Former governor of Sokoto State, Alh Attahiru Bafarawa, has challenged the federal government to pay more attention to insecurity, especially in Northern Nigeria, than COVID-19.
Speaking in Abuja, yesterday, he said that the government should spend the proposed N 400 billion meant for COVID-19 vaccine on tackling insecurity in the country.
He argued that less than 2,000 Nigerians have so far been killed by COVID-19, compared to thousands of Nigerians who have been killed by terrorists and bandits and still being killed.
His words, “We can’t keep mute because our person from the north is in power. If we don’t speak, when a Southerner becomes president, we won’t have the right to express our feelings.
“Thousands of people are displaced in the north and other parts of the country. Instead of the government spending N400 billion on COVID-19 vaccine, why can’t we spend it to buy security equipment? Insecurity is our coronavirus in Nigeria.
“Just a few days ago, about 14 people were killed in my village in Sokoto. It is untrue that security is improving. It is getting worse. If you go to schools in the North, you have you’ll many orphans whose parents have been killed by bandits. They are also hungry and you want to vaccinate and hungry person.
“It should be noted that I am not underplaying the effect of the pandemic across the world in general and Nigeria in particular. It may not be logical to say that coronavirus’ effect is not disturbing. But it is plausible to infer that the security of lives and properties of the people of Nigeria do not matter much in comparison to the attention that is being given to the COVID-19.”
“Threats and acts of armed banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping, and other forms of arson being perpetrated in our region and Nigeria, in general, is, to say the least, taking an unnecessary dimension to the level that no sane society would watch and perhaps wrap up everything in the hands of the government.”
He also urged members of the public to join the fight against insecurity in the country.
According to him, ‘Everyone of us as members of the society should bear it in mind that while the government does what it is supposed to be doing, we should also be seen to contribute our quota towards achieving the desired goals of ridding our society of these acts of barbarism.
“We should as well resolve that, we could use any legitimate means through interaction, in the forms of meetings, workshops, seminars, conferences, and any other means possible to identify areas which most negatively border on insecurity issue and reach out to the government or its agencies to generate ideas on how best the government could bring to an end these atrocities.
“More ways of achieving the needed results could be created and channelled to the appropriate authorities for taking immediate measures.
“Considering the attention that Nigeria is giving to the issue of COVID-19 is, to say the least getting out of proportion to the extent that other important key areas of our socio-economic development and prosperity are relegated to the background.
“Even the challenges being posed by our educational system, economic and agricultural activities as well as the security of our country are being severely affected. It appears that the main focus of the federal government is completely shifted to the issue of coronavirus not minding the insecurity issue which is affecting the country for close to a decade now.”