By Ismaila Chafe
The Presidency has dismissed the call by the Northern Elders Forum on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign following the nation’s security challenges, saying reforms in internal security to take hold soon.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said resignation of the president would never be a solution to the nation’s security problems.
He stated that the security agencies have since intensified efforts to address the recent spike in terrorist activity, particularly in the Kaduna and Niger States axis as well as in the Niger Delta region, in line with presidential directives.
According to him, the defense establishment has realigned and reorganized the ongoing operation in the affected areas to achieve positive results.
The statement reads in part: “The Presidency does not wish to be drawn into the high-decibel show in the media, taking the nation by the storm from the Northern Elders Forum.
“Publicity is the oxygen for politicians who have failed to connect with voters in a democracy.
“It is enough to say from our part, that resignation call on the President is not a solution to the security problems facing the country, something that has built up to a worrisome level following decades of neglect.
“It is more important that citizens know what their government is doing to deal with this situation and for politicians to come to terms with the fact the it is beneficial to all that they help to preserve the state so that when it is their turn, they will have a place that they will manage.
“People don’t have to destroy what is there in a desperate quest to get power.
“In response to the recent spike in terrorist activity, particularly in the Kaduna and Niger States axis, the defense establishment, in response to presidential directives, has realigned and reorganized the ongoing operation in the areas, as well as that going on in the Niger Delta region.’’
According to the presidential media aide, the new operations structures are being reinforced with land-based assets to increase the efficiency of the troops and intelligence is equally being reinforced.
He revealed that “the air defence system is being reinforced with newly-acquired jets and drones which assemblage and training for operators has been hastened to meet the current exigencies.
“The country is equally getting assurances of early delivery of equipment on order from manufacturers and the effort is ongoing to conclude other major procurements still in process.
“Only this morning, the government, at a meeting of the cabinet, approved the procurement of the largest ever single procurement of military vehicles.’’
Shehu disclosed that the security agencies had equally embarked on major security operations in the South East and South South zones aimed at safeguarding the nation’s power infrastructural facilities against the activities of saboteurs.
He revealed that already some suspected economic saboteurs had been apprehended and would soon be prosecuted accordingly.
“At the same time, similar major operations are going in the South-East and the South-South where the economic live wire of the nation and electricity transmission lines are currently being secured from saboteurs.
“What the sponsored saboteurs aim to show is that the government cannot provide power, sabotaging equipment at switches and other vital points. They will not succeed. The public knows who is who, and who has done what in our country’s governance.
“Massive gains being made will shortly be manifesting. Large number of arrests have equally been made.
“Nigerians are assured that the government will keep its promise to the nation and threats to security will be handled with the firmness they call for. And government will remain firm in securing the country’s unity and progress,’’ he said. (NAN)