The North-East Governors met with the President Muhammadu Buhari, on the deteriorating security situation in the zone and appealed to him to address the causes without further delay on Monday.
They told Buhari that resettling the displaced people would stop Boko Haram recruitments in the region.
Buhari said he agreed with those who held the opinion that the nation’s army should do better in handling the security challenges in parts of the country.
The North-East governors recommended that more sophisticated equipment should be provided for the Nigeria Police Force in order to cover the manpower deficit they said they noticed in the nation’s military.
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, disclosed these to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting they had with Buhari inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Penultimate Wednesday, Zulum’s convoy was attacked between Baga and Munguno, while he was on a routine inspection.
The following day, multiple explosions from mortars fired by suspected Boko Haram members hit Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, leaving many injured.
Zulum said the governors resolved on Saturday to meet Buhari with a view to highlighting the key challenges in the region, especially the issues of security and decaying infrastructure.
“We told the President that there is a need for the Federal Government to address the causes of the insurgency, which are not limited to the endemic poverty and hunger, among others.
“One of the causes is that of access to farmlands. People need to go back to their farmlands; people need to be resettled in their original homes so that they can restart their means of livelihood.
“This is one of the reasons the insurgents are recruiting more into the sect. Therefore, creating an enabling environment to enable the people to go about their normal duties will no doubt reduce the cases of insurgency.”
Governors in attendance were Zulum; Ahmadu Fintri of Adamawa State; Bala Mohammed of Bauchi; Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe; Darius Ishaku of Taraba; and Mai Mala Buni of Yobe.
Buhari was quoted to have told the North-East governors, who met with him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that although he always got information on insecurity from intelligence sources, he had decided to align with the “general report” that the army should do better.
The President, who insisted that his administration was doing its best, noted that some states in the zone had reasons to commend the military because they were now experiencing peace.
He assured stakeholders that some military equipment would soon arrive in Nigeria as part of the Federal Government’s move to tackle security challenges in parts of the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as saying this in a statement made available to journalists.
The statement read partly, “Things will improve very soon. We are acquiring modern equipment; some are here, some are being cleared, and others still coming.
“We need patience with the acquisition of equipment. You need to train the trainers for their usage ahead of their deployment to the field.”
The Coalition of Northern Group said it was regrettable that the governors were just raising alarm when the security situation in the region had worsened.
The CNG spokesman, Suleiman Abdul-Azeez, in an interview with The PUNCH on Monday, said the action of the governors showed the level of the bankruptcy of those who paraded themselves as leaders of the north.
He said, “We have all along predicted famine in the North not only in the northeast. Unless something serious is done, there is bound to be a severe food crisis.
“It’s even already too late with the farming season already drawing to an end. We are not sure if the Government actually appreciates the gravity of the likelihood of a famine in addition to the already worsened humanitarian crisis all over the North.”
“It’s quite regrettable that we have to live with the type of leadership we have. For the governors to only think of raising the alarm when it already late speaks volumes of the bankruptcy of those who parade themselves as northern leaders today.”