President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday promised to wield the big stick against some unnamed politicians who he alleged were behind the violence rocking parts of the country.
He said such politicians would be fished out and dealt with accordingly.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, the President spoke at the closing event of 2018 Army Day celebrations held in Borno State.
The President was reported to have said the disgruntled politicians who had lost out were sponsoring violence in order to get relevance.
Mr Buhari repeated what he told Christian leaders on Thursday, that a solution was being found to the deadly clashes between farmers and herdsmen, and whosoever was found culpable would be brought to justice.
While thanking the armed forces for keeping the country safe, Buhari acknowledged that there were still challenges being faced by the nation
He said, “This does not mean there are no challenges. There are pockets of violence in several states.
“Some deliberately instigated by disgruntled politicians who have lost all arguments and are desperate to cause mayhem as a way of seeking relevance. We shall fish them out and punish according to provisions of the law.”
Making a self-assessment of the administration he has led in the last three years since his election, the President said, “We have worked tirelessly to ensure and preserve the dignity and sanctity of life.
“We are all witnesses to the fact that our once battered economy as a nation has exited recession and it is once again vibrant. Our nation is safe again, thanks to the efforts of our security agencies.”
Buhari also said that his administration would ensure release of Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls, that had yet to return home after being abducted by Boko Haram insurgents.
“I want to use this opportunity to reassure the world, Nigerians and the families of the remaining kidnapped Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu of the Dapchi schoolgirls that this administration will not relent in its efforts to see that they are all released.
“I also want to reassure all Nigerians that the issue of farmers and herdsmen clashes is being tackled and all those found culpable would be brought to justice.
“Let me quickly remind us at this point to always be tolerant, loving and ready to give peace a chance.”
Buhari reiterated what he said to Christian Association of Nigeria, Northern Chapter, that none of the nation’s religions or cultures permitted the killing of one person by another.
Minister of Defence, Mr Mansur Dan Ali commended the army for establishing a motorcycle battalion enhancing quick mobility and providing security in areas of unfavourable vehicular movements, and the Air Force for setting up rapid response groups in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
He assured all stakeholders that “appropriate measures are being put in place to address security challenges in the nation; the Armed Forces are currently handling Operation Delta Safe in the South-South, Operation Safe Haven in the North Central and Operation Awatse to combat militant activities in the Arepo general area and other parts of the South-West. Recently, the Nigerian Army established Operation Whirl Stroke to tackle insecurity in the North Central states.”
In his speech, Chief of Defence Staff, Mr Gabriel Olonisakin, said military operations in the North-East were moving from engagements of a combat nature to humanitarian and civilian support services to assist the victims of the insurgency to return to their communities, which they were forced to abandon.
Chief of Army Staff, Mr Tukur Buratai, said the choice of Monguno for the 2018 events was intended to celebrate the achievements of the army in its combat efficiency, civil-military relations and its efforts in research, development and technological attainments.
He said the army had accomplished the President’s objective of stabilising North-East and other parts of the country, while assuring their unwavering support and loyalty to the President and the constitution.
On arrival at Kinnasara Army Barracks in Monguno, Buhari inspected military equipment on display by 21 Specialised Corps of the Nigerian Army, and inaugurated the first indigenous Mines Resistant and Ambush Armoured Vehicles.
Before his departure, the President also toured one of the largest camps housing Internally Displaced Persons in Monguno town.