REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
AT A MEETING WITH THE NORTHERN TRADITIONAL LEADERS,
FRIDAY 23RD AUGUST 2019
I warmly welcome Your Highnesses to State House. I thank you for sparing time to be at this important gathering to discuss issues of national importance, especially the security of our nation.
2. I have decided to meet with Your Highnesses to assure you that government is determined to tackle and deal decisively with all security challenges facing us as a nation.
3. This consultation therefore is to engage you, our Royal fathers so that, collectively, we can arrive at solutions to any and all security problems in the country.
4. We must all do our part to finally address these security challenges, particularly traditional rulers, in your respective communities, where you feel the pulse of the people, being the closest to the populace at the grassroots level.
5. Let me on this note commend your Royal Highnesses for your concern and contributions through numerous messages to me. We welcome every such expression of concern in our overall efforts to address any challenges.
6. We are determined to step up action against crimes of kidnapping, banditry and other forms of unlawful and criminal attacks resulting in needless deaths plunging our people to untold hardship.
7. This administration will continue to do everything necessary that will improve the living standard of our people. It is one of the top priorities for this government but we won’t be able to achieve this goal without the support and input of yourselves, our royal fathers.
8. You are the traditional authorities in your communities. Government and the security agencies will be relying on you to monitor the several different communities and people coming in and out of your areas.
9. As Traditional Rulers, I enjoin you to use your institutions to promote peace and tolerance as well as encourage youth in your respective communities to identify with government policies and programmes that will improve their living standards and development of their communities.
10. These policies and programmes include a robust revamping of police intelligence gathering capacity and the significant boosting of the numbers of security personnel in our local communities. This in specific terms will include recruiting more police officers and doing so whenever possible from their local government areas, where they would then be stationed in the best traditions of policing world-wide.
11. Working with the State governments also, we intend to improve the equipping of the police force with advanced technology and equipment that can facilitate their work. To drive this, I recently created a full fledged Ministry of Police Affairs.
12. As I said during my meeting with the Traditional Rulers from the South-West, directives have been issued to the appropriate federal authorities to speedily approve licensing for States requesting the use of drones to monitor forests and other criminal hideouts.
13. We also intend to install CCTVs on highways and other strategic locations so that activities in some of those hidden places can be exposed, more effectively monitored and open to actionable intervention.
14. We also continue to bring in our military when needed to complement the work of the police including possible deployment of troops on certain highways on a temporary basis, and the use of the Air Force assets to bomb hideouts where criminals are located.
15. Your Royal Highnesses, this Administration is determined to enforce the law, prosecute law breakers and secure an atmosphere of peace for all Nigerians wherever they live and also protect our communities from all forms of crimes. This is both in our interests as an administration and the interests of all Nigerians.
Once again, I thank you for coming and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.