President Mohammadu Buhari insisted yesterday that those behind Nigeria’s current insecurity challenges, including insurgents, bandits and kidnappers, would be crushed soon.
Speaking at a Citizens Summit for National Integration, Peace and Security organized by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, in Abuja, the president said security forces had stepped up campaign against bandits.
Represented by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, President Buhari urged Nigerians to support the security forces and the efforts of government to restore peace in the country.
“In the past couple of days, you might have heard the number of terrorists neutralised by the military and the number of hostages released.
”These efforts must not be reduced and we must take the fight to the terrorists and demonstrate that there is no hiding place for them within the borders of our country. Each one of them will be hunted and pursued and spoken to in the language they understand,” he stated.
While calling for support for the security forces, the president pointed out that “we must all realize that security is the business of everyone, hence the tag line when you see something, say something. ”Terrorists are not spirits, they are human beings and they reside in our communities; they must all be exposed and crushed for peace to reign”.
He also condemned the rising level of fake news and misinformation, saying they were fueling insecurity in the country by causing apprehension among citizens and demoralising security forces.
Earlier in her remarks, the Chairman of the summit and Access Bank Chairman, Dere Awosika, said an all inclusive national dialogue was needed to address the challenges facing the country.
Awosika observed that all regions in the country want to be heard and were demanding a country that is fair, equitable and just.
According to her, Nigeria also needs to grow the economy, expanding it to accommodate its large population, adding that economic integration was crucial to ending the security challenges facing the country.
In his welcome address, the President of NIPR, Malam Mukhtar Sirajo, said lack of communication and trust gap were complicating the country’s challenges.
“Our nation, no doubt, has witnessed some serious challenges in the past few decades in the process of our social evolution and democratic consolidation. In the midst of these contradictions have been the seeming rapid loss of hope by many, especially the youth, in the promise of our nationhood; challenging economic realities, social distrust, exclusion, weakening of social cohesion, and presently the challenge of insecurity in different parts of the country.
“We therefore, cannot continue to fold our arms and watch as these ugly trends keep unfolding. Something has to be done urgently.
“As a professional and patriotic body, part of whose mandate and area of expertise is relationship building and mending, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations understands the enormous task incumbent on it in playing strategic roles in achieving national development through objective scanning of the environment, identifying challenges, and constructively engaging all relevant stakeholders to try to reverse this ugly trend,” he added.