By Frank Oshanugor
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari in his Independence Day speech today has declared that the Federal Government “is vigorously pursuing” the financial sponsors of secessionist agitators among whom is an unnamed member of the National Assembly.
According to the President in his speech which was one of the longest since his assumption of office, “the recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo and the ongoing investigations being conducted have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals. We are vigorously pursuing these financiers including one identified as a serving member of the National Assembly.
In the words of Buhari, “this is a clear example of how people abandon their national leadership positions for their selfish gains. Instead of preaching unity, they are funding and misleading our youths to conduct criminal acts that sometimes lead to unfortunate and unnecessary loss of lives and property.
“As the so called leaders run abroad to hide, our innocent youths are misled and left in the streets to fight for their senseless and destructive causes.”
He added that “Nigeria is for all of us. Its unity is not negotiable. And its ultimate success can only be achieved if we all come together with a common goal of having peace and prosperity for our nation.”
The Independence Day presidential speech also contained such other issues about the efforts of Nigeria’s security forces in fighting terrorism, banditry and other criminal activities in the country. According to the President, in the North East region alone, over 8000 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered to Nigerian troops while over 17,000 personnel across all ranks have been recruited by the Nigerian Armed Forces; with a policy to recruit 10,000 policemen annually as a way of combating insecurity in the country.
As the global scourge of Covid-19 pandemic is still prevalent, Buhari said Nigeria’s Sovereign Investment Authority “is raising a $200million fund for a collaborative research by Nigerian and international pharmaceutical companies and research organizations to enhance Nigeria’s domestic pharmaceutical capacity.
The $200million fund will complement the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ongoing N85billion Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme to support local researchers in the development of vaccines and drugs to combat communicable and non-communicable diseases including Covid-19, he said