Governor are awaiting President Muhammadu Buhari’s response to their complaints on last week’s attack on Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum.
By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
– Masari takes banditry case to Villa –
– 12 fighter jets coming for Air Force –
They are also concerned about the general insecurity in the country.
These issues formed the major points of discussion at Wednesday’s meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), it was leant.
Although the communiqué of the meeting is expected today, The Nation gathered that some of the governors who spoke during the online meeting expressed anger that such an attack against a sitting governor could take place.
Zulum was unhurt, but two of his security aides were injured in the attack believed to have been carroed out by Boko Haram fighters.
The governor accused some of the troops on the Baga –Monguno road where the attack took place of sabotage. The military on Wednesday denied it, saying its investigation did not reveal any form of sabotage.
The governors endorsed the position expressed in a letter to Governor Zulum on Monday by NGF chairman and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi.
The letter criticised the “worsening security situation” in the country as epitome of “our collective vulnerability and the fragility of the country’s security architecture.”
The letter also expressed the readiness of the governors to meet with the President and service chiefs to discuss “this worrisome and rapidly degenerating situation”
Wednesday’s meeting endorsed the plan to meet with the President while they await his action plan on the security situation.
On Tuesday after the National Security Council meeting, the President ordered a rejig of the security apparatus of the country.
On Wednesday, Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is expecting the delivery of 12 additional Super Tucano aircraft to be deployed in the fight against insurgency
He spoke during an operational visit to the 407 Air Combat Training Group (407 ACTG) Kainji, Niger State.
The Air chief said: “We are expecting additional aircraft paid for by the Federal Government. We are working to get the aircraft out as quickly as possible to add value to what we are doing.”
He described the Super Tucano as particularly important in the fight against insurgency.
The CAS was also briefed on the progress of work on the ongoing Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) of the Alpha Jets, the activation of the aircraft and the engine.
The air chief expressed satisfaction with the progress of the Alpha Jet PDM, as well as with the technicians working on the aircraft.
The CAS also inspected ongoing infrastructural development projects aimed at improving the operational environment and enhancing the welfare of personnel and their families.
The projects inspected include the ongoing re-construction/re-modeling of two blocks of 10 x single-bedroom flats for Single Quaters, Married Officers quarters and Airmen Transit accommodation.
Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari, who took his case against banditry to the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday, said banditry must be fully battled in Katsina and the Northwest,.
He spoke after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “For anybody coming from the Northwest part of Nigeria, especially from my part of the geo-political zone, the issue today is about security. We took more than 30 minutes discussing the current situation and what needs to be done is being done.
“So far, the situation is under control in Katsina and I believe in most parts of the Northwest. But it is not over until it is over and we have discussed extensively and offered our own suggestions.
“Currently, the military is in Katsina for their annual super camp. So, over 2,000 of them are in Katsina to signal to the bandits that the military is ready and willing and have the capability and capacity to deal with the situation. The hope is that the military, including the police and other security agencies, have been given the marching orders.
“To control the situation by all means is a task that must be done because we cannot allow the situation in the Northwest develop like it has in the Northeast. I think the people living in the rural communities will testify that actions are ongoing. Those that have been displaced are being well taken care of.”
The governor stressed that although the rainy season has set in and can pose a challenge to the fight against bandits, government was determined to conquer them.
Masari said the government would not allow the insecurity in the Northwest and Northcentral to escalate to the status of terrorism as witnessed in the Northeast.
He said serious efforts were already on to ensure that banditry, kidnapping and other crimes currently ravaging the Northwest and the Northcentral were brought to an end.
He said though some communities in nine council areas of Katsina State had been affected negatively by the activities of bandits and other criminals, agricultural yields would still come out well.
Masari, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, explained that he visited the President to also deliver the Eid El-Kabir wishes of Katsina State people to him.