President Muhammadu Buhari has attributed some of the security challenges faced by Nigerians to the failure of the police and ‘likely’ deterioration in the military after he left service.
The president who officially begins his second term in office on May 29, following his reelection on February 23, stated this in an interview with Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). The interview was aired on Monday.
Mr Buhari also commented on the economy, food security, security, appointment of ministers, his relationship with the leadership of the Senate and other topics pertaining to his last four years in office.
While responding to a question on rampant cases of kidnapping, across the country, the president stressed that those culpable have not been brought to book due to the ineptitude of the police.
“Those perpetrating this evil come from somewhere in Nigeria. Their neighbourhoods know them. The community leaders and also the police are in the front line. They (the police) were not giving the position and uniforms to impress anybody but to secure the people. In this, I feel the community leadership and police to some extent have failed this country.”
Mr Buhari also spoke of a decline in the quality of the Nigerian military, saying he had passed through virtually all the top ranks having served in the Lagos, Ibadan and Jos divisions of the army.
“The security in relation to when I was in command has really gone down. I can not claim to know what happened after I left the military. But definitely, I did not know person to person all the service chiefs. I am still expecting more but I’m thinking of what happened between 1999 to 2014,” Mr. Buhari said.
“I suspect that a lot of things went wrong including accountability and efficiency of the military and law enforcement agencies,” he said.
He stated that the police and the judiciary will be focused on for improvement in delivering justice during his second term.
“I will try to make the police and the judiciary to be more efficient.
“There is no town where we don’t get a police station. They are supposed to be the front line of law and order.
“In some communities, if anyone steals, they know from which family who stole or which kind of criminal. This is what I want the police to achieve- absolute community security. To know the criminals around them and get them prosecuted.”
Noting the effect of insecurity on the economy, the president explained that the rate of kidnapping is capable of discouraging foreign investors.
“We are making noise that people should come and invest their money. But who will bring his money when his General Manager will be abducted?
“The government cannot build all the factories required and employ all the people and produce all the goods and services. What the government should do is to provide security and convince entrepreneurs both from abroad and local places to invest and encourage people to produce goods and services,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to expose kidnappers and thieves as their contribution to fighting insecurity in the country.
The president’s statement comes amidst worsening insecurity across Nigeria.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how about 36 people were killed by bandits, terrorists and kidnappers while at least 27 people were kidnapped in different states including Edo, Kaduna and Osun.