Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, has blamed the Nigerian media for reporting insecurity in the country like something new just to rubbish the incumbent government.
Mr Shehu, who once blamed Borno rice farmers, who were slain by Boko Haram, for not getting clearance before going to their farms, made this statement while speaking on Channels TV on Friday.
“There is a determination by some people to make security their narrative that will lead to next election, 2023. We are sad. We are not happy that people are killing each other. But the way reporting is done is to suggest that it had never happened before,” Mr Shehu said.
Ignoring security of lives and property as a core constitutional responsibility of the government, Mr Shehu said kidnapping and insecurity predated the administration of his principal.
“The other day I was reading a newspaper to the audience. New Nigeria newspaper reporting kidnapping of November 7, 1966 in the mid-West,” Mr Shehu said. “If something like that happens today it would be reported like there has never been an incident like that in the history of the country and Buhari, not any other person, is responsible. So we know the game in town.”
Improving the security situation of the country was one of the three planks upon which Mr Buhari built his campaign promises in the run up to the 2015 election which he won. Ironically, insecurity has since heightened since he assumed office in May 2015. Kidnapping, banditry and other vices have taken a frightening trajectory in the country.
In the past five months, bandits have launched coordinated attacks on communities, killing and abducting school students in hundreds across Katsina, Niger and Zamfara State.