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Buhari Express Shock At The Level Of Violent Crimes in The Country

Promises tougher measures against bandits
•Senate backs community policing, to interface with IG
•Insecurity alarming, says House

Omololu Ogunmade, Deji Elumoye, Chucks Okocha and Adewale Akinwale in Abuja

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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed shock at the level of violent crimes in the North-west and other parts of the country, promising tougher measures against bandits that had made life difficult for Nigerians.

“I was taken aback by what is happening in the North-west and other parts of the country,” the president told a delegation from Niger State today in Abuja, adding: “During our campaigns, we knew about the Boko Haram. What is coming now is surprising. It is not ethnicity or religion; rather it is one evil plan against the country.”

Read also:Senate will ensure community policing – Lawan

Buhari then said what he would do: “We have to be harder on them. One of the responsibilities of government is to provide security. If we don’t secure the country, we will not be able to manage the economy properly.’’

The president spoke while receiving a delegation of eminent citizens from Niger State led by the Governor, Alhaji Sani Bello, in State House, Abuja, and lamented that activities of bandits had forced many to abandon their farms and homes.

The state of insecurity in the country also engaged the attention of the National Assembly as the Senate expressed support for community policing and resolved to formally engage the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, over the rising wave of insecurity of lives and property across the federation.

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The House of Representatives also decried the spate of insecurity in the country, describing it as alarming.
A statement by the president’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, quoted the president as saying he was surprised by the level of criminal activities in the North and other parts of the country in recent times.

He acknowledged that the onslaught of the bandits had affected agricultural output in some parts of the country, despite the favourable weather for farming, noting that many farmers were attacked, forcing others to stay away from their farms for safety.

Advising Nigerians to take interest in agriculture, Buhari said the degree of poverty ravaging the country would be significantly controlled if the nation could diversify into agriculture as against the current heavy reliance on oil.

According to him, the discovery of oil and gas reserves in Chad Basin, Benue trough and Bida as well as some parts of Bauchi and Gombe, will help in boosting current efforts to strengthen the Nigerian economy.

He also urged Niger Delta leaders to counsel unscrupulous elements in the region blowing up pipelines, which culminate in spillages affecting farming and farmlands, noting that the loss has always been collective, sometimes turning hard working farmers to victims.

Members of the delegation thanked the president for his interventions in some areas in the state, especially infrastructure, security and appointment of indigenes of the state into key positions.
Their spokesman and former governor of the state, Dr. Aliyu Babangida, said activities of bandits had rendered many homeless while others could no longer go the farms.

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He thanked the president for ordering aerial protection by the military.
He also sought the president’s intervention to ensure the completion of some federal road projects such as the Mokwa-Birnin Gwari-Kaduna road, Kotongora road, and for more attention on the Minna airport, to complement access to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In his remarks, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, assured the Buhari administration of continuous support and prayed for God to give him strength and wisdom to govern the country.

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