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Presidency Says Buhari Has Done A Lot About Killings (Details)

The Presidency on Monday faulted those who have been accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of not doing enough to tackle security challenges in the country.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement reeled out steps he said the present administration had taken from January till date to tackle the situation.

Adesina said the clarification became necessary “lest that untruth begins to wear a garb of reality.”

He said a lot was being done to tackle the nation’s security situation which he claimed was in tatters at the inception of the present administration.

Adesina said, “Securing the length and breadth of the country is a continuing commitment. It is one of the key pledges of the Buhari administration, which it is carrying out night and day.

“In May 2015, when the administration emerged, the security situation was in tatters. It pulled up its bootstraps, rolled up its sleeves, set to work, and the Boko Haram insurgency was beaten back. It was eventually degraded.

“Other security challenges are being tackled and will subsequently become history. Not doing enough, as some critics claim, is not part of the deal, nor is it the reality, no, not by any stretch of the imagination. A lot is being done, and success is guaranteed.”

Giving a month-by-month breakdown of how the present administration has been responding to the killings, the presidential spokesman said in January, the leadership of the police was deployed in Benue State, after mass killings reportedly committed by herdsmen.

This, he said, was followed by a fact-finding team led by the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, and the deployment of a special force of the military to restore law and order.

He said the National Economic Council also in the same month set up a 10-man committee on farmers/herdsmen clashes, headed by Vice-President Osinbajo.

He said the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, launched a special operation, Karamin Goro (Small Kolanut), in collaboration with the Air Force, Police, Department of State Services, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; to tackle kidnapping, robbery and cattle rustling in parts of Kaduna and Niger states (Minna-Birnin Gwari-Pandogari and Minna-Sarkin Pawa general areas) also in January.

In February, the presidential spokesman said the Nigerian Army commenced Exercise Ayem Akpatuma covering Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger States, in order to tackle the cases of kidnappings, herdsmen/farmers’ clashes, among others.

The Nigerian Air Force, according to him, inducted its first indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Tsaigumi.

The newly-inducted UAV, he explained, had day and night capability, an operational endurance in excess of 10 hours, a service ceiling of 15,000 feet and a mission radius of 100km, and “is capable of being used for policing operations, disaster management, convoy protection, maritime patrol, pipeline, power line monitoring as well as mapping and border patrol duties.”

Also in February, he said the Nigerian Air Force established a total of 10 new units as NAF had concluded plans to set up Quick Response Wings across Nasarawa State, in a bid to tackle the herders/farmers’ clashes plaguing some states within the axis.

In March, Adesina said the President began sympathy visits to states that had experienced wanton killings in the country while the Nigerian Army extended the Exercise Ayem Akpatuma in Taraba State by two months.

He said the committee set up by NEC on farmers/herdsmen’s clashes submitted its report in March, making far-reaching recommendations for peace, including ranching in five states.

In April, a presidential spokesman said NAF took delivery of the second batch of two new Mi-35N helicopter gunships to boost internal security while a special force was deployed in Zamfara State to combat criminality.

He said in May, the Nigeria Police Force inaugurated a Mobile Squadron in Takum, Taraba State.

He added that NAF established three new Quick Response Wings in Taraba, Nasarawa and Benue states respectively, and drafted Special Forces personnel to new bases located in Nguroje in Taraba State; Doma in Nasarawa State; and Agatu.