The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, on Monday compared terrorism in the North-Eastern part of Nigerian and banditry as well as kidnapping in the North-West and South-West.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, said the same set of people are responsible for the crimes, he added that the criminals use the ransom they collect from kidnapping in other parts to fund insurgency in the Northeast.
The Ekiti State Governor stated this during an interview with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor said, “There is a direct correlation between insurgency in the North-East and what we are seeing manifesting itself as banditry in the North West or kidnapping in the South-West.”
“Some of the people involved in these are also the ones responsible for insurgency.”
“They are using the resources that they make from kidnapping for the activities that they arere conducting in the North-East.”
“So, we need to take a comprehensive look at all these things and not treat them in compartments. We must treat them as a comprehensive issue and then tackle them collectively.”
Fayemi said the military alone can’t solve security issues in the country, adding that there are some challenges that required political will to tackle.
The governor added, “I don’t think we are naive enough to think that it is simply a military action that will resolve all these security challenges.”
“They have root causes and the root causes require political will, political action on our part against poverty, inequality and disconnections between our youths and the government.”
“This is because these are some of the things that have pushed younger people into harm’s way and into becoming cannon fodder for those who don’t have the interest of our country at heart and are ready to destroy the country.”
He noted that President Buhari told him that he had informed the National Assembly that he will be sending a special request on procurement of equipment on an accelerated basis for the nation’s security services.
He added that the new service chiefs had already assessed the security situation with a view to addressing them well.
The governor said most states are focused on the National Livestock Transformation Plan that would at least confine those who want to graze their cattle to a dedicated space rather than roaming around and destroying crops, which then result in farmers and herders clashes.
He explained, “That is the primary way that we intend to reassure farmers, but pending the time that comes to fruition, on a state-by-state basis, we are all working hard.”
“Ekiti for example, we have a regular meeting between farmers and herders in the state to define the relationship and promote harmony between both sides, the representatives of the farmers, the ALFAN and the representatives of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, and that has been going reasonably well.”
“That is a state, individual state response. We need a wider strategy to enable us to achieve food security because if we don’t take concerted steps to address this, we are definitely going to end up with food shortage in the country.”
On the ongoing discussions on the legislative/judicial autonomy, the governor said he and his colleagues in the NGF have no case against the principle but are concerned about getting the framework for the process right.
He added, “I can’t recall when I was reticent at that engagement with the media. I did inform you that we were only discussing details and that the principle itself was not in contention; that governors agree, and indeed, very supportive of autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary, but what we were working out is the framework.”
“What we objected to at the time and we made it clear to you too, which was what led to the intervention of Mr President, that the Chief of Staff should coordinate an exit from that logjam, was that we felt that these were issues that were constitutional in nature and we really did not need an executive order for us to achieve the collective wish of the President, as well as the government.”
“What the meeting that you saw us hold focused on was the mechanics for achieving legislative autonomy and judicial autonomy and very soon you will hear the full details of that.”
“In a matter of one or two weeks, we will come out with the full agreement that we had with the speakers and the representatives of the judiciary in states.”