President Muhammadu Buhari says the insecurity that has ravaged the country over the years was a ploy to destroy Nigeria.
According to a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, President Buhari stated this on Wednesday, while receiving the executive members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), at the State House, Abuja.
He said the security situation had improved over the years, particularly in the North-East, where the focus had shifted to rebuilding infrastructure and re-orientation on education.
According to him, the gains recorded in security will be consolidated further, and more attention will be given to the economy, before handing over power on May 29, 2023.
“I am very grateful for your visit to the Presidential Villa, and I agree with you on some of the observations you have made. The question of insecurity is most important to us because unless a country or institution is at peace, it will be difficult to manage.
“I just came back from Adamawa and Yobe States. During the visit to both States, I listened carefully to what the people and officials had to say. And they all said the situation had improved since 2015, especially in Borno State.
“Boko Haram was just fraudulent and a plot to destroy Nigeria. You can’t say people should not learn; the people need to grow intellectually,’’ he said.
“Some people have acknowledged the difference,’’ he added.
President Buhari told the Catholic Bishops that the government will continue to rebuild infrastructure in parts of the country affected by terrorist attacks, while underscoring that terrorists had no control over any space in Nigeria.
Speaking on the economic situation, the President said creditors had full confidence in Nigeria, with its capacity to utilise resources and repay loans before the approvals were granted.
“We are credible, that’s why the countries and institutions agreed to support our development with the loans,’’ he stated.
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The President noted that the destruction of oil facilities slowed the generation of revenues, and the government would be harder on saboteurs.
“If you look at the economy, we are trying hard to rely more on ourselves. Nigerians rely more on agriculture for livelihood, and we are putting in our best to enable more people, and diversify,’’ the President noted.
He said some of the challenges faced in the past, which include coups and counter-coups, and civil war, had prepared the nation for survival.
“We thank God that Nigeria is still one,’’ he said, adding that, “We should not forget that more than a million died for the nation to survive.’’
The President noted that he had been part of Nigeria’s history since 1967, fighting in the civil war, serving as governor, minister, Head of State, Chairman of defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), contesting presidential elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011, before winning in 2015.
“We should thank God, and we should reflect on these things and thank God more,’’ he added.
Leader of the delegation and president of the CBCN, Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, in his remarks commended the President for reforms in the electoral system, making it more stable and fair, particularly the signing of the Electoral Bill into law.