Buhari Says Nigeria in State of Emergency
Friday, January 29, 2021
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in February 2019.
Kola Sulaimon | AFP
By Mohammed Momoh
West Africa Correspondent
Nation Media Group
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said the country is in a state of emergency, as it experiences a grim security situation, with 412 deaths linked to insecurity and counterinsurgency this month.
Buhari was speaking to newly appointed service chiefs during his maiden meeting with them on Wednesday.
Presidential Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina quoted the President as telling the military chiefs to be conscious that ”we’re in a state of emergency”.
Chief of Defence Staff Maj-Gen Leo Irabor led the others – Chief of Army Staff Maj-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo and Chief of Air Staff Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao – to the meeting.
Defence Minister Bashir Magashi and Chief of Staff to the President Ibrahim Gambari also attended the meeting.
Data provided by the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) and the military shows that insecurity has spiked this month.
Among the fatalities were 109 civilians and 33 security operatives. Also killed were 125 suspected Boko Haram terrorists, 85 armed actors, especially bandits.
This is one of the worst civilian death tolls within the first two weeks of the last five years, according to available data.
In 2017, there was a total death toll of 163 in the same period, including 74 civilians and 18 security official fatalities.
In 2018, the death toll was 353 and it included a civilian toll of 47 and a security official toll of nine.
President Muhammadu Buhari said his government was investing heavily in the purchase of military equipment and the welfare of soldiers.