IN commemoration of Nigeria’s 59th Independence jubilee, President Muhammadu Buhari said his government would “take firm and decisive action” against those who threaten to undermine the country’s national security.
The president made this warning in a speech delivered on Tuesday, marking the country’s fifty-ninth year independence anniversary.
“Our attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-crimes and the abuse of technology through hate speech and other divisive material being propagated on social media.
“Whilst we uphold the Constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression and association, where the purported exercise of these rights infringes on the rights of other citizens or threatens to undermine our National Security, we will take firm and decisive action,” the president said.
The president said though the ongoing national discourse on various political and religious issues is healthy and welcome, he charged Nigerians not to forget the lessons learned from the past while urging them to exercise restraint, tolerance and mutual respect in airing their grievances and frustrations.
“The path of hatred and distrust only leads to hostility and destruction. I believe that the vast majority of Nigerians would rather tread the path of peace and prosperity, as we continue to uphold and cherish our unity,” Buhari said.
The president also reiterated the plan of his administration to curb the scourge of insecurity ravaging various parts of the country, noting that good governance and economic development cannot be sustained without enabling an environment of peace and security.
He said his administration in the last four years had combated the terrorist scourge of Boko Haram and crisis in other regions across the country’s borders through the efforts of security personnel.
“The capacity of our armed forces to defend our territorial integrity continues to be enhanced by the acquisition of military hardware as well as continued improvements in the working conditions of our servicemen and women,” he said.
To enhance internal security, the president said the Ministry of Police Affairs will be overseeing the development and implementation of security strategies.
Buhari said his assent to the Nigerian Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act had created a legal framework to support the Police with increased financial resources to enhance their law enforcement capabilities.
This, he said, is being implemented by the ongoing recruitment 10,000 constables into the Nigeria Police Force, which had shown the government’s commitment to arrest the incidence of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes across our nation.
In securing the oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta, Buhari said his government remains resolute in its effort to combat militant attacks that had desolated that region. He also explained his plan to speed up the Ogoni Clean-up to address long-standing environmental challenges in that region.
“The recent redeployment of the Niger Delta Development Commission from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs underscores our commitment to enhancing the living standards of our communities in the Niger Delta, through coordinated and appropriate programmes,” he said.
The country had been faced with a myriad of insecurity issues, ranging from kidnapping, communal clash, banditry to mention but a few, which had left scores of individual displaced, living without hope of survival.