“The country would continue to weather all stormy waters and emerge stronger and better where others have fallen and disintegrated …this nation, this Nigeria, will survive and thrive.”
“On #EndSARS protests, he said:”This government heard; this government listened and this government is committed to fulfilling the five demands of our youths fully understanding that we all wish well for Nigeria.”
Following calls for the sack of the nation’s Service Chiefs by well-meaning Nigerians and security experts, President Muhammadu Buhari rose to the occasion in his New Year message, unveiling plans to rejig the nation’s security apparatus.
Buhari said the move became imperative to address the deteriorating and parlous security situation in the country particularly in the Northeast and Northwest.
Persecondnews recalls that banditry, kidnappings and other forms of criminalities have been ravaging the country in the last decade.
He said: “The year 2021 will indeed be a year where we will work to reinforce the hopes of fellow Nigerians in the vision of a united and progressive Nigeria.
“Some of the key priority areas we would direct our attention and strengths to include: re-energising and reorganising the security apparatus and personnel of the armed forces and the police with a view to enhance their capacity to engage, push back and dismantle the operations of both internal and external extremist and criminal groups waging war against our communities in some parts of the country.”
Expressing the hope that the country would continue to weather all stormy waters and emerge stronger and better where others have fallen and disintegrated, the president declared: “This nation, this Nigeria, will survive and thrive.”
On the abduction of the 333 boys of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Kastina State, Buhari lauded the “professionalism” of the armed forces in rescuing them.
“Our administration is fully aware of the responsibility we have to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, and we will not relent in learning and adapting to changing threats to our national security and civic well-being.
“We recognise that we rapidly have to move to a more proactive and preemptive posture to ensure that these sorts of traumatic incidents do not become a norm.”
On the #EndSARS protests by youths in 2020, the president said: “2020 came with a lot of challenges, ranging from security and economic issues to understandable protests that were mainly led by our youths.
“The protests served notice to the demand for police reforms and accountability.
“This government heard; this government listened and this government is committed to fulfilling the five demands of our youths fully understanding that we all wish well for Nigeria.”
Buhari assured Nigerians of his administration’s commitment to their welfare particularly youths.
“They need collective encouragement and support. In securing this nation we need to secure the future of our youth.
“In this regard, we will partner with the legislature to develop an enabling environment to turn their passions into ideas that can be supported, groomed and scaled across regions.
“This will create vast opportunities in fintech, agriculture, business process startups and in the entertainment industry,” he said.
On COVID-19, the president stressed the need to play safe, saying his administration plans to procure and efficiently and effectively distribute the vaccines.
He admonished the citizens: “I urge you all fellow citizens to observe strict COVID-19 prevention protocols.”
Speaking on the corruption fight, Buhari indicated the readiness of the Executive to work with the legislative arm to make laws that would further give the fight a fillip.
“On the part of the executive, we would ensure the diligent and timely prosecution of corruption cases, while appealing to the judiciary to ensure that corruption cases are dispensed with expeditiously.”
On the economy, Buhari said the economy was being diversified while national infrastructure was being rebuilt.
He promised that necessary reforms would be put in place in the power sector to “significantly” expand generation and distribution of electricity across the country.
“Our focus is on revamping the economy through the national economic diversification agenda that supports the primary goal of national food self-sufficiency.
“This has helped reduce the growing food-related inflationary figures and have in considerable measure positively impacted our food security status during the long months of the pandemic lockdown.
“As an administration, we are currently undertaking a series of special interventions designed to boost job creation and support the entrepreneurial drive of our youths.”
On the opening of some land borders late December 2020, he said: “We expect that the pent-up demand of legitimate cross-border and international trade will boost the fortunes of the many small businesses and agricultural enterprises that depend on Nigeria’s trade and commerce.
“The message to our West African neighbours is that Nigeria is once again fully open for those willing to conduct business in a fair and equitable way.”