture they hardly make it economically because what they earn as income cannot afford them to meet their basic needs or return home,” he said.
“All these explanations I made, they refused to highlight them in their report and you know the media in Nigeria in most cases only do what they like.
“For instance the nation’s achievements in the agricultural sector where millions of Nigerians benefitted financially were left unreported by the media.
“Even when the Minister of Information and Culture wanted to reply that abusive letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, I had wanted Lai not to reply the letter but I said I should allow him to highlight the achievements of our administration.”
President Buhari also used the opportunity to debunk the insinuation that Christians were being killed by herdsmen.
He said that clashes between farmers and herdsmen had been in existence for the past years, saying that Nigerian herdsmen were not in the habit of carrying dangerous weapons while moving their animals around the country.
On what he does during his leisure time, President Buhari said he hardly listened to music but rather always obeyed his doctors’ advice on the need to eat and have enough rest.(NAN)
Bello’s Gunmen After My Life, Family -Kogi Dep Gov
Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Elder Simon Achuba yesterday alleged that the governor of the state has sent gunmen after his life.
Acbuba called on the inspector General of Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), the Army and other security personnel to safeguard his life, family members and his aides.
Achuba, who spoke with newsmen at his official residence in Lokoja said, “From all information at my disposal, the governor has mobilised gunmen to attack me.
“I want the police, SSS, IGP to know that if anything should happen to me, my family and aides, the governor should be held responsible.”
The deputy governor likewise called on the President to beam his searchlight on the state.
LGAs Responsible For Farmers, Herdsmen Clashes In Nigeria -UN
Zebulon Takwa, Peace and Development Adviser, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, says poor Local Government administration is largely responsible for farmers-herdsmen clashes in Nigeria
Takwa, who gave the position in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Abuja, expressed concerns over “weak operational structures at the local government level’’.
He said that issues that were supposed to be addressed by local administration authority were left unattended to over a long period.
The UN official noted that most of the issues that escalated to crises ought to have been resolved at the local level by the authorities, traditional and religious leaders.
He decried the situation where structures for such prompt amicable settlement were not effective enough to prevent conflicts.
Takwa condemned the situation where most local government officials migrated to urban centres instead of concentrating on their primary responsibilities of settling crises, developing infrastructure and social amenities, among others.
Reprisal Killing: Taraba Police, Tiv, Junkun Differ On Casualities
The Police Command in Taraba State has said that only one individual was killed in what appeared to be a revenge for the alleged murder of a Junkun man yesterday.
While the Tiv claimed that no fewer than nine of their kinsmen were killed in Takum town, Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State on Tuesday, the Police said the figure was not true.
Takum is the hometown of Governor DariusIshaku who turned 65 today.
Multiple sources in Takum said trouble started yesterday morning when a Jukun man was killed on his farm along Takum-Wukari road, and irate Jukun youths in Takum went on the rampage, killing at least eight people in the town.
A resident of Takum, Mr. Nathaniel Jato, in a telephone interview with our Correspondent said the eight people killed in Takum town were all Tiv resident in the town.
“We counted at least eight dead bodies around General Hospital Junction and Zenith Bank around the Wukari roundabout.
“We were told that many people were killed around Rimi Primary school area, but there is tension, so we can’t go there.
“The Caretaker Chairman of Takum Local Government Council, ShibanTikari, has assured us that the situation will not escalate, but I am afraid the situation might degenerate if adequate security measures are not put in place,” he lamented.
Jato, who said there was threat that their houses would be attacked in the night, called on Governor Darius Ishaku and security authorities to quickly restore peace in the area to pave way for proper investigation of the matter.
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