President Muhammadu Buhari says insurgents, hitherto terrorising the Northeast have penetrated the country further from their initial spots of operations.

EyewitnessMedia gathered that Buhari disclosed this in his Democracy Day message to Nigerians this morning, assuring citizens that the challenge would be surmounted.

The president explained that the pressure mounted on the insurgents by the nation’s security forces led to their fleeing from the Northeast to other parts of the country.

He expressed disappointment that some unscrupulous Nigerians, who believe that the administration would be restrained from catching up with them as a result of some certain gags of democratic practice, have been exploiting the situation to profiteer.

He noted though that the administration had already commenced processes of addressing the obstacles, adding that the culprits would be made to answer for their crimes.

“When you elected me as your President in 2015, you did so knowing that I will put an end to the growing insecurity, especially the insurgency in the North East, but the unintended consequences of our scattering them in the North East pushed them further in-country, which is what we are now facing and dealing with,” he said.

He, however, pledged that government would “by the Grace of God put an end to these challenges too.

He said: “Unfortunately, like in most conflict situations, some Nigerian criminals are taking undue advantage of a difficult situation and profiteering there from with the misguided belief that adherence to the democratic norms handicaps this administration from frontally and decisively tackling them.

“We are already addressing these obstacles and we will soon bring some of these culprits to justice.”

Government, according to him, is not unaware of the misgivings causing national discontent in different parts of the country, including allegations of marginalisation and constitution amendment, saying efforts were on to address such misgivings.

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He said: “In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us, Government also recognises the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population.

“While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly.

“This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes, has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with.

“Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.

“As a nation we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be.

“Overcoming the present challenges is but one of a necessary process that we have to undergo as a nation so that we can come out stronger.

“The day I joined the Nigerian Army I was prepared to lay down my life for Nigeria.

“As your President, I remain ever committed to upholding and defending Nigeria’s corporate existence.

“In adhering to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy notably section 14(2)(b) I shall do all within my power to ensure that the security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government.

“I have, throughout my tenure, provided the security agencies with all they require relative to available resources and will be providing more as the dynamics unfold to put an end to our security problems.

“My strong belief in the Nigerian spirit gives me comfort that we are facing these challenges with renewed commitment to keep our country one.”

President Buhari lamented that the last two years have been challenging in view of the challenges it could have brought down the country.

He said the indomitable can-do spirit of Nigerians would however help to sustain the country.

The President stated: “In the last two years, we have witnessed and overcome a good number of testy challenges that would have destroyed other nations, especially relating to our collective security.

“The indefatigable Can Do Spirit of the Nigerian has sustained us and would keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us.

President Buhari said he shares the pains of families and direct victims of ransom-seeking, kidnapped victims who went through unimaginable trauma in the course of their forced imprisonment.

He assured Nigerians that every incident, however minor, gives him great worry and concern and he usually immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

Buhari stated: “Unfortunately some of these challenges came in the shape of violent outrages leading to the loss of lives of many of our dear compatriots and the destruction of some of our infrastructure, including those devoted to improving our democratic processes.”

“Once again, I want to render my sincere and heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of our gallant service men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty and as a sacrifice to keep Nigeria safe.

“I extend the same condolence to the families and friends of our country men, women and children who were unfortunate victims of such senseless arsons, kidnappings and murders.”

The President said about 10.5 million Nigerians have been lifted out of poverty in the last two years but affirmed that despite the efforts of his administration so far, a lot remains to be done.

He stated: “I will be the first to admit that in spite of our efforts and achievements which are there for all to see, there is still much more to be done and we are doing our best in the face of scarce resources and galloping population growth rate that consistently outstrips our capacity to provide jobs for our populace.

“Our over-all economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID-19.

“In the last two years, we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like.

“I am very convinced that this100 million target can be met, and this informed the development of a National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy. The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly.”

The President, who reviewed the successes of his administration so far, noted that as with all democracies, the nation will always go through improvement processes in its desire to reach the goal of a mature democracy, “a strong, evolved and integrated nation state to be reckoned with globally.”

He reiterated the motive behind the change of Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12, saying that it was not only to honour the sacrifices of the men and women of the country who fought for the return to democracy but also to demonstrate the administration’s commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life.

“As your President, I remain committed to providing an enabling environment for a free, fair and credible electoral system under my tenure.

“However, you need to play your part by getting involved at any level you can supporting a democratic system that works for all and not for a section or a select few and demand accountability from your elected leaders.

“My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute, my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger.”

 

 

 

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