The Presidency on Friday lashed out at the Northern Elders Forum, the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Pan Niger Delta Forum for railing at President Muhammadu Buhari over his handling of security in the country.
The Presidency dismissed the leaders of the “ethnic and sectional groups” as selfish people who were only shedding crocodile tears.
It asked Nigerians to ignore them.
The Presidency was reacting to the communique issued on Wednesday by the groups at the end of a conference in Abuja in which they accused Buhari of incompetence in handling the security situation in the country.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a statement that the “unholy alliance by these groups” was merely stepping up its assault on the administration “as it expands its national dominance and moves closer to securing an outright victory in next year’s elections.”
“The Presidency notes with dismay that the refrain about President Buhari not doing anything about security in the country had turned into the number one fake news item being peddled in the media.
“The Presidency refers all the purveyors of falsehood to a State House press release published a few days ago and signed by Special Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina, which clearly outlined the government’s major achievements and initiatives in tackling security challenges from January to July, 2018.
“The press release which was titled: ‘Combating Insecurity in the Country: Lest We Forget – Presidency’ listed ongoing security operations: (1) Nigerian Army’s Exercise Ayem Akpatuma covering Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger States launched in February to tackle cases of kidnappings, herdsmen/farmers’ clashes, among others; (2) Nigerian Air Force establishment of three new Quick Response Wings (QRW) in Taraba, Nasarawa and Benue States respectively, and deployment of Special Forces personnel.”
He said the press release also noted President Buhari’s approval for the establishment of a new battalion of the Nigerian Army, as well as a new Police Area Command, in Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State, as part of measures to scale up security in response to banditry affecting the area.
He added: “We advise Nigerians to read Adesina’s statement if they haven’t yet, or re-read it for better understanding of the efforts to ensure peace in the country.
“It is sad and misleading for anyone to say that President Buhari had not responded to the security challenges in the country.
“No one can honestly say that President Buhari is doing nothing about security. It’s just a fake news item being peddled by selfish politicians with vested interests in keeping Nigerians incensed, and it risks being entrenched as reality if we don’t educate ourselves with the truth.”