Former military head of state, Gen, Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), wants an immediate end to bickering between the federal and state governments over security issues if the ongoing threats to life and property in the country must cease.
Buhari, reviewing the situation in the country, advocated a holistic approach.
“Security agencies of the (federal) government need closer cooperation with civilian security infrastructure which is in place but seldom considered as a part of the security effort,” he said against the backdrop of the effort to rescue the over 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram in Borno State.
He added: ”The local government structure from ward to district to state level is an excellent starting point for an over-all new security initiative. State-wide effort should be carefully coordinated with federal authorities. It should be a bottom-to-top operation. The bickering between Abuja and the states should cease if we are serious in wanting to win the war and end the conflict. All moneys voted must demonstrably be seen to be spent on security.”
He asked all Nigerians to “come together with unequivocal support to the government and security agencies in this fight against mindless violence and mad-cap ideologies.”
He said the country should have “one narrative” about Boko Haram, which he slammed as an abhorrent, anti-Islamic, anti-religion and anti-human sect.
He welcomed the internationalization of the rescue effort but said the command and control of the operation should be led by Nigerians while foreign forces should “respect the country’s sovereignty and be wary of local sensitivities.”
On the economy,General Buhari ,faulted the recent rebase of the economy which made Nigeria’s the largest in Africa.
He said the figures “are at variance with the lived experience of our citizens” with poverty,according to him, “so visible, so general and so extreme.”
Government, he stressed, “must take a serious look at our economic policy priorities and rebalance our policies in favour of agriculture and manufacturing to take people out of poverty and make them consumers for the expansion of the productive private sector and manufacturing.”
Such policies, he said, must create jobs for millions of young unemployed and create opportunities for the millions entering job market every year.