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Don’t mix bias and sympathy – Adesina tells CAN as members mourn slain priest

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FEMI Adesina, spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari has criticised the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over their statement regarding the gruesome murder of one of their own, Lawan Andimi, by Boko Haram in Adamawa.

In a lengthy post shared on his Facebook page, Adesina, upbraided the CAN leadership of getting things mixed up and pointing fingers in the wrong direction when they should be following the footsteps of Christ.

Adesina, who also offered his condolences to the family of the deceased, condemned the killing of Andimi but defended the president against the allegation by CAN that Buhari was conniving with Boko Haram to ‘exterminate’ Christians.

The president’s spokesperson urged the CAN leadership to ‘give credit where due’ over the state of security in the nation.

According to him, the current administration has done a lot in fighting terrorism, though insurgency remains high. Buhari administration deserves some credit for making it better than what it was before he came into power, he said.

“Security is number one on the priorities of the Buhari administration. It has pumped time and humongous resources into it, and while the job is not fully done, we are not in the same position we were before the administration came.

“At least, to those who want to be honest. And CAN should be honest. That is what we’ve learnt from our Master. There were times bombs used to go off in this country like firecrackers, and deaths were in many scores,” his statement read in part.

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Truly, Adesina’s claim about the Buhari pumping more resources into curbing insurgency is true. However, the state of security of the nation has grown worse.

The ICIR earlier did an investigative report and found that President Buhari’s administration has spent more on security but it has become worse than before.

According to the report, the military during the first four years of President Buhari received more allocation than the last four years of ex-President Jonathan with a difference of N109, 106,256,894.

The capital releases for the military during Buhari’s first tenure increased by 128.52 per cent compared with Jonathan government.

Spendings on capital expenditure between 2011 and 2014 amounted to N79.54 billion, whereas the total capital budget for the military between 2015 and 2018 is N188.65 billion.

But, despite this rise in military spending during Buhari’s first tenure, the increased allocation has an inverse relationship with the level of security in the country.

According to the 2019 Carnegie endowment report,   ISWAP, over the course of 2018, appears to have expanded its reach in northern Borno, reportedly even recapturing a number of towns near Lake Chad previously controlled by the Nigerian military.

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In its statement earlier reported by The ICIR, CAN demanded that the president perform a complete overhaul by sacking its security chiefs.  Reacting to the demand, Adesina accused CAN of mixing bias and sympathy in a condolence message.

“Are you saying under a different leadership of our security forces, insurgency will vanish after they wave their fingers?

If the leadership of the security forces would be changed, it is a sitting President that has the prerogative. It will not happen when CAN begins to make such demand in what should be a sober condolence press statement. Don’t mix bias and sympathy. They don’t mesh,” Adesina said in his statement.

Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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