Garba Shehu

The Presidency has said that the recent spike in killings, banditry, and kidnapping in the country cannot be compared to that of the previous administration.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this during an interview on Kakaaki, a breakfast television programme on AIT.

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Shehu, however, scored the Buhari administration 98 percent in the fight against insurgency.

He said, “If you ask me about the biggest security (challenge) we met on the ground, it is Boko Haram terrorism and I will score this administration 98 percent coming this far because Boko Haram is now confined to the fringes of Lake Chad. As a matter of fact, they jump in and out and mainly occupy communities that have not been re-occupied by their owner.”

Responding to a report by the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu’s claim that 1,071 persons lost their lives in crime-related cases across the country in the first quarter of 2019, Shehu said despite the recent spike in killings, banditry and kidnapping, the statistics was still better than that of the previous administration.

The President said although he would not want to compare figures, the facts remain sacred.

He added, “Shehu said, “Yes, there has been a recent spike (in attacks) but this is not to suggest that this has never happened in the country and they are beginning just now because President Buhari is out of the country.

“You mentioned the numbers but I want to say from our own point of view in the Presidency, we have avoided comparing numbers because it will lead to the same criticisms that some people have made of being insensitive because even if it is one life of a Nigerian that is lost, it is important, it cannot be justified, it cannot be defended.

“But anybody who takes the trouble to check the Presidential website; at some point, Femi (Adesina) had done the numbers and the staggering numbers put on display coming from the past are nothing comparable to these numbers but we will not take it lightly.”

He also defended the decision of the President to travel to the United Kingdom for 11 days during the height of insecurity.

Shehu said the President was entitled to rest even as he claimed that Buhari was in firm control of the nation during his time away.

He said security agencies were doing their best but noted that things would not change overnight but would take some time.