From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has again vowed to 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 growing season.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari spoke on Thursday at the State House shortly after observing the Eid prayer, marking the end of the month-long Ramadan fast.
The President vowed that the menace of bandits and kidnappers will be addressed to ensure that the nation’s food security is not threatened.
The President, who hoped for a good rainy season this year said the law enforcement agencies are working hard to regain confidence against 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.’
Explaining ongoing efforts to tackle the security situation in the country by the administration, Buhari drew attention to the series of long meetings held in recent weeks, chaired by him, saying that a part of resolutions had been made public by the National Security Adviser and the others kept secret.
‘With the resources and manpower available to us, we are working very hard. We are hoping Nigerians will understand the problem. 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.’
The President commended the National Assembly for its support, saying emphatically that ‘the National Assembly is cooperating very well. Within the resources available, they are certainly giving us priority on our (military) requests.’
President Buhari appealed to the nation’s elite to show a better appreciation of the problems facing the country.
‘The elite should make the attempt to understand the military. If we order for weapons and armored 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,’ he explained.
The President further appealed to Nigerians for more understanding of the current situation in country.
‘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 said.
Meanwhile, the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has thanked God for enabling them witness the end of Ramadan.
Se appealed to Nigerian women to take responsibility of their children by guarding and protecting them against abuse and other vices.
‘They must watch movements within their neigbourhoods and reporter suspected dealings. Finally, I call on Muslims to sustain the spirit of fasting through continuous peaceful coexistence and Constance prayers for Nigeria,’ she said.
President Buhari and members of his family were joined for the Eid at the forecourt of the Villa by the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmed Lawan, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, cabinet members and the heads of security and intelligence agencies.