Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has passed a vote of confidence on security agencies in the country, declaring that they are capable of safeguarding the nation, its people and properties.
This is even as he as described as “unfortunate,” the “failure of local leadership in intelligence-gathering,” enjoining community and traditional leaders to monitor closely the activities of people in their domain with a view to assisting law enforcement agencies to secure the communities.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement said Buhari was responding to concerns raised by a delegation of Zamfara advocacy group on Monday during an audience with its members at the State House, Abuja.
The President said the military and the police have been taking drastic measures to check the activities of some local elements threatening the peace of the communities, including preventing farmers from going to their farms.
“I assure you, I get daily reports from people in the field and traditional rulers. I also meet regularly with the leadership of the security agencies, and they have been directed to deploy their personnel to secure the society,” he said.
The president commended the new governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, for being proactive in addressing the security challenges, even as he urged royal fathers to go back to their cultural roles.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Usman Balarabe, while congratulating President Buhari on his re-election, said the “situation in Zamfara remains dire,” citing increased attacks, deaths, injuries and displacements.
According to him, “we are here because we believe Mr President and his administration can put in place solid measures to bring about peace and security, and also mitigate the endemic poverty that has made this region one of the poorest in the world….”
The delegation, which also included the wife of the governor of Kaduna State, Ashia Mohammed Ahmed, and renowned journalist, Kadaria Ahmed, called for greater collaboration among stakeholders; securing the borders, and permanently situating a major military presence in the state, among other suggestions.