GOVERNORS have drawn a nexus between kidnappings for ransom in the North-West with the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in the NorthEast, saying that proceeds from the kidnappings are being used to fuel insurgency.
Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.
He said, “There is a direct correlation between insurgency in the north-east, and what we’re seeing manifesting itself as banditry in the north-west, or kidnapping in the south-west. Some of the people involved in these are also the ones responsible for insurgency.
“They are using the resources that they make from kidnapping for the activities that they’re conducting in the north-east.
“So, we need to take a comprehensive look at all these things and not treat them in compartments.”
He commended the efforts of the nation’s security forces, saying that though he was one of those who advocated the change of service chiefs, he did not expect a dramatic turnaround so soon.
“Two or three days ago, all the service chiefs came together to issue a statement that we are accountable to our Chief of Defence Staff. That’s a very significant position to take because we know what has been the source of inter-service rivalry in our military, which then tends to affect performance on the field, where the air force does not communicate with the army and yet they are supposed to be involved in the same war against insurgency.”
The governor added that the root causes of insecurity in the country require political will, political action against poverty, against inequality and against disconnections between the youth and the government.
Fayemi said he was at the Villa to discuss pertinent issues on security and the economy with President Buhari, adding that the president is committed to doing more in terms of procurement of equipment, platforms for the military, particularly to support the new leadership.
Answering a question on the ongoing constitutional amendment to retain the 774 local government areas in the constitution, Fayemi advised the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to lobby the National Assembly, rather than issuing threats to shut down the council area.