Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency, on Tuesday, said President Muhammadu Buhari would first hear from the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on the allegation of disobeying presidential order to relocate to Benue State before taking any action.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated this while answering questions during a radio programme, Political Platform, on RayPower FM.
President Buhari had, during a meeting with stakeholders in Makurdi, during his visit to Benue State, on Monday, expressed surprise that the IGP did not adhere to his instructions to relocate to the state when the recent killings started.
“But I did not know that the IG did not stay in the state. I am getting to know this at this meeting. I am quite surprised,” the President had said when he was told that Idris did not spend 24 hours in the state.
The Presidential aide said it would not have been proper for President Buhari to act on the matter immediately the allegation was made.
He said being a fair-minded man, the President would give IGP Idris the opportunity of defending himself of the allegation before taking the next step.
He said, “(The President should) act immediately and not hearing from the other side? That will not be proper. A father does not act like that.
“Even in the home, if there is an allegation from somebody, you listen to the other side before you will do whatever you will do.
“The IGP, as at yesterday, I knew was out of the country. That allegation came from Benue people. Knowing the President as a fair-minded man, he is going to listen to the IG, he is going to ask him to defend himself and then the next step.”
On why it should be the people that will draw the President’s attention to the IG’s disobedience of the order when he is supposed to know how his appointees are carrying out his orders, Adesina said Buhari though the President is not omniscient.
The presidential spokesman added, “It simply tells you that the President is not omniscient. No human being is omniscient, it is only God that is omniscient: He knows all things.
“The President said last week that he has his channels of getting information apart from security reports he receives as President but it does not mean that he gets every information under the sun.
“Even in the best countries in the world, the super powers, there are still security breaches.”
Adesina disagreed that the IG’s disobedience has further exposed the President as not being in control of his government.
He said the fact remained that Buhari was in full charge of the government and he is running it efficiently.
“Those who said that have a right to their opinion. This is a democracy. We don’t stifle opinions. Comments are free, facts are sacred. Those comments are not facts, we know the facts and we stand by the fact.
“The fact is that the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and he runs his government hands-on and efficiently,” he said.
He said contrary to opinions, President Buhari’s ongoing trips to troubled states were not belated.
Adesina reiterated that the President decided that the time was ripe for visit to the states after he had received and studied reports on the various clashes.
He said the reports came first so that Buhari could have a balanced and proper perspective of what actually happened before embarking on the trips.
He said the trips were to be sympathy and condolence visits based on proper information.
The Presidential Spokesman, also disagreed with opinions that Buhari should have visited the bereaved families in Benue State, insisting that those he met with were made up of stakeholders from across the divide, including Tiv, Idoma, Fulani, and others.
He noted that all the stakeholders were given the opportunity to talk at the meeting.
Adesina, also debunked claims that the stakeholders told the President that they are not happy with him.
He said, “Don’t misquote them because I was there. They did not say they were not happy with the President. In fact, most of them were full of commendation for the President.
“Not a single one of them said he was not happy with the President. Rather, they spoke about the confidence they have in him.
“How can they be happy when they found blood flowing like that? They won’t be happy naturally but nobody said ‘we are not happy with the President’ rather, they said ‘we voted for you massively in 2015 and we are still with you.’”
Adesina said Buhari did not have to copy how President Donald Trump responded to the issue of Florida because it is a different setting.
“America is different country, it is a different setting. You do your own thing according to your own country. You do not have to be a copycat.
“When the President visits a place like that, the hosts along with the President’s protocol people draw up programme and agree on the places where the President will go. So, it is not as if the President will just say “this is where I will go.” It is a concerted thing,” he explained.
Adesina also explained that the fact that killings were recorded after President’s visits to some states only confirmed that security is a collective responsibility.
“Security is not the responsibility of the President alone. What Nigerians expect is that everything should flow from the top which is not correct. It should rather flow from the bottom up.
“Security is the responsibility of people from the wards to the local government, traditional rulers, states governors and up to the Federal.
“The Tor Tiv said it yesterday that he believed now that traditional rulers should be given constitutional roles so that they can be part of the security apparatus.
“He called for a reordering of the security architecture in the country and it makes a lot of sense.
“Whatever is going to be done to solve this security we now have in an enduring manner, the President will do,” he added.
Adesina said except somebody suggested another viable option, the Federal Government will continue to negotiate for the release of abducted girls.
“Except you come out with another viable option. What are we left with?
“The US Secretary of State was asked a question on what the US will do to help Nigeria rescue the Dapchi girls and the remaining Chibok girls.
“He told the reporter that that is the responsibility of Nigeria.
“Except if you bring another option to rescue these girls other than dialogue, and if the option is viable, I am sure the government will consider it,” he concluded.