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President Muhammadu Buhari will ask the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, questions on why he flouted his relocation order to Benue State as alleged.
Presidential spokesman Mr Femi Adesina said this Tuesday while featuring on the political platform of Ray Power.
Adesina said before taking any action, Buhari would ask the IGP to defend himself on the allegation made by stakeholders of the state at a townhall meeting Buhari had with them in Makurdi on Monday.
Asked why Buhari did not act immediately when his order was flouted, Adesina responded: "Act immediately and not hearing from the other side? That will not be proper. A father does not act like that. Even in the home, if there is an allegation from somebody, you listen to the other side before you will do whatever you will do.
"The IG, as at yesterday (Monday), I knew was out of the country. That allegation came from Benue people. Knowing the President as a fair-minded man, he is going to listen to the IG, he is going to ask him to defend himself and then the next step."
Adesina disagreed that the fact that the IGP allegedly disobeyed Buhari’s directive implied that the president was not in control as being insinuated.
"Those who said that have a right to their opinion. This is a democracy. We don’t stifle opinions. Comments are free, facts are sacred. Those comments are not facts, we know the facts and we stand by the fact. The fact is that the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and he runs his government hands-on and efficiently," he said.
He also clarified that Bunue’s stakeholders did not say they were unhappy with Buhari during the meeting, but that they only said they were not happy about the killings.
"Don’t misquote them because I was there. They did not say they were not happy with the President. In fact, most of them were full of commendation for the President. Not a single one of them said he was not happy with the President. Rather, they spoke about the confidence they have in him," Adesina said.
Reminded that Senator George Akume said the people of Benue were not happy, Adesina exlaimed: "How can they be happy when they found blood flowing like that ? They won’t be happy naturally but nobody said ‘we are not happy with the President’ rather, they said ‘we voted for you massively in 2015 and we are still with you."
On allegation that Buhari’s visit to Benue came late, he said: "In the press statement we issued last week announcing the visits, we explained that having received reports on the various clashes and having studied them, it was time for the President to visit. Those reports came first so that he can have a balanced and proper perspective of what actually happened and then the visit. The visit was not supposed to be an emotive thing. It was supposed to be a sympathy visit, a condolence visit based on proper information."
On the complaint that Buhari did not visit the bereaved in Benue, he said: "The welcoming team was made up of stakeholders from across the divide: Tiv, Idoma, Fulani, everybody was there. All of them were given opportunities to speak. So all the stakeholders were there."
Asked why Buhari did not identify one-on-one with victims like Donald Trump did in USA, Adesina said America is different country.
The presidential spokesman said Buhari does not decide on why he visits, but the would-be hosts and his protocol staff do so.
"It is a different setting. You do your own thing according to your own country. You do not have to be a copycat. When the President visits a place like that, the hosts along with the President’s protocol people draw up programme and agree on the places where the President will go. So, it is not as if the President will just say ‘this is where I will go.’ It is a concerted thing.
"It simply tells you that the President is not omniscient. No human being is omniscient, it is only God that is omniscient: He knows all things. The President said last week that he has his channels of getting information apart from security reports he receives as President, but it does not mean that he gets every information under the sun.Even in the best countries in the world, the super powers, there are still security breaches," Adesina said.
On why killings continued after the president had visited some of the places, the pesidential spokesman said security is a collective responsibility.
"It is not the responsibility of the President alone. What Nigerians expect is that everything should flow from the top which is not correct. It should rather flow from the bottom up. Security is the responsibility of people from the wards to the local government, traditional rulers, states governors and up to the Federal.
"The Tor Tiv said it yesterday that he believed now that traditional rulers should be given constitutional roles so that they can be part of the security apparatus. He called for a reordering of the security architecture in the country and it makes a lot of sense. Whatever is going to be done to solve this security we now have in an enduring manner, the President will do."
Adesina said the use of dialogue was not optional in rescuing the abducted schoolgirls of Dapchi, Yobe State.
"Except you come out with another viable option. What are we left with? The US Secretary of State was asked a question on what the US do to help Nigeria rescue the Dapchi girls and the remaining Chibok girls. He told the reporter that that is the responsibility of Nigeria. Except if you bring another option to rescue these girls other than dialogue, and if the option is viable, I am sure the government will consider it," he said.
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