Buhari vows to pacify Niger Delta

·Directs military to curb herdsmen menace

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Friday vowed that his administration would assuage grievances in the Niger Delta by tackling the development issues there.

He has also given orders to the military to deal with the menace posed by marauding herdsmen across the country.

The president spoke as special guest of honour at the graduation ceremony of Course 24 participants of the National Defence College, Abuja.

He expressed delight that the blueprints of training at the college had kept pace with current security environment.

“In this vein, you will be pleased to note that in the last one year, through the hard work, dedication and sacrifices made by members of our armed forces and security services, we have been able to degrade significantly, the capacity of Boko Haram insurgents to wreak havoc on our society.

“Also, on the matter of herdsmen/farmers clashes, I wish to state that this administration will not tolerate or condone acts of banditry and criminality, under any guise.

“As such, our security agencies have been mandated to deal with such acts decisively.

“Let me state that this administration has been working assiduously in conjunction with our local and international partners to rebuild damaged communities in the North East part of our country.

“Similarly, we are committed to tackling the issues of underdevelopment and neglect in the Niger Delta area.

“This is a priority we have set before us and we intend to make appreciable gains in correcting the ills of the past in the Niger Delta by assuaging inherent grievances.”

While congratulating the course participants, the president reminded them that their graduation was the beginning of a very challenging journey, saying that they lived in an era where the pace of transition in research and socio-political environment was “so fast that even as I speak, new ideas and concepts are being introduced, established ideas are being redefined and research is opening new fields of learning.”

He added: “Your challenge would be to harness the latest defence and security research as well as extant government policies for the benefit of your services, organisations and indeed your nations.

“For the Nigerian participants, I expect that you would all have made the most of your time on this course and be ready to join the ongoing process to change Nigeria for the better.”

Buhari observed that international confidence in Nigeria and its future was beginning to return “because of how we are slowly finding ways to solve our problems.”

He said: “The nation is beginning to have faith in the ability of our society’s institutional capacity to tackle our problems. But we must work doubly hard to restore our nation to higher glory.

“The Nigerian Armed Forces have proven to be equal to the task of maintaining our internal and external security.”

The president recalled his election promises to Nigerians on what he observed at the core area affecting the national life that required immediate intervention.

“First, we should seek to secure the country, improve the economy and fight corruption. As it is, this is our unfinished business from the past and dates back to the creation of our republic, yet to this day, corruption and poverty remain our main national problems.

“As part of efforts to address the problem of corruption, we have set in motion legal processes to recover whatever we can and bring to justice those who betrayed their trust.

“Thus far, we have been able to recover billions of naira from indicted companies and individuals.

“In addition, through the implementation and enforcement of the Treasury Single Account, we have been able to save more for our nation.”