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General News of Saturday, 27 May 2023


Killings continue as Buhari spends N14tn to fight insecurity

Minister of Defence, Maj Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd.) Minister of Defence, Maj Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd.)

The Federal Government has allocated a total of N14,063,279,559,996 to the various security agencies and their coordinating ministries from 2015 to 2023 amidst killings, an analysis by Sunday PUNCH has shown.

The allocations were contained in Appropriation Bills for eight years made available on the website of the Budget Office of the Federation.

A breakdown showed that in 2015, the Ministry of Police Affairs was allocated N4,956,267,942; Ministry of Interior, N156,220,022,460; Ministry of Defence, N375,497,219,431; Police Service Commission, N990,477,185; police formations and commands, N321,622,224,611; and Office of the National Security Adviser, N88,726,771,998.

In 2016, a total of N980,705,292 was budgeted for the PSC; Ministry of Defence, N443,077,795,159; Ministry of Interior, N513,655,831,565; and the NSA, N21, 007,059,483.

Similarly in 2017, the Ministry of Defence’s budgetary allocation was N465,488,229,573; Interior, N545,630,780,046; the NSA, N110,490,229,417; and the PSC, N1,967,172,630.

In 2018, the PSC had a budget of N1,472,026,629; Ministry of Defence, N567,433,895,517; Ministry of Interior, N574,134,520,760; and the NSA, N121,730,943,684.

The office of the NSA in the 2019 Appropriation Act had N120,712,711,220; Ministry of Defence, N589,955,110,099; Ministry of Interior, N617,901,064,592; and the PSC, N1,751,274,031.

For 2020, the PSC had N1,369,586,675; the NSA, N144,326,228,206; Ministry of Police Affairs, N410,532,262,631; Ministry of Interior, N253,493,565,095; and Ministry of Defence, N900,770,634,390.

In 2021, the Ministry of Defence had a budget of N966,410,067,089; Ministry of Police Affairs, N455,134,536,905; the NSA, N179,742,734,268; Ministry of Interior, N271,666,471,225; and the PSC, N1,647,175,806.

The Ministry of Defence in 2022 had N1,200,712,724,376 as budgetary allocation in 2022; Ministry of Police Affairs, N559,106,745,837; Ministry of Interior, N294,575,137,624; PSC, N1,158,657,748; and N214,708,002,009 for the NSA.

The budgetary allocation to the various security agencies and coordinating ministries in 2023 are Ministry of Police Affairs N813,912,057,660; Ministry of Defence N1,248,170,610,116; Ministry of Interior, N304,395,280,926; NSA N195,018,151,836 and N1,026,626,250 to the PSC.

Despite the huge budgetary allocations, insecurity has worsened in the country. Many states have become a killing field while kidnap for ransom also tainted the regime.

Recently, bandits kidnapped no fewer than 80 persons in Zamfara State.

On March 31, 2023, gunmen attacked Garin Baka village in Ardo-Kola Local Government Area of Taraba State, killing 15.

On April 4, bandits kidnapped two policemen and 32 others in Niger State.

In Benue State, bandits attacked an Internally Displaced Persons camp on April 7, killing over 40 of the internally displaced persons.

A similar attack occurred in Umogidi village of Enetekpa Adoka district in Otukpo Local Government Area of the state, with no fewer than 50 people killed.

At Ruji in Kaduna, 33 persons were killed on April 17, 2023.

The most recent is the Plateau crisis, with no fewer than 125 dead bodies recovered and given mass burial.

The Defence Headquarters blamed the vastness of some areas in the northern parts of the country as well as the lack of timely information from citizens for troops’ inability to prevent some of the attacks in the region.

The military high command noted that as long as the residents of these areas cooperate with the military, there would be no safe haven for terrorists.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Danmadami, spoke while fielding questions from journalists at the Bi-weekly briefing of the military in Abuja on Thursday.

He said, “The area is very vast, so definitely within those gaps are ungoverned areas. But what I can assure you is that as far as the military is concerned, there is no hiding place for these terrorists as long as there is cooperation with the civil populace and they are reporting information to us. Like we told you, operations are going on across the length and breadth of this country; there is no hiding place for them.”

Describing the Jos incident as unfortunate, he emphasised the need for timely information, adding that there would be little or nothing the troops would be able to do after an attack.