The presidency on Monday said Nigerians will be making a grave mistake if they believe that it is the sole responsibility of President Muhammadu Buhari to provide security for the country.
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, who disclosed this while featuring as a guest on Channels Television programme, ‘Politics Today’, said the president was right when he charged school owners, including state and local governments, to scale up security around their educational institutions.
According to him, while he swore to protect the lives and property of Nigerians as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, every Nigerian is part of the security architecture of the country.
“That can only be wrong and it can only be part of the problem, rather than the solution. Security is everybody’s business. Even at the ward and local government levels, people can be part of the security apparatus. Because when you see something and you say something, you are contributing to the security architecture of the country.
“When you see strangers loitering around and moving suspiciously at the local level, you can tell somebody. You can tell the traditional rulers who will tell the security agencies. If we have the mindset that everything about security is the duty of the president, then that can only be wrong.
“Yes, the president has the responsibility to guarantee safety of lives and property according to the constitution that he swore to uphold but to say that it is his sole business, responsibility or prerogative, we will be very wrong. Everybody is part of the security architecture of the country. It is just that the responsibility weighs heavier on one person than the others but we all are part of it”.
Speaking further, Adesina said state governors as the chief security officers of their respective states have the duty to secure their states as they have sworn to do under the constitution.
“You are talking of diffusing power so that state government can be in charge, they have always been in charge. Governors are the chief security officers of their states, it is not the president. It is very convenient to talk about true federalism when it pleases us, at other times, it is also convenient to heap all the blames on the president.
“Governors are the chief security officers of their states and they have a role to play in the security architecture of the country. Yes, the president is the commander-in-chief and the bulk stops on his table but governors are chief security officers of their states”.
Also reacting to the spate of abductions under President Buhari, Adesina said Nigerians should be concerned about the swift response of the government in rescuing the abducted students rather than focusing on why the kidnapping occurred in the first place.
“Now when these abductions happen, how did it end? You have Dapchi, they were recovered. You had Kankara, they were recovered. You had Kagara, they were recovered. We are working on Jangebe in Zamfara now. You look at the end result not just that it happened.
“This is a vast country with security challenges. There could be glitches, there could be shortcomings in one area or the other but how did those things end? So, Nigerians should give some credit to this government.
“There is nothing wrong in being reactive; you can’t be proactive about everything. In security, there are things you can also react to. Yes, you can be proactive in preventing certain things, but the truth is that, you cannot prevent everything.
“No single country in the world has been able to prevent all security glitches. It happens. But the speed with which you react and the efficiency with which you react will matter”.
Also speaking on last Friday’s abduction of female students from Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe, Adesina said all cards are on the table to ensure that they are rescued at the shortest possible time.
“The Zamfara girls will be rescued at the shortest possible time. That is why government is working, the state government is working, security and inter-security are working. Everything is being done to bring those girls back.
“Every card is on the table. Each situation is taken according to its peculiarity. There are situations in which there will be dialogue, there will be situations in which there will be negotiations”.