President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to come down very hard on bandits terrorising the North-West.
Buhari made the vow on Thursday while inaugurating the Muhammadu Indimi Centre for Distance Learning and an International Conference at the University of Maiduguri.
“I have ordered and started receiving military hardware from the United States, military aircraft, helicopters and armoured vehicles and we are going to be very, very hard on them (bandits).
The President, who was pleased with the improved security in the North-East, decried the activities of bandits in the North-West
He said: “It is the same people stealing other peoples property and killing here and there. What for?
The president urged Nigerians to judge his administration based on what the condition was when he was sworn in and what it is now.
“In the South-South, somehow they (militants) believed had a case and we told their leadership the truth when they came to visit me.
“When they sabotaged the oil pipelines or the wells, the land gets polluted, the fish move further into the ocean and the ordinary people cannot farm and most of their people are farmers and fishermen.
“They can neither fish nor farm. So who are they hurting, other Nigerians or their own people? It is just common sense and maybe they listened to that and they have left the pipelines alone.
“But the problem now is the North-West. As I said, same people, same culture, we are going to deal with them.
“I ask Nigerians to please tell the less informed that in Africa, we are the biggest country and we are potentially the richest. Let us utilise this gift from God to empower our people, our region and our continent instead of wasting our time.
“I swear by the Holy Qur’an that I will uphold the constitution of the country and by that, I must relinquish power in 17 months time. I will go, God’s willing. I hope whoever is coming after me will try to do the three things I tried to do.
“One, to secure the country. If I leave the country unsecured, it cannot be managed.
“Secondly, the economy. We have a lot of people who are unemployed.
“Only 2.5 per cent of Nigerian arable land is being utilised. I didn’t know this when I was a governor. I was also a minister. I was a Head of State, but to be honest with you, I didn’t know until when one Professor told me.
“We’ve been indoctrinated that we are oil-rich and so we don’t need to work in the field. People are renting houses in the towns and the cities all to partake from oil money.
“Now oil has almost become irrelevant, but we thank God that oil is has been discovered in Bauchi and Gombe and that will help to balance the politics of oil in the country.
“We quickly developed that and a series of pipelines are being installed so that we start exploitation. Nigerians will be in a position to judge what this administration has done under my leadership.
“When we came, the most difficult one was fighting corruption.
“When I came in uniform much younger and a bit ruthless, I arrested those I thought were corrupt and detained them. I had serious hope. Investigative panels were on in almost all the geopolitics zones investigating the ministers, governors, commissioners and those who headed parastatals.
“In those days, you have to declare your assets before you come on board. With the assets that you declared and what you have now, you have to explain the difference.
“If you cannot explain the difference, we take it away from you and we quietly put you in Kirikiri (Prisons) or somewhere else.
“But eventually I myself was arrested and for three-and-a-quarter years I was detained. I think when they found out that I did not get a kobo from anybody, they let me go.
“So I joined partisans politics; I said let me see what other Nigerians are gaining from this babban riga. I joined them and I am in my final term.
“We thank God for giving us so much resources, so much land and young, hardworking people that we need to educate more and guide so that they can lead the country in the future.“he said.