President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the insecurity plaguing northwestern Nigeria comes as a huge surprise to his administration, as it is striving hard to tackle the challenges.
“Without security, you can’t do anything. Our big surprise and disappointment is what is happening in the North-West and we are dealing with it,” the president said while speaking with journalists at the State House shortly after observing the Eid prayer,
Mr Buhari maintained that the current security and economic situation of the country was different from when he assumed office in 2015.
“With the resources and manpower available to us, we are working very hard. We are hoping Nigerians will understand the problem,” the president said, explaining that “Nigerians know at what stage we came in in 2015, what state we are today both on security and the economy and we are doing our best.”
Dangling his military pedigree, Mr Buhari, during the presidential campaigns in 2015, promised to revamp the economy and combat insecurity which was largely in the form of Boko Haram onslaught in the North-East. The security challenges has since metamorphosed, expanding its destructive tentacles to all parts of the federation as the years pass by Mr Buhari’s administration.
The former major general, however, believes his administration has been working assiduously and doing its best to tackle the banditry and kidnapping which has become even rampant in his Katsina home state.
Mr Buhari stressed that appropriate agencies were also working to ensure that the havoc wreaked by bandits do not affect the access to farms and foods production.
“The law enforcement agencies are working hard to regain confidence against the bandits, so that we can go back to the land. This is very important. This is what the agencies are busy doing right now. We want people to go back to the land so that we can get enough food for the country and even export,” he said.
“I expect Nigerians to be more understanding on the issues involved, looking at the time and available resources. For example, when we came in, in the North-East, ask people in Adamawa and Borno States and the South-South in terms of security.”
Mr Buhari added that his administration’s efforts to tackle security challenges are evident in the series of meetings chaired by him in the past few weeks, adding that resolutions were made public by the National Security Adviser.
Speaking further, the president urged the nation’s elite to “make the attempt to understand the military,” stressing that “If we order weapons and armoured vehicles, it takes time for the manufacturers. It takes time to ship them and when brought here eventually, they are taken to training institutions, train the trainers before sending them to the field. This is a very long process.”