President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday he was working hard to end banditry and kidnapping.
The President stated this while meeting with governors of some northern states at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting was called to discuss security challenges.
The governors were led to the meeting by the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari. They took turns to brief Buhari on security situations in their states.
Besides Yari, other governors in attendance were Kashim Shettima (Borno); Simon Lalong (Plateau); Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna); Aminu Bello-Masari (Katsina); and Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto).
The list also included Muhammad Abubakar (Jigawa); Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); and Abubakar Sani-Bello (Niger).
Buhari said, “The security of the country is on my mind 24 hours of the day. I get daily and weekly situation reports. I have listened to your brief.
“I will look into your recommendations. I am aware of the situation, but I have learnt more today.”
The President blamed the situation on corruption in the Armed Forces in the past, which he said had left the country with “terrible effects.”
He added, “If you follow the efforts we are making within the system, you will see we have curbed much of the corruption that was there.
“See the recoveries we have made – money, landed property. We are not going as fast as we want under the system, but we will keep trying to improve it.”
Buhari’s comments at the meeting are contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
Although, the governors acknowledged Buhari’s efforts at combating Boko Haram in the North-East, they lamented the upsurge in banditry and kidnapping in the region.
Masari, in an interview with State House correspondents, said, “The issue that brought us to the President is about the rising insecurity in the North-West, North-Central and North-East.
“North-East is known for Boko Haram insurgency but of recent what was known to be cattle-rustling in North-West and some parts of North-Central has turned out to be something different from what we had before.
“So, this concern made us to brief the President so that urgent action should be taken to curb this deadly menace of banditry, which is graduating into insurgency. So, we need to act quickly and decisively so that it doesn’t turn into something else like what we had in the North-East.”