Governor Abdullaziz Yari of Zamfara State, has responded to a comment against his government by the Minister of Interior, Lt General Abdurrahaman Danbazau (rtd), that poor governance is responsible for the persistent insecurity in the state.
Yari, in a strong-worded statement on Friday through his spokesman, Mal Ibrahim Dosara, urged President Muammadu Buhari to hold the Minister and “leadership of security organizations accountable (of killings) instead of officials blaming the Zamfara state government, despite committing billions to help our federal security personnel.”
Dambazzau had fired at Yari on Thursday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja during a panel session at the opening of the 67th International Press Institute Congress.
His words, “Good governance is the final solution to the security challenges in Zamfara state. It is not the number of soldiers.
“It is not good governance for the governor of Zamfara state to say he is withdrawing as Chief Security Officer. Even if he is given all the soldiers in the world, he can’t use those forces to deal with those issues”.
But Yari wondered how a Minister of the Federal Republic would expose himself and weaknesses in making such a public statement.
Dosara said: “Is the minister’s refusal to visit Zamfara as minister of interior who is in charge of internal security, to assess the situation there, listen to and address the complaints by the junior security personnel, sympathize with the people of Zamfara state and offer professional advice that is good governance?
“Is the minister’s inability to control the infiltration or influx of foreign agents with evil intentions into the country, paving ways for criminality, that is good governance?
“Or is it keeping soldiers with him cleaning his shoes instead of sending them to the front line that is good governance?”, the statement quipped.
Yari lamented that a general, a member of the nation’s national security council, a federal cabinet member and a man who was chief of army staff, would engage in buck passing and scapegoating at a time the people of Zamfara state are desperately looking for decisive action from the federal government.
The statement added: “It is totally misleading and insulting to the intelligence of Nigerians to blame a state governor for the failure of security when he has no power and control over the deployment of troops to fight the bandits and protect lives.”
Yari challenged Dambazau to tell Nigerians why state governors in the Northeast, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Edo, Plateau and Benue states should be blamed for insecurity when the security personnel are not answerable to them.
He explained that blaming poor governance on him or Zamfara state would not help matters, adding that dodging responsibility and blaming others for insecurity would not in any way reassure the victims that a solution is in sight.
The statement further explained that the Zamfara state government spends N600million every month for the payment of allowances and logistical support to security agencies which are under federal control.
It noted that government has so far spent over N15Billion in support of security agencies,in addition to 500 vehicles provided to the security agencies in aid of operation in the state.
The statement said “Most of the bandits and terrorists in Nigeria are foreign nationals, how do they find themselves in the country if the ministry of interior under Dambazau’s watch is carrying out its responsibilities efficiently and effectively?
“Is it not shameful on the part of the minister that internal security of this country under his watch become worrisome more than ever before?
“We are utterly surprised that the minister of interior should be blaming the victims of insecurity instead of making a case for Zamfara state for prompt and decisive action to defeat the armed bandits committing atrocities in the state”, the statement lamented.
“We should also like to ask the minister why he didn’t blame poor governance for terrorists attacks in other northern states or why he thinks state governments should be blamed when they have no power to order troops deployment.
“Blaming the Zamfara state government by the minister is sheer blackmail, a diversionary ploy and an attempt to protect certain people from taking responsibility for their failure”.
The statement demanded a public apology from the minister for blaming the Zamfara state government for the failure or inaction by others, adding that at this point, blame game would not help anybody.