A former Governor of Sokoto State and elder statesman, Alhaji Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, has said that Northerners and indeed all Nigerians are not happy with security situation in the country, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to focus and show more concern on insecurity than COVID-19.
Bafarawa said this on Wednesday in Abuja in his State of the Nation address.
According to him, insecurity has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives than COVID-19 pandemic has ever done.
He also lamented that “government appears to have abandoned the situation and channelled all its effort to a pandemic that has taken barely 2000 lives in the country.”
The former governor insisted that insecurity is worsening in the country, asking the Federal Government to divert the proposed N400bn for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines to tackling insecurity.
“When I see things are not going, I cannot keep quiet, because if I keep quiet maybe other parts of the country will start accusing us that we are promoting what is bad. But, the reality is that we in the north are not happy with the way things are going.
“I see Nigeria as one country, it is not a question of whether the president is a northerner, we are not saying this based on our own personal interest, we are saying this behalf of the people who do not have the opportunity to say it, and I believe most of Nigerians have the same feeling. In my village about 14 people were killed just two days ago, insecurity has not improved,” Bafarawa said.
He added, “About 2000 people have died last year from Coronavirus, come to think of how many lives were killed within a year, 3000 to 400,000 people died from insecurity. ”
“Now we are talking about 400 billion and just about 2,000 people have died. Why can’t we divert this money for security? Because this insecurity is Nigeria’s Coronavirus because we don’t have much COVID-19 in Nigeria, so that we can move forward.
“Coronavirus has taken lives less than insecurity. Insecurity has taken lives and property. Look at the danger the insecurity is bringing, if we use that 400 billion to buy security equipment, it will do a lot in curbing insecurity.”
“PTF should account for N3.5bn”
He also asked the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to account for the N3.5bn that has been spent so far by the taskforce.
Bafarawa said, “We need to know, Nigerians need to know, how this N3.5bn was spent not just to hear figures, we need to have a breakdown, they should be transparent and tell the public what they have done.”
He also urged the government to prioritise sensitizing the public before bringing the COIVID-19 vaccines, saying 60 percent of Nigerians don’t even believe in the virus.
“Instead of asking for N400bn now, let us sensitize our people. How do you expect to spend N400bn to bring the drugs when people are not even convinced to take the drugs? Supposing people refuse to take the vaccines, the N400bn becomes a waste. So, we have to sensitize people to agree that this coronavirus is real and the vaccines are real, let them be convinced. Remember what happened with the vaccine polio.
He said the money would be better used to tackle banditry, kidnapping, and other forms of insecurity in the country.
“Why can’t we divert this money for security? I’m saying this because the insecurity is Nigeria’s Coronavirus. We don’t have much COVID -19 in Nigeria. What is the need for the vaccine when the people that would take it would die of hunger or insecurity?” Bafarawa said.