In spite of the inability of the military to win the nearly 10-year-old insurgency war in the Northern part of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday that the government and the people of the area should still respect and appreciate the sacrifices made by the troops to restore peace.
“It is so often coming to me that I have to believe it. I listened to your representation, the governor who is on the hotspot now in the North-East, Adamawa, Bauchi and the rest of them are enjoying peace. I hope they are respecting the sacrifice made by the military.
“I assure you North-East governors, especially the governor of Borno that we go to bed and wake up thinking about you and how to secure our country. That is the fundamental responsibility of a government; security. In our party, we recognize this.
“We campaigned on three fundamental issues: security, economy and fighting corruption,’’ Buhari said when he met with governors of the region, security chiefs and heads of intelligence agencies at the State House, Abuja.
He, however, admonished the army to do better in the war against insurgency in the region.
Buhari congratulated Borno Gov. Babagana Zulum, on his emergence as the chairman of the North-east Governors Forum and assured that the security challenges facing Borno was always on his mind.
According to him, his administration ran on three key principles, security, the economy and fighting corruption.
Buhari stressed that security is the ultimate job of government and that based on the level of insecurity his government inherited, the people of the North-east should be able to appreciate what his government had done so far.
“We have problems of resources and security. You know what we inherited. The people of the North East will appreciate what this administration has done.
“The general report I am getting, other from the conventional ones from the intelligence sources, is that the Army should do better and this is the truth.
“I assure you that the government is doing its best. Lack of resources has hit us very hard. COVID-19 is a phenomenon. It has no respect for colour, you can’t smell it, you can’t see it, you can’t hear it. America and us are the same. It is a fantastic phenomenon. I think we should all go back to God.
“Nigerians, we thank God, understood us and they voted for us. In 2019, we went round the whole country, saying the same thing and apologizing for not doing better, but we are doing our best. I think Nigerians believe us and we did our best,’’ the president said.
“It is true that we lost some states as a ruling party in a developing country, which is normal. I am proud of that because we are impartial, that is why as the ruling party we lost some states. That means we have our own mistakes.
“Some of those that defeated us are sitting here. We know we are a developing country but we respect our country. Otherwise, with the use of the Army, the police and the rest of them, we could have overrun you. We just wanted to show that we are humane and we are Nigerians. We will continue to do our best.”