President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday clarified his tweet where he had said that the Federal Government would deal with some criminal elements in the South-East in the language they understand.
The President in an interview on Arise TV, said he meant that security operatives would go after the criminals responsible for the unrest in the region.
Buhari said, “When I said that we would talk to them in the language they understand, I meant that we will use the Police to arrest the perpetrators of the violence in the South-East,” said.
Speaking on the issue of fighting corruption, he said “Corruption is very difficult to tackle under this system but I assure you that despite the difficulty, whoever we get correct intelligence on that they are not being accountable, we will ease them out without giving it publicity. We do not tolerate corruption.
Speaking on Shekau’s death and the security situation in the North-East, Buhari commended the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum’s efforts in curbing insecurity in the state.
“The problem of the North-East is very difficult. I asked Governor Zulum if the insurgents are Nigerians or foreigners, he said most of them are Nigerians. I still believe that unemployment is the major cause of insecurity. A lot of youths are hungry, homeless and poor.
“Those who are following the progress of this administration know that there is a huge difference between now and the past administration, in terms of securing the North-East against insurgents. Even the South-South is now secured, compared to the past administrations.
“We have held series of meetings with security chiefs on how to curb the widespread insecurity across the country. We just do not give it publicity so as not to give the criminals an idea that we are coming onto them. I was almost overwhelmed by what is happening in the North-East,” he said.
Speaking on the formalisation of state police, President Buhari said it was up to state Governors to step up to the task and engage people at the grassroots level in order to fight insecurity.
“The governors need to sit up and do their jobs. They should meet with leaders at the grassroots level and engage them. These leaders know most of these criminals because they all cohabit together. They should meet with them quarterly or annually to discuss security situations with them. This way, they will be able to gather intelligence on what is happening in their states. They cannot just go round during elections, only to win, relax and expect others to do their jobs for them.
Speaking on the ban on open grazing in the South and calls for restructuring by Southern Governors, President Buhari said, “I have given orders that grazing routes should be investigated and any cattle rearer found wanting should be prosecuted. Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom said that I am pampering the cattle rearers because I am one of them. While I won’t deny that I am one of them, I think it is unfair that he accused me of that. A Fulani man from Mauritania or the Central African Republic looks like the ones in Nigeria so I doubt that it is Nigerian Fulanis that are perpetrating those acts. What we have is the problem of accountability.
Addressing the problem of kidnappings for ransom, President Buhari said he had ordered all security operatives to be ruthless and deal with the abductors in the “language that they understand.”
“Keeping people away from their families only to extort them is a very wicked thing to do and I have issued an order to the Police, army to deal with the bandits ruthlessly. Sooner or later, Nigerians will see improvement.”