From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), on Monday in Kaduna disabused the minds of some Nigerians who believed that incessant banditry, killings and ethno-religious crisis in the country are signs of end of the world as written in the Holy Bible.
Making reference to the book of Matthew, Monguno said such comments by some people was only meant to cause tension in the country.
Speaking at a town hall meeting shortly before it was rescheduled for the next two weeks, by North West Governors as well as traditional rulers, the NSA said it is unarguable that security is the responsibility of government.
The meeting came on the heels of directive by the Presidency that leaders of the region should find measures to ending banditry that has continued to cost lives and property in communities.
The meeting commenced at 11.53 AM with all the governors from Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States that make up north west zone have arrived for the meeting at Arewa House, Kaduna, before it was eventually postponed.
According to the NSA,”The purpose of this meeting is to address insecurity in all zones of the country. Buhari is worried and deeply concerned over wanton killings, not only in Northwest, but in the whole country.
“We have alot of suspicious people undermining government efforts. Some of us are spiritual in our thinking. Some believe that we have come to the dead end. This is not the end of time as predicted in the Bible. It is in the book of Matthew that when you see brothers killing brothers, son killing father, nations fighting nations, the end of time has come. But this is not the issue with our country.
“It is true that security is the fundamental responsibility of government. Insecurity require multifaceted approach to overcome it.
With the new service Chiefs there is new dimension to ending insecurity
‘President Buhari is determined to end insecurity in the country. All the tiers of government must cooperate on security.
“It is possible that other people outside the government are sabotaging government effort. But government will not give up. It is unfortunate that time was too short to engage other stakeholders in this town hall meeting. We are going to visit other geopolitical zones”.
Also, speaking, the Kaduna based Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, said, “This is the time we forget our political differences. Come together irrespective of ethnic and religious difference to tackle insecurity.
“Christians and Muslims should go to churches and Mosques to pray for peace because peace is possible in our country. I am happy that authority is now asking us What do we do to end insecurity”.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Leo Irabor, said, “Insecurity in North West is concern to every stakeholder. We assure you that reorganisation is going to challenge the tide of insecurity in the zone and other zones in the country.
“There are reports that are not true in the media, both online and conventional media. People ignore such reports. We are working to ensure that there is difference. Data is being collected to enable us change insecurity tide. We are working with all the governors to ensure that insecurity becomes thing of the past in our country”.
Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamali also spoke, saying, “We are happy that government has answered our call to hold this meeting. Killings in our land is not acceptable. This is the time to unite as a nation. Embrace each other, Muslims and Christians should love one another”
Chairman Northern Governors Forum, who is the Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong said, “I came to add my voice on behalf of the entire northern governors. When looking for peace, we have no religion than peace. We are determined to work for peace in the north and the entire country”
For Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State, “The presence of security Chiefs show the importance government has attached to insecurity in the north west. We will continue till every is secured. Security is community based. All of us must go back to our community to ensure security of the areas. It is our responsibility to provide security. We take responsibility to protect the people irrespective of tribe, religion and where they come from”.
While announcing the reschedule of the meeting, the host governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said, “We are grateful to the Service Chiefs for their commitment to end insecurity in the country.
“This town hall meeting is not complete without other stakeholders because of short notice. So we agreed that this North west be reconvened again in the next two weeks. The date will be announced by NSA and COAS.
“Bandits now have audacity to attack the military men. Bandits have become vulgar. Those who are not informed believe nothing is being done to deal with them.
“We need to support our security agencies not with prayers, but with superior weapons. Security is a collective responsibility”.