Buhari unaware of bandits’ threat before meeting El-Rufai – Presidency

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THE Presidency has reacted to comments credited to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on the threats posed by terrorists in the country.

Terrorists who abducted passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28 had last weekend threatened to abduct President Muhammadu Buhari and El-Rufai if they come in contact with them.

The governor later featured in a radio programme in Kaduna and said he had been warned to be careful with his movement by security agencies and close associates.

He reportedly said in the programme that President Buhari’s was not aware of the threat by terrorists to kidnap him.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the president, Garba Shehu, who reacted to the interest generated by El-Rufai’s remark on his Twitter handle, slammed mischief-makers for misinterpreting what the governor said.

He said: “To social media mischief-makers, please read what Governor El-Rufa’i said:

“Malam Nasir El-Rufai hosted a live media chat in Hausa on Wednesday, 27 July 2022. One of the questions he fielded related to the deteriorating security situation.

“His response included a reminder of the fact that he has for at least five years advocated for robust action against the terrorists that are menacing our people, including bombardments of their locations.

“He further disclosed that he briefed President Muhammadu Buhari last Sunday about the gravity of the security situation and informed him that the terrorists had made threats to abduct the president and himself.

“As a digitally-active Governor with a significant presence in the social media, he was the first to draw the attention of Mr. President to the viral video making the rounds that day.”

Shehu stressed that it was important for governors to share important security details with the president.

He added: “It is incumbent on him to share information with the president, without prejudice to any security or media reports that the president may receive from any other sources. The president had not seen the viral video at the point in time.

“The suggestion and storylines by a section of the media that this amounted to a failing by the security agencies to brief Mr. President is not what the governor expressly said in the Hausa language interview.

“At all times, it is important that the media exercises restraint and ensures contextual accuracy in reporting, and avoids issues that may arise from or be lost in translation.

“We must not by acts of commission or omission to glorify the terrorists or demonize officials charged with the duty to contain and destroy them. Nigeria’s security challenges should neither be politicized nor deployed to mislead our people.”

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