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Press Release



Good morning gentlemen and welcome to this press conference.

  1. The polity has recently been awash with heightened commentary on
    the security situation in the country. The commentary has been
    triggered by genuine concerns in some circles, and crass politicking
    or sheer absurdity in others.
  2. Since assuming office in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has
    continued to make the issue of security a major plank of his
    Administration’s policy. This is not a surprise, considering the fact
    that the fight against insecurity is one of the three priority areas
    of the APC-led Federal Government.
  3. Yes, the security situation has continued to pose a great
    challenge, but amidst the cacophony of voices – some genuinely
    concerned about the situation and others ready to exploit it for
    selfish ends – it is easy to forget where we are coming from. Today,
    we only look at the current situation, without wondering what would
    have been had this President not taken the bull by the horns, as far
    as security is concerned.
  4. With the way the insurgents were going before this Administration
    came into office, with their control of a vast swath of land the size
    of Belgium, with their freewheeling attacks in almost a dozen states,
    including the Federal Capital Territory which was hit at least five
    times, perhaps they could have achieved their aim of declaring an
    Islamic State in Nigeria, if President Buhari had not acted
    decisively. After all, in 2014, Boko Haram declared a Caliphate in
    Gwoza after capturing Bama and Gamboru as well as other towns and
    villages in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. They installed their own Emirs,
    collected taxes and flew their flag before the military dislodged
  5. Yes, banditry and kidnapping have added to the state of
    insecurity, President Buhari has also continued to provide quality
    leadership in order to ensure that our security agencies decisively
    tackle the cankerworm of insecurity of any hue. No Administration in
    Nigeria’s recent history has provided the security agencies with the
    hardware needed to tackle insecurity as that of President Buhari, in
    addition to raising the morale of our security men and women. Only
    last week, Mr. President commissioned an armada of naval boats and
    ships in the latest effort to enhance our nation’s maritime security.
    The army, the air force and the police, among others, have also been
    receiving modern hardware to strengthen their arsenal.
  6. The Administration has not concentrated on the kinetic measures
    alone. Non-kinetic measures have also been strengthened. The
    establishment of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs,
    Disaster Management and Social Development to coordinate all
    humanitarian affairs in Nigeria is a major effort at tackling poverty
    and shrinking the pool of those being targeted for recruitment by
    insurgents and bandits. Of course, the Federal Government’s
    unprecedented and massive investment in infrastructure is also aimed
    at boosting socio-economic well-being of the nation and further
    reducing poverty, which is a major cause of insecurity.
  7. Despite all this, President Buhari has not relented, constantly
    presiding over meetings of security chiefs to get an update and also
    issue necessary directives, and not missing any opportunity to offer
    succour to his countrymen and women, when necessary. The skewed
    narrative in certain quarters that the President has not shown enough
    empathy is glib talk. The President has also continued to work with
    our neighboring countries and indeed our Western partners to tackle
    insecurity, especially terrorism. With the entire Sahelian region
    experiencing a devastating surge in terrorist attacks, more so in the
    wake of the Libyan crisis, it has become even more imperative for
    Nigeria to step up regional cooperation to more effectively tackle
    insecurity – and that is what Mr. President has been doing.
  8. Gentlemen, President Buhari has done so much, under very
    difficult economic and social conditions, to tackle insecurity in our
    country. Not only has he done so much. President Buhari continues to
    do much more to keep Nigerians safe. To say he has nothing more to
    offer is untrue, fallacious and smacks of dirty politicking. By
    boosting the number and capacity of our fighting forces, Mr. President
    is putting them in good stead to tackle insecurity not just during the
    life of his Administration but long after he would have left office.
    President Buhari is leaving a legacy of security, infrastructural
    development, economic prosperity and social cohesion for Nigeria. This
    may not seem obvious today, amidst daunting challenges, but posterity
    will be kind to this President.
  9. Please permit me to use this opportunity to commend the
    military, police, civil defence and other security, intelligence and
    para-military agencies for their continued service to the nation. It
    is important to remember that our men and women in uniform sacrifice
    their sleep and comfort so we can in turn sleep well. Even as we
    continue to battle insecurity, it will be uncharitable on our part to
    suggest they are not doing enough, or not to appreciate their
    sacrifices. The recent massive surrendering of Boko Haram terrorists
    and the huge pressure on bandits represent a testament to the
    effectiveness of the efforts of our security agencies. We should
    encourage them to do more, instead of pillorying them.
  10. Finally, while there is nothing wrong in the citizens expressing
    their concerns over the insecurity in the country, we wish to say that
    the use of incendiary and insulting words, especially by leaders of
    all hues, can only overheat the polity and heighten tension. While the
    government provides leadership, all Nigerians have a role to play in
    securing our nation. Security is not the sole responsibility of the
    security forces alone. We must not only support our security agencies,
    we must also say something anytime we see something that hampers our
    safety and security, as encapsulated in the mantra: ”If you see
    something, say something.”
  11. I thank you all for your kind attention. I will now take your questions.

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