From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has reacted to London-based news magazine, The Economist, that described the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as inept and high-handed, adding that he had also failed to tackle corruption.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari is the only one of the country’s past leadership with the political will and determination to tackle all four threats of ISWAP/Boko Haram terrorism in the North-East; kidnapping and crime in the North-West; herder-farmer disputes in the central belt; and IPOB in the South-East concurrently.
The statement added that it’s only the Buhari administration that has sought to push back terrorism which has been a threat for more than two decades since the first emergence of Boko Haram.
“It is only the Buhari administration that has now sought to intervene against the kidnapping and banditry that has been a simmering threat for far longer”, the Presidency said.
The full statement reads:
The Economist is correct: Nigeria faces four key threats to the stability and prosperity of the nation – namely: ISWAP/Boko Haram terrorism in the North-East; kidnapping and crime in the North-West; herder-farmer disputes in the central belt; and the delusions of IPOB terrorists in the South-East.
The Economist is also accurate to state that they have come to a head under President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, (APC) administration. Yet they do so, because for so long, under previous administrations, whether military or democratic, tough decisions have been ducked, and challenges never fully met – with the effect of abetting these dangers and allowing them all to fester and grow. Today, all four threats are being fought concurrently and it is only this President’s administration which has finally had the will and determination to confront them.
The Buhari administration has sought to push back terrorism which has been a threat for more than two decades since the first emergence of Boko Haram. It is only the Buhari administration that has now sought to intervene against the kidnapping and banditry that has been a simmering threat for far longer. It is only this President’s government which has taken on IPOB, the violent terrorist group which bombs police stations and offices of security agencies, while also threatening those who break their Monday-sit-ins whilst claiming the mantle of forebears who half a century ago fought a civil war. And it is only the Buhari leadership which has sought – ever, in over one hundred years – to identify the root causes of the herder-farmer clashes and find durable solutions.
The forms may have altered, and the threats posed by each may have waxed and waned, but what has been constant is that administration after administration since independence – whether military or democratic – none sought to fully address these threats to Nigeria as President Buhari’s government does now.
Today, the military is engaged in almost all the states of Nigeria because the President has insisted upon addressing these decade-after-decade-long issues during his time in office.