Buhari: Reorganisation of armed forces, police coming in 2021

YEMIE FASH

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Buhari: Reorganisation of armed forces, police coming in 2021

President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to ensure a reorganisation of the nation’s security architecture and personnel in the armed forces and the police in 2021.

The President who made the vow in his New Year national broadcast to Nigerians on Friday, said he would do this so as to enhance the capacity of the security set up so that the nation could effectively stem the advances of criminal elements, including Boko Haram and bandits, on Nigerian communities.

The President also said his administration would rededicate himself, as Nigeria’s elected President, to the aspirations and yearnings of all Nigerians, especially the youth, whom he described as the future of the country.

In the lengthy address, the President said his administration would, in 2021, devote itself to ensuring that the hopes of Nigerians for a united and progressive nation is achieved as it would give renewed vigour to the Security, Economic and Anti-corruption (SEA) agenda it professed at inception.

On security, while admitting that much more needed to be done to meet the mandate of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians, the President said his administration would, going forward, adopt new and more proactive strategies to deliver the required security to all Nigerians.

“Re-energizing and reorganizing the security apparatus and personnel of the armed forces and the police with a view to enhance their capacity to engage, push back and dismantle the operations of both internal and external extremist and criminal groups waging war against our communities in some parts of the country.

“In line with the current security challenges, we are facing as a Nation, I would like to reiterate the promise I made recently when over 300 of our boys abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara were successfully rescued by our security operatives.

“The professionalism shown by our Security Forces and the collaboration from all stakeholders across both State and Federal Governments that led to the successful rescue of the boys is proof that Nigeria has the internal capacity to decisively deal with terror attacks on our citizens.

“However, we recognize that we rapidly have to move to a more proactive and preemptive posture to ensure that these sorts of traumatic incidents do not become a norm. Our administration is fully aware of the responsibility we have to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, and we will not relent in learning and adapting to changing threats to our national security and civic wellbeing,” he vowed.

He pointed out that the persistence of various forms of violence has meant that in the most affected parts of the country, the fabric of inter-communal harmony woven through years of investment of effort at building trust, mutual respect, and harmony has been threatened.

He went further to note that insecurity, as a challenge, has had direct repercussions on the national economic stability, growth, and development, setting the nation back at critical points through the destruction of public and private investments.

“In parts of the country where chronic poverty, social exclusion, and disillusionment among sections of the youth were already a problem, the cycles of violence that have been unleashed by mindless groups like Boko Haram and others have thwarted the efforts of government to undertake the social policy and associated investments that could make a huge difference in the quality of life of our citizens.

“I am aware that for some of our compatriots, the progress we have registered since the inception of this administration is not nearly as fast or as sufficient as they would wish. I do not begrudge them their views in so far as they signify a wish, in which we all share, for only the very best for our country.

“Nevertheless, I call upon all Nigerians to carefully recall the circumstances of our coming to office, the facts on the ground and the resources at our disposal since 2015 with the accomplishments of this administration,” he said.

On the economy, Buhari said the target remains diversification into various sectors, primarily agriculture, which focus has been to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production, and which had so far had the effect of beating back food related inflationary figures.

Speaking on the recent reopening of the nation’s land borders, the President alerted West African neighbours of the country that Nigeria has once again opened its doors for fair and equitable business with her neighbours.

“Our focus is on revamping the economy through the national economic diversification agenda that supports the primary goal of national food self-sufficiency. This has helped reduce the growing food related inflationary figures and have in considerable measure positively impacted our food security status during the long months of the pandemic lock down.

“We are also currently rebuilding our national infrastructure base and, in the process, introducing transformation through the rehabilitation, modernization, and expansion of the railway system, national roads and bridges both in rural and urban centres, alongside the airports and seaports.

“The reforms we have put in place in the power sector would guarantee increased efficiency in our drive to significantly expand the generation and distribution of electricity for use in homes and factories.

“As an administration we are currently undertaking a series of special interventions designed to boost job creation and support the entrepreneurial drive of our youths.

“With the recent opening of our borders, we expect that the pent-up demand of legitimate cross-border and international trade will boost the fortunes of the many small businesses and agricultural enterprises that depend on Nigeria’s trade and commerce.

“The message to our West African neighbours is that Nigeria is once again fully open for those willing to conduct business in a fair and equitable way”, said.

Referring to the recent nationwide public protests by youths, tagged #EndSARS the President assured all that his administration had heard the call for reforms in the targeted areas, particularly the five-point demand, assuring of its commitment to fulfill their demands.

“In this journey to nationhood, we have experienced the highs and lows. 2020 indeed came with a lot of challenges ranging from security and economic issues across the regions to understandable protests that were mainly led by our youths and served notice to the demand for police reforms and accountability.

“This government heard, this government listened and this government is committed to fulfilling the five demands of our youths, fully understanding that we all wish well for Nigeria.

“In the midst of all these challenges, I had initially pledged that as your elected President and Commander-in-Chief, I would ensure that these ongoing challenges will be faced head-on with renewed determination and with all the appropriateness and urgency required.

“Your voices have been heard and we would continue to listen to you, and all the key stakeholders who are committed to the unity of Nigeria to ensure that every region of this nation is safe for us all, while guaranteeing that the future is also secure for the coming generation.

“I wish to also use this occasion of New Year to reaffirm my commitment to the people of Nigeria, especially the youth who need our collective encouragement and support. In securing this nation we need to secure the future of our youth.

“Our young people are our most valuable natural resource, at home and abroad. Their ingenuity, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit is evident to all. Many of our young people are excelling in various spheres of life including sports, entertainment, information and communication technology, commerce and are globally recognized as achievers.

“As a Government we are committed to actively engaging with the creative energies of our young people. In this regard, we will partner with the legislature to develop an enabling environment to turn their passions into ideas that can be supported, groomed and scaled across regions.

“This will create vast opportunities in fintech, agriculture, business process startups and in the entertainment industry”, he said.

On anti-corruption, President Buhari pointed out that his administration had recorded substantial gains so far, saying that it is still committed to continuing along the path of eradicating corruption, through collaboration with all the arms of government to effectively prosecute the fight in the new year.

He said while the administration would be working with the legislature to enact laws that would strengthen the fight, it would also be looking at reviewing some of the laws which would ensure that the fight is more effective.

“On the part of the executive, we would ensure the diligent and timely prosecution of corruption cases, while appealing to the judiciary to ensure that corruption cases are dispensed with expeditiously,” he he said.

Reminiscing on the existence of the country in its sixty years of post-independence experience, he noted that developments and events had left the world confounded about how the country had managed to stick together even when nobody gave the nation the benefit of doubt for survival.

He, however hailed the strong and resilient purpose and will to survive as an indivisible unit, charging citizens to be ready to continue sustaining the spirit that had kept the nation going.

“We must remember that we also celebrated the historic occasion of our sixty years as an independent and sovereign country on October 1st 2020. In the spirit of hope and gratitude, I would like to remind us again that as a country on the difficult journey to nationhood and greatness, we have confounded the many pundits at home and around the world who never gave the newly-born country that emerged unto the world stage on 1st October 1960 a chance of surviving much longer than a few years.

“Yet, here we are, 61 years by the next anniversary in October, and not only are we here, we are standing tall in the comity of nations as one country united under the will of God and also actively growing that indivisible Nigerian spirit that has enabled us, year after year, decade after decade, to weather all stormy waters and emerge stronger and better where others have fallen and disintegrated. This nation, this Nigeria will survive and thrive.

“As a people, we have shown admirable resilience in the face of every adversity, an unmatched capacity to recover speedily from every setback, an unparalleled generosity of spirit when we resolve our differences, and a constant readiness to invest faith and hope in the destiny we share as a united country built on the diversity of its peoples.

“It is these attributes that underpin the Nigerian spirit of ‘can do, will do’ that gives me hope that we shall yet get to destination and fulfill our calling together, especially with the solid resolutions we are setting in this new year,” he said.