This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Jonathan's Security Strategy Ineffective, Say APC Govs

Photo: Vanguard

Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the aegis of the Progressive Governors' Forum (PGF) have expressed displeasure over the federal government's handling of the security situation in the country.

The governors in a statement Tuesday by the Director General of the PGF, Salihu Lukman, said rather than give the required attention to the security challenges facing the country, President Goodluck Jonathan has been obsessed with his yet-to-be declared second term ambition.

The governors also met yesterday in Abuja to discuss the membership drive by the opposition party.

The APC governors described the attention to the president's re-election bid as a dangerous diversion at a time when real courage and statesmanship are needed to address the daunting security issues.

The governors' statement came against the backdrop of Monday's attacks on Maiduguri International Airport and military formations in Borno State by members of the outlawed Boko Haram terrorist group.

The security situation in several parts of the country has continued to deteriorate despite the extension of the state of emergency in some states and the trillions of naira supposedly spent on security, it added. "The most recent attack was particularly telling as it shows that President Goodluck Jonathan has no security agenda and is only focused on retaining power beyond 2015. The result of this criminal negligence is the unabated slaughter of lives. Clearly the security structures set up in the region have been overwhelmed.

"PGF calls on the president to reassess his security strategy and focus more on the critical issues of the day. Obviously, the strategies and tactics currently adopted by the president and security agencies drafted to the region have been ineffectual, just as they leave much to be desired.

"The governors commiserated with the people and government of Borno State over the recent attacks on Maiduguri airport, air force base and other areas of the state by Boko Haram insurgents and the ensuing loss of lives and property.

"We call on the federal government to immediately overhaul the tactics and rules of engagement of the security agencies deployed in Borno and other states. The president, who also doubles as the Commander-in-Chief, needs to get a firmer grip as well as ensure coherence in the management of the various tiers of security interventions in the affected states. His obsession with 2015 is a dangerous diversion at a time when real courage and statesmanship are needed," the governors said.

The governors also met yesterday night at the Kano Governor's Lodge in Abuja to discuss various issues affecting the party, among which is the arrangements for the commencement of nationwide membership registration, revenue allocation and issues arising from the just-concluded Anambra governorship election.

THISDAY gathered that one of the major highlights of the meeting was the formal admission of the five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who recently dumped their party to join APC.

The five governors, Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Abdufatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Musa Kwankwaso (Kano) were at the meeting.

It was also learnt that House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, met for several hours yesterday with the APC governors. Although the details of the discussion were not immediately known, it might not be unconnected with the 2015 elections.

It was also learnt that the APC leadership still basking in the euphoria of the defection of some aggrieved PDP governors to the opposition party, is considering strengthening its membership in the National Assembly by wooing disgruntled lawmakers from the ruling party so that in the end, it could become the majority party in the National Assembly.

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