Bandits, Kidnappers Funding Insurgency, Says Fayemi

Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday drew a linkage between the insurgency in the North-east and the insecurity in the North-west and the South-west, explaining that the proceeds of banditry and kidnapping are being used to sustain the insurgency.

Fayemi told journalists yesterday after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja that there is a direct correlation between Boko Haram insurgency and banditry as well as kidnapping in certain areas in the country.

He said: “There is a direct correlation between insurgency in the North-east and what we are seeing manifesting itself as banditry in the North-west or kidnapping in the South-west. Some of the people involved in these are also the ones responsible for insurgency.

“They are using the resources that they make from kidnapping for the activities that they are conducting in the North-east. So, we need to take a comprehensive look at all these things and not treat them in compartments. We must treat them as a comprehensive issue and then tackle them collectively.”

According to him, the security challenges facing the country could not be solved by only military action.

“I don’t think we are naive enough to think that it’s simply a military action that will resolve all these security challenges,” he said.

He stated that the challenges have root causes, which require political will and political action to deal with the poverty, inequality, the disconnections between the youth and the government.

He said some of these challenges pushed the youth into harm’s way and into becoming cannon fodder for those who didn’t have the interest of the country at heart and were ready to destroy the country.

Fayemi added that Buhari had assured him that a supplementary budget would soon be sent to the National Assembly for the procurement of additional equipment to address the security situation in the country.

He said: “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 our 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 haven’t 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.”

On autonomy for state judiciary and legislature, he said even though the state governors supported it, they opposed Buhari’s Executive Order issued earlier on for the implementation.

He explained: “The principle of autonomy itself was not in contention; that governors agree, and indeed, very supportive of autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary. But what we were working out is the framework.

“What we objected to at the time was what led to the intervention of Mr. President, that the Chief of Staff should coordinate an exit from that logjam, was that we felt that these were issues that were constitutional in nature and we really did not need an executive order for us to achieve the collective wish of the president as well as the [federal] government.

“What the meeting that you saw held focused on was the mechanics for achieving legislative autonomy and judicial autonomy and very soon you will hear the full details of that. In a matter of one or two weeks, we’ll come out with the full entire gamut of the agreement that we had with the speakers and the representatives of the judiciary in states.”

By Deji Elumoye,
This Day

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