Following the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers across the federation, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration would not tolerate any acts of banditry and criminality.
He said that the security agencies in the country had been mandated to adequately deal with such act as it was capable of truncating the peace of the country.
It will be recalled that there had been frequent clashes between fulani herdsmen and farmers in many States particularly in Benue, Enugu, Adamawa, Ekiti which claimed several lives. Consequently, many stakeholders had called for ranching and grazing reserves for the cattles.
Similarly, there had been a growing impression in some quarters that President Buhari had not come all out to condemn the herdsmen and find lasting solution to the problem despite ordering the security apparatus of the country to quell the clashes.
But speaking yesterday at the graduation ceremony of the National Defence College, NDC, for Course 24 in Abuja, the president said his government was out to deal decisively with the matter.
He also said that steps were being taken to rebuild the insurgency ravaged north east and tackle the emerging issues of restiveness and bombing of oil installations in the Niger Delta.
He said: “On the matter of Herdsmen/Farmers clashes, I wish to state that this Administration will not tolerate or condone acts of banditry and criminality, under any guise. As such, our security agencies have been mandated to deal with such acts decisively.
“Let me state that this Administration has been working assiduously in conjunction with our local and international partners, to rebuild damaged communities in North East part of our country. Similarly, we are committed to tackling the issues of underdevelopment and neglect in the Niger Delta area. This is a priority we have set before us and we intend to make appreciable gains in correcting the ills of the past in the Niger Delta by assuaging inherent grievances.”
The president also reiterated his pact with Nigerian upon his assumption of office, saying he was still committed to securing the country, improving the economy and fighting corruption.
To this end, the president said his administration had recover billions of Naira from individuals and organizations.
“You will all recall that on being sworn into office on 29 May 2015, I outlined certain core areas of our national life that require immediate intervention, some of which I would like to reiterate here today. First, we should seek to secure the country, improve the economy and fight corruption. As it is, this is our unfinished business from the past and dates back to the creation of our republic, yet to this day, corruption and poverty remain our main national problems.
“As part of efforts to address the problem of corruption, we have set in motion legal processes to recover whatever we can and bring to justice those who betrayed their trust. Thus far, we have been able to recover billions of naira from indicted companies and individuals. In addition, through the implementation and enforcement of the Treasury Single Account, we have been able to save more for our nation.
“Furthermore, in our fight to end poverty in Nigeria, we have set up social interventions and reliefs for the poor, and already, data is being collated by the Economic Planning Office of the Vice President in conjunction with the World Bank.
“In addition, through our 2016 budget, we intend to stimulate the economy, making it more competitive by focusing on infrastructural development; delivering inclusive growth; and prioritizing the welfare of Nigerians.
“We believe that this budget, while helping industry, commerce and investment to pick up, will as a matter of urgency, address the immediate problems of youth unemployment and the terrible living conditions of the very poor and vulnerable Nigerians”, he said.
Congratulating the graduands, president Buhari charged them to employ high level of professionalism and technical competence in their career.
He said: “We know that the National Defence College is a truly unique institution, one which we believe, has empowered you with the highest levels of skills in management practices of present day administration and governance for development of our institutions.
“We are also very pleased to learn that the blueprints of training at this College have kept pace with our current security environment. In this vein, you will be pleased to note that in the last one year, through the hard work, dedication and sacrifices made by members of our armed forces and security services, we have been able to degrade significantly, the capacity of Boko Haram insurgents to wreck havoc on our society.
“As strategic leaders, you must remember that our Armed Forces have been the torch bearers of many of our non-military innovations. I am therefore, very happy to hear that the Graduating Course has undertaken a higher defence management and strategic research on the topic “Youth Bulge in Nigeria, Implication for National Security”. As we seek to solve the myriad of social and political problems we will look closely at your recommendations.
“As you graduate, I urge you to set for yourselves befitting goals and having done so, utilise your technical competence, skills and hardwork to realise it. I compliment all of you, especially the award winners, for achieving this personal milestone which I hope is a sign of things to come.”