Insecurity: Buhari admits less than 500, 000 police officers can’t secure Nigeria, says only Nigerians can protect the nation
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday says less than 500, 000 police officers cannot perform any ‘miracle’ and guarantee the safety of Nigerians.
He disclosed this while reacting to Sunday protest organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over the persistent killings across the nation.
The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) put the figure of Nigerian police at over 350,000 personnel, though Ibrahim Idris, former Inspector General of the Police estimated the figure at 320, 000.
The President, while citing the killing of the late Pastor Lawan Andimi, said the issue of insecurity involves collective responsibility.
“Without citizen involvement, there is no miracle with which less than half-a-million policemen can effectively protect a population of 200 million,” Buhari said in a statement issued by Garba Shehu, his aide on Media and Publicity.
“Nigerians, only Nigerians can defend their nation against these abhorrent killings and all sorts of crimes worrying us as a nation.”
“From the prayers and advocacy by CAN, citizens need to take an important lesson, which is, that our people must rally around the flag.”
The president applauded the Christian group for exercising their constitutional right on peaceful protest and right to religion while aligning himself with the position of the group that ‘All Life is sacred’.
According to him, the duty of every Nigerian is to uphold the rights of others to worship based on their faith – and to respect the rights of each other to do so freely in the spirit of brotherhood and respect – and without interference.
“The CAN-inspired prayers and street enlightenment in our cities are much welcome as sensitizers to the need for all citizens irrespective of faith, religion or language to accept their duty and role in law enforcement, to prevent crime in all its manifestations, be it corruption, theft, terrorism, banditry or kidnapping,” Buhari added.
However, the president urged Nigerians to rise to defeat the enemy and defend the nation.
He chastised selected groups who protested against the government instead of the enemy. “This is not right,” he said adding that, “It has the effect of playing into the hands of the enemy of the state.”
“We will not defeat the terrorists, nor speed the return for those citizens, young and old taken by them by division in our own ranks. To pull apart is to play into the hands of the terrorists: this is what they want.”