President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a powerful delegation to two states, Adamawa and Borno States to condole with their governments and people over the increased bombing activities by Boko Haram terrorists.
The delegation made a strong appeal to local populations to share in the responsibility for security in their surroundings, the presidency said in a statement.
“The President, who spoke through the leader of the delegation, Engineer Babachir David Lawal, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,SGF directed all communities in the country to revert to old practices by which new arrivals in their neighbourhoods were taken note of by local chiefs and security agencies,” Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity said in a statement Sunday.
Mr. Shehu added, “Going down the memory lane, the President recalled that these were practices that worked well in past in securing neighbourhoods and local communities.” The ward head, the village head and the local police knew every new entrant into the community. They kept tabs on them and detected traits of criminality before evil-doers get the chance to act against common interest.
“We must go back to those rudimentary acts of local policing,” the President reiterated, adding that the job of securing our life and property is too important to be left to security officials alone.
“We must help them to do their job.The responsibility of detecting criminals lies with all of us. In this new phase of the war, all of us are generals, all of us are foot soldiers, all of us are intelligence officers.”
“In commiserating with families who lost dear ones and the inpatients in the hospitals visited by the delegation on his behalf, President Buhari assured of the full support of the government and the determination of his administration to end the menace of the Boko Haram terrorists by the year’s end.
“In his message at hospitals, emirs’ palaces and Government Houses in the two states as read by the SGF, the President said that “the security situation in the North East remains a great source of concern for me. Although there are clear indications that the military is recording great successes in the theatre of operations, the enemy has been able to carry out his murderous campaign by attacking soft targets using Improvised Explosive Devices.
“His intention is to create widespread fear amongst the civilian population since he cannot subdue our armed forces. The sporadic tactics used by these criminals is a sign that they are under intense pressure in the forests and in the countryside where they previously enjoyed a lot of freedom of action.
“The sheer tenacity displayed by our troops in the last three months has resulted in degrading the capacity of the enemy significantly. I am confident that the ability of the enemy to attack and seize towns and villages has been virtually neutralized.
“Having said that, our people cannot continue to be the victims of a senseless war, living in perpetual fear and denied the right to pursue their legitimate undertakings in peace. As a leader, I want to assure our citizens in every part of Nigeria that the government is doing everything humanly possible to bring to a swift end, the suffering and losses occasioned by this insurgency. I deeply sympathize with the families who have lost loved ones.
“As I said a few times in the past, desperate actions such as the detonation of IEDs will take a longer time to eradicate even as our optimism continues to grow that Boko Haram as a fighting force will be crushed by the year’s end. After that, we hope all displaced communities will be returned to their towns and villages. But even when this is about to happen, there will still remain vital tests and challenges. We must work hard to eradicate all forms of extremism.
“Citizens must join hands with security forces in the effort to detect unrepentant terrorists embedded in our neighbourhoods. We must all be watchful over any suspicious activity and report same to law enforcement agents for their prompt action.”
The presidential spokesperson listed members of the government delegation that accompanied the SGF to include the Secretary of the APC, Mala Mai Buni; a member of the House of Representatives, Mohammed Tahir Munguno; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu; a Permanent Secretary in the office of the SGF, Bukar Maina; a leading figure in the APC, Modi Aliyu Mahmood.
Governors of Adamawa and Borno, Jibrilla Bindow and Kashim Shettima who received the delegation, according to Mr. Shehu, thanked President Buhari for sending the delegation as well as for his dogged efforts to end Boko Haram terrorism and securing the country.
Mr. Shehu quoted Governor Shettima as commending the President.
He said “before he assumed the leadership of the country, the state was in a very, very sorry state. The Boko Haram terrorists had 20 councils under them. Now, all but three have been liberated. Of the over three million citizens in IDP camps, 85% of them are in Borno State.
“We were left to cater for the IDPs. Now we have NEMA taking care of the camps. We thank the President for the delegation. We are not used to this. We were left to our own fate for four years under the previous administration.
“We are absolutely settled that the President is behind us. We are absolutely settled in the belief he will help us rebuild our communities. By May 29th next year, every son and daughter of Borno will be back in their villages. We will continue to ensure community involvement in securing the environment,” the Governor concluded by way of assurance.”