President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday,
“If anybody has a country to go to, let him go, we will stay here and salvage our country.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying this yesterday while meeting with stakeholders from the Niger Delta region.
Shehu said the high-level meeting with leaders and other stakeholders was to seek ways to end the militancy and the sabotage of oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta region.
He noted that Buhari had a vision of unity and progress for the country in which peace reigns and said peace, security, investment and prosperity are linked together.
“If we give peace a chance, investors will come here to invest. Nobody will invest in an insecure environment,” the president was said to have also noted.
Shehu said Buhari, “in a speech dripping with nationalist fervour”, stressed that the problems his administration found on the ground were many as illustrated in collapse of oil prices, inability of 27 of the 36 states of the Federation to pay salaries, absence of savings to fall back and having to deal with an elite who didn’t seem to care.
The president was said to have stated that all these made his government to conclude that “life as usual is no longer affordable.”
Buhari said he was still expecting reports from officials he had instructed to review the implementation of the amnesty programme to determine where government fell short so that amends can be made.
Buhari said the service chiefs were putting together their own assessment of the militancy situation, saying “when I have these reports, including this one (just presented), we’ll revisit the situation to ensure that we succeed this time.”
The president, according to Shehu, however cautioned the leaders of the Delta that they had more to do than anyone else to bring peace to the region, given the influence they have on militant groups.
Buhari expressed the determination of his administration to stay focused on its key campaign promises of securing the country, fighting corruption and creating jobs through the improvement of the economy.
The president was said to have also delivered his report card on the war against corruption and the efforts to secure the country, repeating his call to the Niger Delta leaders to join the administration in bringing peace to the troubled region.
“Please Your Excellencies, Your Majesties, distinguished ladies and gentlemen; we all have our individual constituencies. Let us try to pacify our constituencies. Let us first recover our country, secure the country and let us invite people who will invest. Let us create jobs for our people and let us be accountable to our people where we are sitting on treasuries, whether it is local government, state or the center.”
“Nobody wants to fail. So, the only way out is, if people understand and believe that we are doing our best at all levels, then we will have some peace. But if they have reason to doubt our performance and sincerity, then we will have problem,” he said.
The Niger Delta leaders were said to have reaffirmed their support for Buhari’s government and expressed total commitment to the unity, peace and stability of Nigeria.
Source: Daily Trust.