President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said that the Federal Government was committed to recruiting more men and women into the security agencies in the country to fight insecurity.
The President also hinted that he would seek the cooperation of all political parties in his second tenure to better the lives of Nigerians.
Speaking at the opening of a two-day induction ceremony for elected and returning governors organised by the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) at the presidential villa, Abuja, President Buhari extended a hand of partnership to political leaders across party lines that would assist government at all levels to deliver quality services for improvement in the lives of Nigerians.
Buhari who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said, “Security remains top of our agenda. The law and order challenges in parts of the country, for example, the opportunistic attacks of Boko Haram in the Northeast; incidents of attacks by herders and frequent clashes between herders and farmers, similar incidents now occurring in parts of the Northwest, have stretched the capacity of our law enforcement agencies considerably.
“But we are committed to recruiting more men and women into all our security agencies and improving their capabilities to maintain law and order.
“At our discussions at NEC (National Economic Council), we have recommended more effective collaboration with State governments; a major plank in that collaboration is Community Policing. This involves more practical collaboration between the citizens, civic groups, traditional institutions and the Police.
“As Mr President has said, maintaining security is the first order of business for us as Chief Security Officers at the Federal and State levels. We must work together and seek even more creative ways of making our country completely safe for its citizens.
“I must commend the excellent support that Governors have been giving the Police and Armed Forces posted to your various States. I know that large amounts of money are voted practically every month in support of law enforcement and security.
”One of the very critical things that the National Economic Council will have to do in its next meetings is to look at how to more effectively fund security. This has to be a collaboration between States, the Federal Government and the Private Sector.
“I know that several Private Sector organizations and individuals are keen to contribute in one way or the other to funding law and order and security infrastructure in our country and I am sure working together working with NEC, we can do a lot more than we are doing at the moment.
“Your Excellencies, the challenges that confront us in the next few years, especially in the areas of human capacity development notably education, healthcare and jobs for our young people, are monumental and historic. But we are more than able to surmount them. To do so, all the States of this Federation and the Federal Government must see ourselves as one government.
“Our people in every State want the same things and suffer the same deprivations; they really don’t care who puts food on the table, just put the food on the table.
“I have the President’s mandate to say that the Federal Government stands ready to embark on this historic all-party cooperation to better the lives of all our citizens.”
President Buhari explained that to be able to achieve significant progress both the states and the Federal Government must see themselves as one in delivering services to the people. He however assured that government was able and prepared to address the numerous challenges facing the country.
According to him, “To do so, all the States of this Federation and the Federal government must see ourselves as one. Our people in every State want the same things and suffer the same deprivations, they really don’t care who puts food on the table, just put the food on the table.”
The President reminded the governors that they belong to an elite club who were privileged and fortunate to have been elected by the people to serve. He said such privilege also come with huge responsibility and sacrifice on their part.
“We, elected executive officials, belong to an elite club in this nation. Of over 200 million people, the nation elects 36 governors and 36 deputies, one president and one vice president making 74 Nigerians in all. 74 men and women out of 200 million people. We are so specially privileged and so enormously fortunate that our people chose us among so many other millions to lead them.
“This tremendous privilege which leadership thrusts upon us also comes with grave responsibilities. Those responsibilities are multiplied by the fact that most of our people are extremely poor.
“Large numbers are unable to afford good healthcare and malnutrition remains a major problem. Children in many of our States run the risk of being permanently mentally stunted because they are malnourished.
“Illiteracy is still significantly high and the number of out of school children is an embarrassment. Yet in all these, our population continues to grow at over 3 per cent per annum. We will by current projections move from 200 million to 400 million people in the next three decades. And then we will become the third most populous nation in the world.
“Most of that population will be young people under 25 looking for jobs. Every one of these people except a few living in Abuja will live in the States, your States, where you govern. They will seek schools in your States, health services in your States, food in your States and jobs in your States,” the President stressed.