Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari did not know about the absence of the Inspector General of Police in Benue because he was “not omniscient.”
Mr. Adesina made this known while appearing on a private radio programme, Political Platform.
President Buhari has come under attacks particularly from Nigerians on social media after he told the people of Benue that he was unaware that IGP Idris flouted his order to remain in Benue until peace was restored.
It will be recalled that President Buhari met with farmers, herdsmen, government officials and other stakeholders in Makurdi as part of his visit to troubled states on Monday.
He however, denied insinuations that he was not interested in what was happening to Benue State.
“I cannot overlook the killings in Benue or any other part of Nigeria. I cannot do that. I am genuinely worried about the attacks in Benue and we are doing everything to end them,” he said.
Buhari, however, said he was surprised that the police chief, Ibrahim Idris, did not spend 24 hours in Benue when he directed him to relocate to the state and remain there till peace was restored.
“I am getting to know this at this meeting. I am quite surprised,” the President had said. However, the reason the president did not know that IGP Idris disobeyed his order remained unclear.
Speaking yesterday, Adesina said the president had other channels of information but did not receive all information, saying “It just tells you that the president is not omniscient.
As president and commander-in-chief, he has other channels, but it doesn’t mean that he gets every information under the sun.”
When told that when it concerns security and that the president was expected to be adequately kept abreast of development and must be in the know, Adesina said such expectation was incorrect.
“It is not correct, even in the best countries in the world, the super powers, there still would be security breaches and failures. It is not correct,” he said.
Commenting on why there had been killings in places like Plateau State even when the president visited, Adesina said: “The message it (the killings) sent is that security is a collective responsibility; it is not the responsibility of the president alone.
What Nigerians expect is that everything will flow from the top which is not correct. It rather should even flow from the bottom up.’’
“What Nigerians expect is that the president would be like a knight in shining armour who comes to settle all security issues even in wards and villages and hamlets. No, it doesn’t work that way,” he said