Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi, says Boko Haram escapees from the North-East part of the country are infiltrating other parts of Nigeria as bandits and kidnappers.
With the recent onslaught on 43 rice farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents, some concerned persons have opined that President Muhammadu Buhari declare a state of emergency on insecurity in the North-East.
Fayemi said the insecurity in the country is not limited to Borno State or the North-East as there is a nexus between terrorists’ activities in the North-East and the banditry in the North-West as well as the kidnapping in the Southern part of the country.
The Ekiti State governor, who spoke on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme therefore, called for a holistic approach to ending menace. He said, “If a state of emergency were to be declared, I have no opinion on that, we haven’t discussed state of emergency as far as the Governors’ Forum is concerned.
“And that is not something that our colleagues who are at the receiving end of the insurgency has proposed to us. Governor (Babagana) Zulum or our North-East colleagues have not said anything about state of emergency.”
Fayemi added, “Insurgency is not limited to Borno State. We will be making a mistake if we do not draw a correlation between what is going on in Borno State and what is happening in other parts of the country – banditry, kidnapping, militancy, they are inextricably intertwined.
“Some of the insurgents that escaped from the Boko Haram territory are the ones prosecuting the banditry in the North-West, some of these escapees are involved in the kidnapping in the South-West. ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province) insurgents coming down from Sudan, from Niger (Republic) are involved in what is going on. How many states are you going to declare state of emergency on then? So, we must take a holistic view on this.”
The governor said the state governments should be given more powers to handle the security of their domains, adding that anything that will help Nigerians overcome the insecurity in the country, the Federal Government and the National Assembly must do.