By Stanley Nwanosike
The Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) , Mr Osita Okechukwu, has urged former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Nigerians to join President Muhammadu Buhari to fight insecurity.
Okechukwu, also a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said that assisting the federal government to fight insecurity would be more beneficial instead of comparing the dead in the country with those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the VON DG was reacting to questions from newsmen in Enugu over statements on killings in Nigeria, credited to Atiku during his formal declaration to contest for president on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Yola.
The VON DG, who is an ardent supporter of President Buhari, however, dismissed the statistics of the former vice president, saying that they were unnecessary and inaccurate.
“What is important is how to stop the killings; we need cooperation, prayers, information and assistance to the government.
“Otherwise, Wikipedia reported from credible sources that Iraqi death toll of over 500,000 persons since US led invasion of 2003, about 5,000 of who are US Service men,’’ he said.
According to him, I am outraged like most Nigerians over the spate of killings by herdsmen/farmers clash, bandits, militias Boko Haram and sundry.
“President Muhammadu Buhari I must confess is very sad over the killings.
“His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, Turaki of Adamawa statistics are unnecessary and inaccurate, for one death is painful.
“At any rate his statistics and can be best dubbed campaign hype if not fake news, when the real statistics are assembled. Iraqi casualty is over 500,000.
“The cardinal question in all honesty is can Turaki stop the insecurity without the cooperation of international security agencies, especially that of the United States?’’ he said.
On the public perception that Buhari is not doing enough to stop the killings, Okechukwu said: “Am on good note that President Buhari is quietly deploying all means necessary to stop the insecurity in the land.
“Among which is deployment of Mission Critical Communications System by Motorola Solutions of Illinois, United State of America, equipment which will put critical information at the fingertips of all the security agencies in Nigeria.
“In fact the National Security Adviser, Mr Babagana Monguno and Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, one understands, are leading the pack. I don’t want to say more than this, for this is security issue,” Okechukwu said.
He appealed to all Nigerians irrespective of political affiliations to join hands with Mr President to fight insecurity in the country, instead of making insecurity a campaign issue.
Okechukwu thanked him for acknowledging the massive infrastructural development ongoing in the land under Buhari, but expressed doubts over Turaki’s promise to tackle insecurity.
“My relief is that His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar graciously recognised the unprecedented massive infrastructural development ongoing in the past three years under President Buhari.
“The targeted 5,000 kilometres of Federal roads, 5,000 kilometres of rail lines, 5,000 additional megawatts of electricity and bid for self-sufficiency in food are anchored on prudent management of public fund.
“Can Turaki guarantee Nigerians to curb corruption to this level?” he queried.
He also recalled that President Buhari few weeks after inauguration was honoured with a red carpet reception at the White House.
“Since the presidential contest is like a beauty contest, Buhari remains the best among those parading themselves to be President in 2019,’’ he added.