By Shola Abayomi.
President Muhammadu Buhari met with members of the Northern Governors’ Forum, NGF, led by the outgoing Chairman, Kashim Shettima of Borno State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday.
The governors briefed the President on specific challenges they each faced in their respective States.
Speaking at the meeting with the Northern governors, President Buhari said:
“The security of the country is on my mind 24 hours of the day. I get daily and weekly situation reports. I have listened to your brief. I will look into your recommendations. I am acutely aware of the situation, but I have learnt more today.”
The President linked the heightening security challenges in the country as a consequence of unchecked corruption in the Armed Forces by previous administrations.
“The terrible effects of mismanagement were prevalent, and these are the consequences.
“If you follow the efforts we are making within the system, you will see that we have curbed much of the corruption that is there. See the recoveries that we have made – money, landed property. We are not going as fast as we want under the system, but we will keep trying to improve it.”
Speaking at the end of the meeting, the Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari explained that the governors visited the president to seek presidential intervention in tackling the issues of banditry and kidnapping in the Northwest and Northcentral regions, as well as the lingering issue of Boko Haram in the Northeast.
He said, “The issue that brought us to the president is about the rising insecurity in the North-west, North-central and North-east.
“North-east is known for Boko Haram insurgency but of recent what was known to be cattle rustling in Northwest and some parts of Northcentral has turned out to be something different from what we had before.
“So, this concern made us to come and brief the president so that urgent action would be taken in order to curb this deadly menace of banditry which is gradually graduating into insurgency.
”You know the North-west with a vast forest area going to North-central and then even going out of Nigeria.
“So, we need to act quickly and decisively so that it doesn’t turn into something else like what we had in the northeast.”
Governor Masari disclosed that the Northern governors offered suggestions to the president on how to tackle the problems, although didn’t reveal what the suggestions were. The governor however revealed that President Buhari assured them of his commitment to assist the states in addressing their various challenges.