President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Monguno, Borno State, vowed to fish out and punish politicians who, he said, are deliberately instigating violence in some states to seek relevance.
Buhari, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Malam Garba Shehu, was speaking as the Special Guest of Honour at the closing events of the 2018 Army Day celebrations.
The president repeated what he told Christian leaders on Thursday that a solution was being found to the deadly clashes between farmers and herdsmen and whosoever was found culpable would be brought to justice.
Thanking the armed forces for keeping the country safe, he acknowledged that there were still challenges.
“There are pockets of violence in several states, some deliberately instigated by disgruntled politicians who have lost all arguments and are desperate to cause mayhem as a way of seeking relevance. We shall fish them out and punish according to the provisions of the law,” he said.
The president added: “We have worked tirelessly to ensure and preserve the dignity and sanctity of life. When I was sworn in, I promised that this administration would tackle the challenges of insecurity, poor economy and fight corruption.
“I want to use this opportunity to reassure the world, Nigerians and the families of the remaining kidnapped Chibok girls and Leah Sharebu of the Dapchi School girls that this administration will not relent in our efforts to see that they are all released. I also want to reassure all Nigerians that the issue of farmers and herdsmen clashes is being tackled and all those found culpable would be brought to justice. Let me quickly remind us at this point to always be tolerant, loving and ready to give peace a chance.”
Buhari reiterated that no religion or culture permitted killing.
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State was quoted as saying, “Thank God, we have come to the end of insurgency. Suicide attack is a sign of weakness, not strength.”
The Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan Ali (Rtd) commended the army for establishing a motorcycle battalion to enhance mobility and provide security in areas unfavourable to vehicular movements, and the Air Force for setting up rapid response groups in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, said the military operations in the Northeast were moving from engagements of a combat nature to humanitarian and civilian support services to assist victims of insurgency to return to their communities.
The Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, said the choice of Monguno for the 2018 events was intended to celebrate the achievements of the army in its combat efficiency, civil-military relations and its efforts in research, development and technological attainments.