© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
FLASHBACK: The President knows what to do about insurgency but he doesn’t care… El-Rufai
GOVERNOR of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, believes that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has all the information he needs to tackle rising insecurity in the country and would effectively fight the menace if he wanted to.
El-Rufai expressed this opinion in an interview with Television Continental (TVC) in 2013, two years before his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) ousted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from power.
His comments at the time was a criticism of the Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government, during whose administration the Boko Haram insurgency became very pronounced and deadly.
El-Rufai criticised the Jonathan government for trying to deal with the insurgency by using military might only. He insisted that all over the people spearheading the insurgency are known to both the security agencies and President, but that he does not care about the welfare of the masses.
“We are just applying military force and we think we can resolve an insurgency, it’s not going to happen,” El-Rufai said at the time.
“I’ve been in government, I’ve run a territory and I know the amount of information, security reports that I get as Minister. The President gets 50 times that.
“And I put it to you and I challenge anyone, including the DG SSS, to this. The SSS know who these insurgents are, they are not gods, they know them. The President knows them and they know what to do. They are just unwilling to do it. They don’t care.”
Two years after granting that interview, the APC, riding on the slogan of change, defeated the PDP and Muhammadu Buhari became President of Nigeria and El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State.
However, after four years, insecurity has worsened in the country and Boko Haram, though not occupying territories as it did during Jonathan’s government, has continued to carry out attacks in the North East.
Besides the Boko Haram insurgency, other forms of violent crime have increased across several regions of the country including the herdsmen/farmers crises, kidnapping for ransom, and most recently banditry in several parts of the North West, including Kaduna State, where El-Rufai has just won a second term as governor.
On Saturday, citizens carried out a peaceful protest to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja to demand that President Buhari intensifies action to stop the kidnappings and killings in Zamfara State which has reportedly been taken over by bandits. But nobody from the presidency came out to address the protesters, bringing to mind El-Rufai’s comments that the government does not care.