IBUKUNOLUWA KING OKUNEYE
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has reacted to the call by Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) asking him to resign for ordering residents of the state to defend themselves from bandit attacks.
Masari had asked the residents to get weapons and fight back, saying that it was immorally wrong for citizens to submit to the bandit attacks without even defending themselves.
In response to this, CNG in a statement asked the governor to resign from his position immediately because instead of protecting the people of Katsina from attacks he was asking them to arm themselves against bandit terrorists.
But replying in a statement on Sunday signed by his spokesman, Abdul Laraban, Masari told the CNG that he would not be intimidated and was not going to resign.
He said, “Security is on the exclusive list of the Nigerian Constitution, which means it is exclusively a federal government affair.
“In matters of security, a governor is the Chief Security Officer of his state only in name, because the various security chiefs working in the state take orders not from him, but from their superiors in Abuja.
“The only things they take from governors are the financial and material assistance (both solicited and unsolicited), which they extend to the security institutions in the states.
“As constitutionally elected officeholders, governors do not succumb to the intimidation of some self-serving disgruntled elements, masquerading as human rights campaigners by resigning.
“If they are found wanting in the discharge of their responsibilities, the Nigerian Constitution has provided the protocols for easing them out of office, and no House of Assembly is in the dark about that.
“Masari is not the first Governor to make the suggestion. In states where the citizens do not politicise security issues, they rally round their leaders who had similarly admonished their people.
“Therefore, to suggest that governor Masari should resign for his patriotic candour and courage in admonition his people to wake up and resist the bandits by acquiring arms for self-defence betrays a sheer lack of the understanding of the letter and spirit as well as the workings of the Nigerian Constitution, or a motive which is anything but altruistic.”