The controversial and widely condemned “memo of genocide” written by Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako has been derided by Nigerian governors who also cautioned the “dissident” Nyako to mind his utterances on national security issue.
The governors took a swipe at Nyako shortly after the widely publicized enlarged National Security Council meeting held on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, with 35 States in attendance, including Nyako.
Although the meeting, which was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan focussed mainly on the unending security challenges confronting the country, Nyako’s memo formed part of the deliberations because of its security implications.
Nyako, had in the memo to his northern colleagues alleged that the President Jonathan-led Federal Government was carrying out genocide in the north eastern part of the country.
Briefing State House Correspondents after the seven- hour meeting, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger, who was flanked by his colleagues from Abia, Borno and Ekiti states, said the meeting also cautioned all public office holders to be wary of statements that are capable of exacerbating the already precarious security situation in the country.
On Nyako’s controversial memo, Governor Aliyu said, “I am sure many of you will be curious about the memo written by one of us.
“We looked at it all. In fact, he was allowed to read the memo to all of us and we discussed and concluded that for all of us, we need to be very careful with the kind of statement we make and we need to be very careful that whatever we say must either be evidence-based or something that can be authenticated.
“There is no need to be giving terrorist the opportunity of thinking that they are succeeding.
“All the terrorist want is for him to find out that whatever he does is carried out in such a way that people will believe he is succeeding and is having some impact” he said.
Corroborating Aliyu, Abia State Governor Theodore Orji (Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum) also said: “There was a unanimous condemnation of the memo written by Nyako and all public officers were advised to be conscious of what they say.
“The meeting recognized the fact that security issue is not for the federal government alone, it should be a cooperate issue, handled corporately by the Federal Government, State and Local Government.
“When there is a synergy obviously progress will be made. The meeting also agreed that at the state level, governors who are chief security officers have to do a lot to help because that is where the security issue is, at the state level.
“In so doing the state governors should mobilize their radio houses in other to sensitize the people in the state so that they will be ware of this security situation.
“We also agreed that Boko Haram that is on now, is not a religious war, people should not misrepresent it to be, because both Muslims and Christians are being killed. It doesn’t discriminate against any person.
Also speaking, Minister of Defence General Aliyu Gusau, said the meeting “decided that the federal government will do everything within its power to bring the security situation in the country, whether it is terrorism, kidnapping, herdsmen clash with farmers under control.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, spoke on the abducted school girls, saying the meeting agreed that “everything must be done to free the abducted girls”.
He said further that the meeting “Stressed the importance of rising above partisanship when dealing with security issues. We stressed the importance of security agencies to be scrupulously professional and non partisan. The meeting commended the security agencies and urged them to share data amongst themselves.
“We also agreed that we need a holistic response to terrorism. Military action is sine qua non but there has to be an anti-poverty strategy. The meeting also stressed the need to address the capacity of media practitioners in order for them to be more patriotic in the reportage.
On the incessant crisis between Fulani herdsmen and farmers, the meeting agreed that the long term objective would be to “domesticate them, and create ranches in the short term, the grazing routes must be properly gazetted and enforced”.
On the issue of religion, the meeting agreed that there should be monitoring of what is being preached by some religious leaders and to make them understand the larger implication of what they preach on the nation at large.
Apart from the Governors, Ministers and Service Chiefs, Muslims and Christians were also represented by the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar III and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor respectively.
The Governors present were: Willie Obiano (Anambra)Theodore Ahmaefule Orji (Abia) Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara) Henry Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Gabriel Suswam (Benue) Martin Elechi (Ebonyi) Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan (Delta), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Kashim Shettima (Borno) and Aliyu Magatakarda Wamako (Sokoto).
Other were Mukhtar Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Garba Umar (Taraba) Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) Umar Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa) Saidu Nasamu Dakingari (Kebbi) Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger) Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo) Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi).
The Deputy Governors present were those of Jigawa, Imo, Oyo, Rivers, Kano, Ogun, Plateau, Edo and Yobe, while Lagos State was not repreented by any official.
Also, Ministers present were those of Interior, Abba Moro; Defence, Aliyu Gusau; Police Affairs, Abduljelil Adesiyan; Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali; Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina (Agriculture) and Mohammed Bello Adoke (Justice).
The security chiefs in attendance were the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, General Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Dele Joseph Ezeoba; Chief of air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu and Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar.
Also in attendance were the heads of Customs, Abdullahi Inde Dikko Immigration, David Paradang, FRSC, Osita Chidoka and NSCDC, Ade Abolurin.