President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government will take strong measures in ensuring that the perpetrators of the latest killings in Kaduna state are punished. He warned the police force to sit up as he would be watching them closely henceforth.
The President visited Kaduna on Tuesday where he expressed sadness over the loss of lives and property in Kasuwan Magani and around the Kaduna metropolis.
“If in the past, they got away scot-free, we shall now hold everyone to account for these latest killings,’’ Buhari said at a meeting with senior government officials, security chiefs, traditional and religious leaders at the Musa Yar’Adua Sports Complex.
Buhari, who has been criticized for his handling of recurring conflicts across the nation in the last three years, has promised that he will be firmer.
“The Nigerian police are in the frontline of securing communities. For the judiciary, unless the investigations are credible and rapidly done, there is nothing they can do. From now on the Nigeria Police, you better watch it, I am going to watch you closely,” he said.
He appealed to community leaders not to shield those who are planning to wreak havoc from law enforcement agencies.
The president said that “The Federal Government will continue to work to ensure that more security assets are recruited and deployed across the country to protect all citizens going about their lawful business and to reinforce the authority of the government.”
Buhari made one keen observation. He noted that the international community had become desensitized to mass killings in Nigeria due to the frequency at which they occurred.
“I observed that more than 75 people were killed in Kaduna alone and I haven’t seen anything about it. It means we are pushing ourselves as a nation and a people towards irrelevance, seen by the world itself,” he said.
Bottom line: Pres. Buhari’s observation on the desensitization of the world to Nigeria’s security crisis is an interesting one not just for how true it is, but also because it does not appear that the president is aware that this may end up being a legacy of his administration. One of his key campaign promises was to solve the insecurity situation in the country. Almost four years later, if his own verdict is that things have gotten so bad that the world is moving on from our issues, then it is cause for concern.
Another interesting point to note from Buhari’s remarks is that he would be watching the police closely. The statement is a confounding one – what has he been doing all this time? It fits again to a narrative of a president out of touch with reality of things. Recall that in January he directed the Police IGP, Ibrahim Idris, to relocate to Benue over the herdsmen crisis. The IGP refused to do so. Three months later the president then revealed that he was unaware of the fact that the IGP did not follow his instructions.