President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said bandits must be treated as criminals without adding any ethnic colouration to it.
This is as he made a revelation that he has directed the new security chiefs and other heads of security agencies in Nigeria to go all out in dealing with criminals terrorizing the country regardless of the name by which they are called.
Buhari made the declaration in Kaduna State when he declared open the joint security meeting of Northern State Governors’ Forum, Northern Traditional Rulers Council, and a federal government delegation.
Represented by his chief of staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the President promised that criminals will be treated as criminals without any exception.
In his words, “I must appreciate the efforts of the 19 Northern States Governors’ Forum for their contribution towards national growth and development, especially in this challenging period in our nation’s being where certain fundamental corporate existence need to be frankly deliberated upon and actionable resolutions reached.
“This meeting is coming at a time when the nation is making steady progress in addressing the many challenges impeding developmental and progress. We are providing critical infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports among others which are critical to economic prosperity of our people as well as opening up economic opportunities for our citizens to pursue legitimate aspirations that grow the economy.
“At the same time, we are confronting the various dimensions of security challenges that continue to slow down the emancipation of our people from poverty and economic deprivation. The Government shall continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens across the country.
“Criminals are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly, without resorting to ethnic profiling. I have already tasked the new Service Chiefs to devise new strategies that will end this ugly situation where the lives of our people continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals.
“I expect that at this meeting, your Forum will also discuss and devise ways of building stronger collaboration with the security architecture and the people in defeating criminality across the region and the nation at large.
“It is pertinent to note that the increased realization of our security, democracy and development indices are inextricably linked are inextricably linked. Democracy and rule of law promote stability and in turn reinforce the power to assert freedom and economic progress of our people.
“Government also notes with satisfaction the deliberate actions of the 19 Northern States Governors’ Forum of inclusivity in addressing the challenges of governance and national development. This is demonstrated in today’s event, wherein the Forum intends to receive and deliberate on the reports from Committees that were put in place to critically look at certain challenges of the region.
“I urge that these crucial and robust reports should be assiduously studied and implemented without delay. This is because we are not short of policies, but often faced with challenges of implementation. You will be leaving a landmark in ensuring that the record reports are not left to rot on the shelves but used for the good of all,” Buhari advised
As earlier reported by Naija News, the two-day meeting will focus on how to tackle the security challenges bedeviling the northern region of the country has opened in Kaduna State on Thursday.
Participants at the meeting are also expected to discuss the challenges of youth unemployment.
Apart from the 19 Northern state governors, the meeting also has in attendance traditional rulers from the region, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and Information Minister, Lai Mohammed.
Other top government officials and stakeholders at the meeting also include the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Monguno, Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and Director General, State Security Service, Yusuf Bichi.
The Governors of Plateau, Adamawa, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Jigawa, and Katsina are present at the meeting holding at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House in Kaduna while those of Niger, Zamfara, Yobe, Benue, Kogi, and Kebbi were represented by the Deputy Governors.