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Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday morning vowed to ensure that killers masquerading themselves as herders and other criminals who mindlessly kill Nigerians and destroy their property face the full wrath of the law.
The president, who made this vow in a nationwide broadcast to the nation in commemoration of Democracy Day Tuesday and the third anniversary of his government, said both the killers and their sponsors would not be spared in federal governmentâ€™s determination to punish the criminals.
He also said his administration was pained by the grievous destruction of lives by insurgents and other criminal groups in different parts of the country, insisting that his administration would not rest until they are brought to justice.
Buhari disclosed that his government was strengthening the capacity of the security forces to deal with the high level of insecurity in the country through training and the purchase of equipment, and commended the Multi-national Joint Task Force as well as the international community for assisting Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
The president said public safety remained the focus of his administration, recalling how the government reclaimed territories occupied by Boko Haram before the advent of his government, and how some of the Chibok and Dapchi girls as well as 16,000 other captives of Boko Haram had been freed.
â€œThe unfortunate incidences of kidnappings, herdsmen and farmersâ€™ clashes in several communities which have led to a high number of fatalities and loss of property across the country is being addressed and the identified culprits and their sponsors shall be made to face the full wrath of the law.
â€œAll the three tiers of government are presently engaged with communities and religious organisations to restore peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
â€œI want to commend members of the Multi-national Joint Task Force drawn from Niger, Benin, Chad, Cameroon and our own country in collaboration with the international community, who are assisting in the fight against the insurgency in the North-east. I also commend the gallantry of members of our Armed Forces and other security agencies that have continued to provide security for lives and property across the country. State and local traditional authorities are helping with the much needed intelligence in this fight against insurgency.
â€œThis administration is pained over the grievous loss of lives and property occasioned by the carnage of the insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.
â€œI wish to assure Nigerians that we will not rest until all criminal elements and their sponsors are brought to justice. Government is boosting the capacity of our security agencies through recruitment of more personnel, training and procurement of modern equipment, enhancement of intelligence gathering as well as boosting their morale in the face of daunting challenges,â€ he said.
Buhari said the mechanism for the distribution of foods and other basic aid to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and efforts to resettle them in their various communities with the necessary social amenities including schools and hospitals were being put in place.
According to him, the Niger Delta had enjoyed relative peace through what he described as social inclusiveness and cooperation of elders as well as those he termed good people of the region, assuring Nigerians that the government was committed to implementing thorough peace, security and development plans in the region. He added that the Ogoni clean-up launched in June 2016 was on course.