President Muhammadu Buhari says no responsive government can ignore the role of religious and traditional rulers in tackling insecurity in the country.
Speaking at an Iftar dinner with religious and traditional rulers on Thursday in Abuja, the President said his administration would continue to count on the invaluable advice and guidance of members of the revered institutions, toward improving the current security challenges in the country.
President Buhari in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, noted that moving Nigeria forward remains a collective responsibility, urging leaders at all levels to contribute meaningfully in making the country a better place.
“Today, insecurity is one of the greatest challenges facing Nigeria’s existence. This administration has invested more resources than any other to tackle insecurity.
“We have acquired advanced equipment for our armed forces and the police to strengthen their capacity to confront terrorism and banditry. We have made adequate budgetary allocations for security.
“Whatever the security agencies request I make it available to them immediately.
“But insecurity is a world-wide phenomenon. The cure and the answer is for all sections of society to do their bit and confront the criminals head-on.
“The success of our armed and other security forces also depends on intelligence about the activities of bandits and terrorists.
“Those aiding and abetting terrorists are helping to destroy their own communities.
“Our traditional and religious leaders have a key role to play in terms of improving intelligence gathering about the movement of and activities of criminals in their domain”, he said.
Noting that the challenges confronting the country are surmountable, the President recounted that when this Administration came on board in 2015, the local governments occupied and controlled by insurgent terrorists were recovered through the determined efforts of government and cooperation of local leadership.
“A similar effort is required now for all localities to work in full cooperation with security agents and Insha Allah we shall see the back of this problem soon”, he said.
Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife, commended the Buhari administration’s timely response in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, noting that it is symbolic that when the country looks inward it can surmount many of its challenges.
“Mr President, thank you for inviting us for Iftar. I remember vividly that last year we couldn’t meet to break the Ramadan fast because of the COVID-19 pandemic and we pray that such will never come our way again”, he said.
The monarch urged Nigerians to use the Holy month of Ramadan to always strive for unity, and celebrate the strength in Nigeria’s diversity.
”We have so many positives to celebrate in our country. Yes there are challenges, but let us look more on our strengths than our weaknesses”, he said.
On his part, the General Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Joseph Daramola, said he believed that ”God is at work in Nigeria.”
Daramola said there were spiritual lessons to learn on nation building from the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan and the Christian Lenten period that just ended with the Easter celebration.
”The power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is able to bring our nation back to life, making every situation that looks impossible, possible”, he said.