President Good-luck Jonathan has said that the solution to the current security challenges in the country lies in the collective will to fight the forces of terrorism.
Speaking yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, where he declared open the Senate 2012 retreat titled: “National Assembly and National Security”, Jonathan said: “whatever the causes of our current security challenges are, the solutions lie in our stronger union as a nation.
“If God does not will it, we would not live together today as a country of Muslims, Christians and traditionalists, and as a people of different ethnic groups. If God does not will it, there would be no Nigeria. Our unity is the will of God and our diversity is the defining ligament of our strength. Let’s unite to defeat the forces of darkness,” the president said.
On account of the increasing insecurity situation occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency in parts of the north, President Jonathan sacked his National Security adviser, retired General Andrew Owoye Azazi and the Minister of Defence, Dr. Bello Haliru.
At the Uyo re-treat yesterday, the President commen-ded the effort of the security agencies in tackling the situation, but hinted that the reorganisation of the nation’s security apparatus would not stop until the security of Nigerians is guaranteed and national unity is safeguarded.
He said: “I commend men and wo-men of the Nigerian Armed Forces, the police, the State Security Service and others for their resilience and professionalism in combating terrorism. Several have lost their lives in the defence of our nation. To assure the security and safety of our people and to safeguard our national oneness, I will continue to reorganise and re-position our security apparatus.
“Nigerians deserve a country that is peaceful and secure. As elected leaders, our primary responsibility is to protect all our citizens and those who come here to live with us,” the president said.
He regretted that politics has become the major source of insecurity as evident in the do-or-die politics of some politicians.
“Inflammatory statements emanating from some politicians have, at different times, consumed thousands of innocent lives and threatened our foundation as a nation. The enemies of our democracy have continued to carry out terrorist attacks on innocent people of our nation. This development particularly concerns me and I will continue to deal with it.
The president also urged collaboration of the three arms of government in the fight against corruption with a view to tackling insecurity in the country.
He said: “National security requires that we continue to tackle corruption at all levels. All the arms of government must work together to fight corruption. We must not take the patience of our people for granted. Now is the time to reclaim our place on the table of stability and progress.
“This is a trying time for us as a nation. The challenge of terrorism must unite us in the task of building a greater country. We are a government with one constituency of the Nigerian people. We must not play politics with everything, and certainly not with matters of national security,” Jonatna added.
He noted that no challenge is too difficult so long as the leadership co-operates. “I believe that through the co-operation of the executive, legislature and judiciary, we will surely bring Boko Haram to an end,” said the president.
Jonathan canvassed for well-researched private bills from the National Assembly, describing as unwarranted, a disagreement between the executive and the legislature over budgets. “We need to have budgets that are implementable. Sometimes, funds are put to where they are not to be spent. We must emphasise on our priority needs. We don’t need to quarrel about budgets at all,” he said.