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North West Summit: We Are Committed To Securing Nigeria – Tinubu

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said that his administration would not rest until banditry, terrorism and other forms of insecurity are eliminated from the country.

This was as he also said the country is witnessing a turning point, as the strategies adopted by security forces were beginning to yield results.

The President spoke while declaring open the North West Peace and Security Summit with the theme, “Regional Cooperation for Securing Lives and Livelihoods in North West Nigeria,” organised by the North West Governor’s Forum in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Katsina State.

Tinubu, who was represented at the event by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, said, “What we are witnessing across the North is an explosion of these damaged relationships, and we have come to say: enough is enough. Our first decision was to task our brothers from the North-West and the North-East with the defence and security of the region.

“Who else can better understand the complexity of the crisis of a region than the people themselves? This has been a turning point, and I am proud to say that the strategies we have employed have begun to provide redemption. We are not slowing down until we achieve our aim.”

Shettima said Northern Nigeria is always considered globally as one unified people, saying the region’s unity is firmly “rooted in a culture and bond of shared interests and common pursuits”.

He also described the Summit as a communal gathering to address what he termed “the afflictions that have threatened the stability and unity” of the North.

He said, “Beyond the economic rationale that drove the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern parts of Nigeria, the formation of our great nation was inspired by the need for mutual protection. But, I ask, how can we achieve this sacred objective if one part is afflicted?

“We have long established that whatever ails any part of this federation destabilizes the other. So, the issue of national security in the North-West is not a sectional agenda. We promised to make Nigeria safer, and this aim has been our topmost priority since we came to office over a year ago.”

The President further noted that the Summit became necessary to proffer solutions to insecurity and ensure a region “where every trade is safe, where every group is at peace, and where the policing and military presence of the state is optimal.”

In order to come up with pragmatic solutions to security challenges in the North West, President Tinubu said his administration adopted kinetic and non-kinetic interventions designed to build the perimeter of the nation’s security infrastructure.

He mentioned the Pulaku resettlement initiative as one of the non-kinetic interventions rolled out by his administration, saying it is a timely solution to address some of the root causes of disputes and insecurity in the North-West.

He also explained that “Our choice of Sokoto, Kebbi, Benue, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, and Kaduna States for the pilot phase is strategically planned to create positive, nationwide transformations. The comprehensive plan includes building residences, roads, schools, and essential facilities, fulfilling our pledge to the nation.”

Earlier in his welcome address, Katsina State Governor, Umaru Radda, lamented that the effect of banditry in the state and other parts of the North West, including Niger State, saying it has cast shadows on most of the communities, “crippling social economic activities in the areas.”

Governor Radda, who is the Chairman of the North West Governors’ Forum, said that the forum would not allow the menace of banditry to defile the region.

“As leaders, we must adopt a multifaceted approach that includes robust intelligence gathering, community policing and deploying advanced security technology. Furthermore, to enhance the capacity of our national security forces, we will continue to improve it and provide adequate resources.

“To effectively combat banditry, we need to strengthen intelligence gathering networks. This means improving our surveillance system, investing in modern technology such as drones and satellite imagery and enhancing coordination among our security agencies.”

On his part, the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru, said the Armed Forces of Nigeria, under the current administration of President Tinubu, are committed to ending armed conflicts in Nigeria.

He however, stressed the need for synergy between security agencies and State Governors, adding that the government is open for collaboration among security agencies, and that in the days ahead, the federal government will meet with the Governors to deliberate on the outcome of the Summit.

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