Sallah: We are better than 2015 —Buhari


By Ayo Fadimu

President Muhammadu Buhari said despite  the security challenges being faced by the country, the situation now is better than 2015 when he took over leadership of the country,

The President who spoke on Thursday after the Eid prayer that marked the end of this year’s Ramadan fasting season, which was held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also assured that his administration will secure farmlands and take back farmlands already occupied by bandits and terrorists.

Towards this regard, the President announced that efforts were ongoing to secure farmlands and farmers against criminals, to ensure a successful farming season.

According to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari said that the menace of bandits and kidnappers will be addressed to ensure that the nation’s food security is not threatened.

The President, who hoped for a good rainy season this year, said, “the law enforcement agencies are working hard to regain confidence against bandits so that we can go back to the land. This is very important. This is what the agencies are busy doing right now. We want people to go back to the land so that we can get enough food for the country and even export.”

Explaining ongoing efforts to tackle the security situation in the country by the administration, President Buhari drew attention to the series of long meetings held in recent weeks, chaired by him, saying that a part of resolutions had been made public by the National Security Adviser and the others kept secret.

“With the resources and manpower available to us, we are working very hard. We are hoping Nigerians will understand the problem. Nigerians know at what stage we came in in 2015, what state we are today both on security and the economy and we are doing our best.”

The President commended the National Assembly for its support, saying emphatically that “the National Assembly is cooperating very well. Within the resources available, they are certainly giving us priority on our (military) requests.”

President Buhari then made an appeal to the nation’s elite to show a better appreciation of the problems facing the country.

“The elite should make the attempt to understand the military. If we order weapons and armored vehicles, it takes time for the manufacturers. It takes time to ship them and when brought here eventually, they are taken to training institutions, train the trainers before sending them to the field. This is a very long process,” the President explained.

He appealed to Nigerians for more understanding of the current situation in the country.

“I expect Nigerians to be more understanding on the issues involved, looking at the time and available resources. For example, when we came in, in the Northeast, ask people in Adamawa and Borno States and the South-South in terms of security.

“Without security, you can’t do anything. Our big surprise and disappointment is what is happening in the Northwest and we are dealing with it,” said the President with a strong emphasis.

Nigerian NewsDirect reports that President  Buhari, his family members, president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and other Muslim faithful  observed the Eid prayers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Th prayer was held at the  fore court of the villa with members of the first family, including the First Lady Aisha Buhari, the president’s children and grandchildren in attendance.

The Eid prayer represented another prayer performed at the Villa, as against the usual tradition of going to prayer grounds, in line with the Presidential Steering  Committee directive against mass gathering to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Others in attendance at the prayer session included the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the National Security Adviser to the president, retired Babagana Monguno.

Others were the Director General, Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba and other presidential aides and principal staff of the State House.

In his sermon shortly after the two-raka’at Eid prayer, the Chief Imam of the Aso Rock Mosque, Sheikh Abdulwahid Sulaiman, urged Muslim Ulama to continue to seek God’s forgiveness even beyond the period of the month of Ramadan.

He also stressed the need for political, religious and traditional leaders to be fair and just in their dealings with the citizens.