Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to sit up and avoid further degeneration of Nigeria’s insecurity, suggesting that the president has been sleeping and needs to wake up.
In February, Mr. Buhari had conceded being asleep to his duty when talking about the possibilities of applying modern technology to agriculture and available land resources.
“I was shocked, hearing from you, that, of the vast agricultural land resources available to the nation, only two per cent of it is under irrigation. We will make the best use of the land. Thank you for shaking us up. We are now woken. We will not doze off again,” he had admitted at a Federal Executive Council meeting.
Mr Akeredolu echoed the angst of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue that a snowball of insecurity might not allow the country to conduct presidential, governorship, and parliamentary elections in 2023.
Speaking in an interview with Channels Television on Tuesday, Mr Akeredolu also condemned Saturday’s attack on Mr Ortom.
“I think he is right. Definitely, we cannot conduct elections in an insecure environment. If insecurity is not nipped in the bud, it will escalate, and if it escalates, all of us should be worried that as at the time we are getting to 2023, we might have full-scale banditry and other insecurity in the country,” said Mr Akeredolu when asked about Mr Ortom’s comments that 2023 elections might not hold.
The Ondo governor noted further, “With that, there is nobody that can carry out any election under that atmosphere.”
He suggested that Mr Buhari’s regime was not living up to expectations and urged it to face the crisis head-on.
“What is clear is that he (Mr Ortom) has made a good point that the federal government must sit up.
“Something just has to be done now to ensure that this issue of insecurity that is escalating by the day is now nipped in the bud and deescalated as soon as possible,” Mr Akeredolu added.
Acknowledging that there is a need for regional police to tackle insecurity more effectively, the governor admitted that it would take some time to establish.
He clarified, “There must be a swift response to all this level of insecurity. For now, since there is nothing else to do, those of us who believe that there should be multi-level policing and the time has come for us to have state police, it is not something you can force down.
“It is something that will have to go through the National Assembly. It takes some time, but that is the goal. But before then, I believe that we can have meetings, set up committees on insecurity. Let it be addressed wholesomely without any bias.”
Under Mr Buhari’s watch, hundreds of schoolchildren in less than three months in 2021 had been abducted, including dozens of women and their little children.