Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, says the insurgency in Nigeria has declined since the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), took over the wheels of governance in 2015.
The ex-minister also said everyone is living in fear, adding that though progress has been made in the country’s counterinsurgency, his party, the All Progressives Congress, which is the government at the centre, can do better to secure lives and properties.
Fayemi spoke on Saturday at the 2021 edition of The Platform, an annual conference organised by the Senior Pastor of the Covenant Christian Centre, Lagos, Poju Oyemade.
When asked by Oyemade to score the APC government on a scale of 1 to 10, Fayemi initially declined, saying, “You cannot be judge and jury in your own case”.
But Oyemade pressed, “I will answer you back because you are coming from the Anglican Communion where you spoke to them as a Christian. When God created heaven, he judged it and said it is good. So, you should be able to evaluate and judge.”
Fayemi then reluctantly took up the challenge and said, “Yes, I was involved, I was Director of Policy and Research for the APC in our presidential campaign in 2015, the original one; not in 2019, by 2019, I was in Ekiti, I was just a foot soldier in the campaign then.
“In 2015, we promised many things but with the greatest respect, I think the most attractive promise that people bought into that we made was integrity.”
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Oyemade interjected and said, “When countries run into trouble, they run to a general. The country believed there was a security problem then.”
Fayemi replied and said, “It was because the majority believed in the integrity of the general to deliver on the issues that they were mostly agitated about – security, economy, anti-corruption, all encapsulated in the ‘Change Agenda’.
“You could argue that we’ve put in a lot of effort in those areas but have they earned the kudos of the citizens as they should? No, they haven’t because we still have insecurity in the land.
“Many may disagree but I will argue that at least on insurgency – it may be a distinction without a difference – we’ve witnessed a decline.
“In relation to the problem of insurgency which was the most prominent in 2015 when we were coming in. Remember UN House bombing, the churches that were being burnt, Abuja was a no-go area, the North-East but that problem witnessed a decline in the first four years of the Buhari administration.”
The governor, however, said the insurgency has resurfaced because of the proliferation of arms, as well as the problems of the nations along Nigeria’s borders “exacerbated with the assassination of Idriss Déby” of Chad.
He further noted that the Buhari government and the APC were committed to ensuring the safety of the lives and properties of Nigerians.