Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, says some governors in the country are not serious with their jobs as chief security officers of their respective domains.
Bello, who did not disclose the names of such governors, lambasted them for always running to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), when confronted with security challenges such as banditry, kidnapping, farmer-herder clashes, communal conflicts, amongst others.
The Kogi State governor spoke on Thursday while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme monitored by The PUNCH.
Of late, there have been rising security challenges in parts of the country, especially in the South-West region over the activities of some herdsmen who have been accused of sundry crimes such as kidnapping, rape, killing, amongst others. Bandits have also recently launched renewed attacks in the northern part of the country.
Some governors of the affected states including Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Abubakar Bello of Niger State, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, among others, have visited the Aso Villa in Abuja and held separate meetings with the President but there seems to be no end in sight to the security issues.
Speaking on Thursday, the Kogi State governor said some governors in the country were playing politics with the lives of the citizens. Bello said he was able to nip in the bud, the security challenges in his state.
“Kogi State used to be a hotbed of criminals. Kogi State is a microcosm of Nigeria but I have put a stop to communal clashes and farmer-herder clashes and all of that,” he said.
When asked whether he had shared his experience of dousing tension in Kogi with other members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Bello said, “NGF is a forum for governors to compare review mechanisms but, however, the experience you share in the NGF, it will depend on the priority of each and everyone of us.
“I must say straight away that there are some of us that are more serious on our jobs than the other. I won’t call names, there are some of us who are prioritising our jobs and are doing it very well in our various states and some are simply playing politics and the earlier we stop that, the better. Let’s reduce the burden of Mr President and let’s save the lives of our people.
“What happened in Shasha in Ibadan is most unfortunate. These are victims attacking victims. The Yorubas attacking Hausa Fulani are victims. The Hausa Fulani attacking the Yorubas are victims of maladministration, successively, from the past and even currently.
“So, when you share or compare experiences, it is just advisory, you must necessarily take somebody’s experience. And sometimes, it depends on (the) peculiarity of where you are operating from.
“In Kogi State, we are having a heterogenous kind of composition –religious wise, ethnic wise and various divergent backgrounds and we are handling it very well. So, I see no reasons why in some states where you have two tribes and they will be attacking each other.
“We should be able to stand up and stamp our feet on ground and put a stop to the menace. It is not needed. We (are) required to have empathy on our people, we should preach love and affection among our people and let us get involved in the governance of our states and let us get connected.
“At least before it gets to the level of burning houses, killing one another, burning livelihoods, markets and destroying our lives, we should have enough intelligence, we should be able to nip it in the bud and not allow it escalate before we are now talking of governors visiting each other, calling on Federal Government.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Power grid collapses, plunges Lagos, others into darkness
“For crying our loud, are we expecting Mr President to be in Oyo State in Shasha to prevent that mayhem? Are we expecting Mr President to carry AK-47 and be safeguarding all schools? Are we expecting Mr President to be on the highway? We should get connected to our people and ensure that are connected with us as well and come up with solutions to solve this problem once and for all.”