PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has used his Eid Mubarak message to appeal to Nigerians to exercise more patience with his government as it reels from the effects of widespread violence that has resulted in a breakdown of law and order across the country.
Nigeria is currently in the grips of a violence epidemic as armed robbery, banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, rape and other forms of violent crime are everyday occurrences. Totally overwhelmed by the situation, Nigeria’s security forces are regularly out-gunned by terrorist groups like Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa Province, as well as well-armed Fulani cattle herdsmen.
At the moment, Nigeria is ranked as the number 147th peaceful nation globally according to the Global Peace Index report released in November 2020. This makes Nigeria the third most terrorised country in the world for the second year running after Afghanistan and Iraq and President Buhari has come under intense criticism for doing nothing to address the crisis.
Speaking earlier today as he marked the end of the Ramadan fasting period, President Buhari urged Nigerians to show more understanding on the current security situation in the country. Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari’s spokesman, said he is pledging action against the bandits and the threat they pose to national food security.
President Buhari said: “I expect Nigerians to be more understanding on the issues involved, looking at time and available resources. For example, when we came in, in the northeast, ask people in Adamawa and Borno States and the south-south in terms of security.
“Without security, you can’t do anything. Our big surprise and disappointment is what is happening in the northwest and we are dealing with it.”
He also appealed to the nation’s elite to show a better appreciation of the problems facing the country. President Buhari promised that his regime will use all available resources and manpower in dealing with bandits to ensure that they do not create havoc against access to farms and food production in the coming farming season.
“The elite should make the attempt to understand the military. If we order for weapons and armoured vehicles, it takes time for the manufacturer.
“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,” the president explained.
Explaining ongoing efforts to tackle the security situation in the country by the administration, President Buhari drew attention to the series of long meetings held in recent weeks, chaired by him. He also commended the National Assembly for its support, saying it is cooperating very well, adding that within the available resources, they are certainly giving priority to the government’s military requests.