Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has spoken on the reason he and President Muhammadu Buhari have not visited Dapchi in Yobe state where 110 students were abducted two weeks ago.
Both men have been criticised for not paying condolence visits to places where abductions and avoidable deaths were recorded in recent times.
Among these states are Benue, Zamfara and Taraba.
Speaking with journalists over the weekend, Osinbajo said while the government has expressed sympathy with the people, condolence visits alone would not solve the problem.
He listed some of the measures which the government has embarked upon to reduce killings and widespread violence.
“There is no amount of condolence that can compensate for the loss of life. Benue killing is one set of killing far too much; there is no amount of condolence that can compensate for that. And I want to say that it’s a massive tragedy,” he said.
“But the question that you seem to ask I’ve been to Zamfara, I’ve been to Adamawa when this killing took place. There are those who said, ‘oh, why don’t you visit the Fulani settlement, why do visit only where Christians were?’
“I even visited Benue in September where there have been killing before; then I’ve visited them when the flooding took place and we looked at all the issues and tried to address many of these. There have been several of these issues in different places, recently Dapchi. We have expressed condolences, but no amount of condolence would do.
“The more important thing and our focus has been, is first of all ensuring security in these places.
“We have to address the security question in a much more robust way; that the police are able to do these effectively. We have deployed the military to Kaduna, two battalions to Kaduna. In Benue and Taraba axis, we have the 93 battalion, we have 72 Special Forces. We have full concentration in Taraba and all of that, and by the way, the military is fighting in most of the north-east. So, there is a situation where the military is overstretched. So I think the most important thing is, first of all, to ensure they actually address the security of the people.”
He also debunked the allegations that most appointments by president Buhari were skewed in favour of the north.
The vice-president said the cabinet is comprised of 20 Christians and 18 Muslims.
“In the north, seven northern states have no senior minister, including the president’s home state, Katsina. Now, there are those who will say, if you are nepotistic; surely seven northern states have no senior minister. It’s a narrative depending on how you want to run it,” he said.
“The south-west, for the first time in the history of this country, has one minister who is in charge of three ministries: Power, Works and Housing. The ministers of finance and communications are also from the south-east. These are critical ministries. You can run the narrative in whichever way that you choose.
“There are people who don’t know that the number of CEOs from Anambra state are more than the number of CEOs from Katsina state or anywhere else, except Ogun.”