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We won’t compare figures but insecurity was worse during past administrations… Garba Shehu
GARBA Shehu, one of the media aides to President Muhammadu Buhari, has insisted that the administration would not compare the current level of insecurity in Nigeria with that of previous administrations, adding, however, that the numbers were much higher than they are now.
Shehu said this on during a television interview on Africa Independent Television (AIT) on Monday, maintaining that the security agencies were doing their best but that the result would not be felt overnight.
“Yes, there has been a recent spike (in insecurity) but this is not to suggest that this has never happened in the country and they are beginning just now because President Buhari is out of the country,” Shehu said.
“You mentioned the numbers but I want to say from our own point of view in the presidency, we have avoided comparing numbers because it will lead to the same criticisms that some people have made of being insensitive because even if it is one life of a Nigerian that is lost, it is important, it cannot be justified, it cannot be defended.
“But anybody who takes the trouble to check the presidential website; at some point, Femi (Adesina) had done the numbers and the staggering numbers put on display coming from the past are nothing comparable to these numbers but we will not take it lightly.”
Shehu was referring to the comments by Femi Adesina, another presidential spokesperson, in January 2018, that over 750 people were killed in farmers/herdsmen clashes between 2013 and 2015 under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Adesina made the comments while explaining that the rising spate of farmers/herdsmen in the country at the time, had nothing to do with Buhari being from the Fulani ethnic group.
The remarks drew lots of criticisms from Nigerians with many saying it was unwise of the Buhari presidency to begin to make such unnecessary comparison. The House of Representatives even demanded that Adesina apologised to Jonathan.
Meanwhile, in his interview on Monday, Shehu said that the insecurity in Nigeria at the moment is being felt everywhere, even in President Buhari’s hometown, Daura, hence the reason more action is being taken.
“It is a national problem and that because the president comes from Daura, that is not to say there cannot be a crime in Daura or Daura will be specially treated,” Shehu said.
Gunmen abducted the district head of Daura, who is also the father-in-law to President Buhari’s ADC, last week. There is no news yet of his release.