Barely 24 hours after gunmen attacked the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna State, Mr Garba Shehu has assessed the intention of the attackers, saying nothing should be ruled out.
Shehu, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said the bandits’ attack might be politically motivated to embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Is it political, did somebody want to embarrass the government by doing this?” he questioned during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.
“So many scenarios are being created though, could this be a criminal act to violate the sanctity of that military institution? Was it an opportunistic crime?”
“So, in a climate — political climate — in which people seek to make political capital out of this unfortunate incident, you don’t rule in anything, you don’t rule out anything.”
Bandits had in the early hours of Wednesday stormed NDA’s permanent site, killing two officers and abducting one other officer.
They came in a vehicle and passed through the security gate into the academy, disguising in military uniforms, after which they proceeded to the officers’ quarters.
When asked how his principal reacted to the incident, Shehu said the President who was obviously sad, denounced the attack.
While describing the attack as unfortunate, the presidential spokesman noted that it could have been avoided.
He also commiserated with the families of the slain military officers that lost their lives, regretting that the attack is coming at a time when the military is recording tremendous success in the ongoing fight against terrorism and banditry.
Shehu added, “We are coming from major successes. Look at how Boko Haram is unravelling in the north; they surrendered. All of the victories that have been recorded even in the northwest — these bandits are being taken out in large numbers.”
State Of Emergency In North?
Amid the worsening state of insecurity in the country, coupled with banditry and terrorists’ activities in the North-West and North-Eastern parts of the country, some calls have emerged for President Buhari to declare a state of emergency.
Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, had earlier on Wednesday called for a state of emergency in the northern part of the country over the security challenges in the region.
The north-western state also has a fair share of the security challenges as bandits have kidnapped, raped and killed people in the state. The criminals have also targeted schools and abducted hundreds of children in several months.
Obviously concerned about the series of attacks in many states in the region, Governor Matawalle believes a declaration of a state of emergency will address the problem of insecurity in the North.
However, reacting to the calls for a state of emergency in the region, the presidential spokesman said the issue goes beyond his principal.
In buttressing his point, Governor Matawalle explained that even if President Buhari declares a state of emergency, he needs the National Assembly to endorse the action.
“What I know is that it takes more than the President alone to declare an emergency in any state. He will require the parliament to endorse it and of course to say it is right,” he stated.
“I am aware that emergency declared under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration in Plateau and Ekiti are both declared as unlawful under the Constitution by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”
Speaking further, Shehu called on the Zamfara leader to hold talks with the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and President Buhari to specifically explain the exact terms of the emergency he means in order not to violate the nation’s Constitution.