President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has again pledged to tackle widespread hunger among citizens across the country, assuring that he will not exit government as a failure.
The National Security Adviser to the President, retired Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno, said the president made the pledge during a crucial security meeting attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, security chiefs and some cabinet Ministers in Abuja on Thursday
He said the president was updated on security developments in various parts of the country since the last meeting of the security council was held on June 8.
Monguno said: “The last National Security Council meeting we had was on the 8th of June. From that time till now, a lot has happened within the security domain. Mr. President called for this meeting.
“It was actually supposed to be for next week, but he drew it back for today, for obvious reasons.
“We also address the issue of the prevailing situation, which is widespread, you know, issues of hunger.
“The President is not oblivious to the pains of the peopl and is working with the Vice President and other members of council, is going to employ the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to address this issue.
“As far as it’s concerned, it’s also an emergency situation that people should not be left to wallow in hunger and in despair, this is something that he’s also going to look into.
“And he’s going to use all the necessary all the relevant tools at his disposal to address the issue of widespread hunger.
“And then also the issue of insecurity in the northwest, which is still, even though for those of us who are within the security system, we have seen a significant drop in the number of incidents of kidnapping and banditry, nevertheless, a lot has to be done.
“Because like I’ve always said in the past, as far as the people are concerned, there shouldn’t be any incident of kidnapping, banditry, and other incidents of insecurity.’’
The NSA revealed that the meeting also addressed the recent killing of travellers at Rukuba, near Jos, Plateau.
“We also address the issue in plateau – the recent killings, and the President has given certain directives to address that.
“He (Buhari) also expressed confidence in the efforts of the Gov. Simon Lalong of plateau,’’ he added.
On the reported mass surrender of Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast, Monguno stated that President Buhari would soon take a firm decision on the matter.
“Yes, there are plans. But I don’t want to immediately divulge what has been decided on those plans till the President takes a firm decision on the plans.
“But definitely that is one of the things that he intends to address – the number of people surrendering.
“And it’s not just in Nigeria, even in northern Cameroon, you have equally large numbers of people, you know, surrendering to the bonafide agencies of government,’’ he said.
He attributed the successes being recorded by the security agencies to the regional cooperation between the various countries and the agencies of those countries involved in tackling the menace of the insurgents.
He, therefore, called on Nigerians to forge a sense of oneness, unity, and put aside whatever suspicions, apprehensions or agitations so as to consolidate the gains being witnessed in the fight insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes in the country.
“In the context of the 21st century, you can’t deal with these emerging crises in a cut and dried manner.
“We have to use everything at our disposal, all the elements of national power, including the population, the wider community needs to work with the security agencies to deal with these problems. Responses have to be fast.
“We can’t act on stale intelligence. And that is why as things are happening, right from the grassroots level going all the way up, the local government, the state governments, and then of course, the Federal Government has its own parts to play.
“People should not cover for those who they have identified, unscrupulous, undesirable people, it is very, very important that we share because in today’s context, the highest value of intelligence doesn’t necessarily need to come from the agencies of government.
“It could come from any other tangential organisation, institution or group,’’ he said.