Niger ex-gov blames insecurity on poor planning, corruption
Former governor of Niger State, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu, has blamed unending insecurity in the country to poor planning and corruption.
He also suggested ways of ending terrorism in the country, just as he narrated how he chased the dreaded Boko Haram leaders, Abubakar Shekau and Abu Qaqa, out of the state during his first term as governor.
Aliyu stated this in Kaduna, at the weekend, while delivery a paper, as the Guest Speaker in the public lecture, awards and election of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Kaduna Branch.
He explained that Niger would have been the foundation and base of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists, if not for his strategy.
According to Aliyu, part of the solution to the security challenges bedevilling Nigeria, like terrorism and banditry, is proper planning and budgeting that will eradicate the negative statistics of 20 million out-of-school children and change the story of Nigeria from being rated as the global poverty capital.
“The primary purpose of government is the security of life and property, which governors don’t take seriously. As Chief Security Officer of your state, you cannot claim inability to secure your citizens; yes, the officers of the security agencies might not have come from your state, they are federal officers posted to assist you in your state.
“Being proactive as a leader and followers also helps so much. When I arrived Niger, I found a security challenge in the form of nine people who went to a village in Mokwa Local Council and multiplied in 2007 to 7,000 people. They were involved in armed robbery and abducting women in the area. They constituted themselves into a republic,” Aliyu narrated.
He added that the gang was so powerful that it conscripted two immigration officers sent to investigate its activities.
“When I took a census, I discovered that more than 60 per cent of the members were not Nigerians. The original Shekau and Abu Qaqa were the leaders. I got the support of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua to disperse them. After compensating them and giving them transport fare to their destination, the foreigners were taken to their borders.
“That action probably saved Niger from being the foundation of Boko Haram. We later discovered that they were regularly visiting the River Niger Bridge. That the Federal Government would support any governor who has done his homework is not in doubt,” he stated.
Aliyu highlighted the importance of proper planning and budgeting.
He said: “If the planning is proper, we cannot be talking of 20 million out-of-school children. We cannot be described as the poverty capital of the world. We also cannot be facing the insecurity of banditry, Boko Haram, and armed robbery.
“With proper planning we cannot have the level of corruption we have today. Many a time, we boast of our abundant human capital, natural resources and rich cultural heritage. But unless we operationalise, we shall remain at this level of boasting.”