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Sani-Bello Says Governors At Buhari’s Mercy Over Worsening Insecurity

  Governor of Niger, Abubakar Sani-Bello and President Muhammadu Buhari

Governor of Niger, Abubakar Sani-Bello, says Nigeria’s 36 governors are limited in what they can do to effectively tackle terrorists and bandits since President Muhammadu Buhari is the only person in charge of the country’s security forces.

Nigerian governors rely on the country’s federal government for security, from the police to the military. The governors have no control over the deployment of security forces in times of a crisis in their states.

The governor said this while receiving a delegation of the Nigeria Governors Forum in Minna, following the latest abduction of schoolchildren and civil servants in Niger.

Mr. Sani-Bello said, “We are state governors. But we all have our limitations when it comes to control of operations. We do not fully control the army, air force, or even the police.”

He asked the federal government to do more in addressing the security challenges ravaging the country, suggesting negotiations with bandits as an alternative.

This is not the first time a governor will complain about not having the powers to control or mobilise security forces. Security agents are not answerable to any governors. They take orders from Mr. Buhari, who can hire and fire them.

In the heat of the herdsmen crisis in Oyo, Governor Seyi Makinde lamented, “They could say that governors are the chief security officers when it is convenient. But quite frankly, governors are at the mercies of the federal security agencies to implement certain laws.” 

Kayode Fayemi, the NGF Chairman, who spoke at the solidarity visit, however, said, “We must put all our heads together. Put our efforts together, demonstrate resilience, reassure our people not to give up hope because ultimately, we can defeat terrorism collectively, not in isolation.
“We have to engage in dialogue to find the root of this social dislocation.”

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