The Federal Government was totally unprepared for the insurgency that has claimed lives, destroyed both public and private property and left thousands displaced in the northeastern part of the country, the Presidency admitted yesterday.
Speaking at the public forum on the impact of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration on Tuesday in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, however, warned that the present administration could not be rated only based on the worsening insurgency in Nigeria.
He said: “Somebody wants us to believe that the only testimony of performance of this administration is insecurity, (but) that’s not true. This government was totally unprepared for the insurgency.
“Nobody planned for insurgency. And yet insurgency is a serious problem on its own to contain. America with all their power and resources were in Iraq for up to about five or six years with over 400,000 soldiers put on ground and yet see Iraq the way it is today”.
Okupe admitted that the abduction of the Chibok school girls by terrorists was a national misfortune even as he stressed that the ceasefire that was purportedly agreed to by the federal government with Boko Haram was at the instance of the sect.
“Yes a ceasefire was announced and it was at the instance of the insurgents. What the President has demonstrated today is that he said that all options are on the table. So when the insurgents call for talk, how can anybody blame the government for that? If it doesn’t work out, that is not the fault of the government. That is actually the nature of the insurgents. Because they are factionalized, their line of command is not clearly defined.
“So this government’s capability and performance cannot solely be represented on the outcome of the insurgency in Nigeria. There is agriculture, education, infrastructure, health, social development and many other component parts”, he said.
The presidential aide further argued that Nigeria had three tiers of government, hence, it would be unfair to only demand dividends of democracy from the federal government only.
“There are three tiers of government – federal, state and local. The federal government only takes 48.5 per cent of the total revenue for the country. The other 48.5 per cent is taken by the states and all the local governments put together.
“But everybody puts their eyes on only that of the federal government and that is wrong. It is right to put their eyes on the federal government, but it is wrong to put their eyes only on the federal government because the share of the money for development and administration is equal. And out of the federal government’s share, about 15 per cent goes to foreign affairs and military, which the states do not bear at all”, he added.