By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has once again reiterated his mandate to the security agencies to deal decisively with all acts of banditry and criminality perpetrated in the name of herdsmen/farmers clashes.According to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu on Friday, the President gave the charge during his address at the graduation ceremony of course 24 at the National Defence College in Abuja.
â€œOn the matter of herdsmen/farmers’ clashes, I wish to state that this Administration will not tolerate or condone acts of banditry and criminality, under any guise. As such, our security agencies have been mandated to deal with such acts decisively.
President Buhari also assured that his administration has been working assiduously in conjunction with local and international partners to rebuild damaged communities in the Northeast as well as tackle the underdevelopment and neglect in the Niger Delta area by correcting the ills of the past and assuaging inherent grievances.
President Buhari told the graduating participants to see their graduation as significant milestone in their professional and academic pursuits and challenged them to be at pace with the dynamism in Defence and security.
â€œYour graduation is the beginning of a very challenging journey. You live in an era where the pace of transition in research and our socio-political environment is so fast, that even as I speak, new ideas and concepts are being introduced, established ideas are being re-defined and research is opening new fields of learning.
â€œYour challenge would be to harness the latest defence and security research as well as extant government policies for the benefit of your Services, Organizations, and indeed your nations. For the Nigerian participants, I expect that you would all have made the most of your time on this course, and be ready to join the ongoing process to change Nigeria for the better.â€
President Buhari described the National Defence College as a symbol of “the height of military professionalism and excellence in our nation. It is a place where potential strategic leaders are trained in the procedure and processes of strategic leadership. It serves as a good platform to produce leaders that will drive the change direction, which must be followed if we will keep-up with the 21st century.”
The President also expressed his happiness that Nigerians and the international community are beginning to have faith in the Administrationâ€™s capacity to turn the fortune of Nigeria around.
“International confidence in our country and its future is beginning to return, because of how we are slowly finding ways to solve our problems. The nation is beginning to have faith in the ability of our society’s institutional capacity to tackle our problems. But we must work doubly hard to restore our nation to higher glory. The Nigerian Armed Forces have proven to be equal to the task of maintaining our internal and external security.
He also spoke on on-going efforts to combat corruption, recovered monies and combatting youth unemployment.
â€œAs part of efforts to address the problem of corruption, we have set in motion legal processes to recover whatever we can and bring to justice those who betrayed their trust. Thus far, we have been able to recover billions of naira from indicted companies and individuals. In addition, through the implementation and enforcement of the Treasury Single Account, we have been able to save more for our nation.
â€œFurthermore, in our fight to end poverty in Nigeria, we have set up social interventions and reliefs for the poor in conjunction with the World Bank. In the 2016 budget, we intend to stimulate the economy, making it more competitive by focusing on infrastructural development and address the immediate problems of youth unemployment and the terrible living conditions of the very poor and vulnerable Nigerians,” the President added.