…Says previous leaders lacked courage to tackle threats
The Presidency, yesterday responded to what it described as “TheEconomist’s flawed anti-Nigeria cover”, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari is strengthening Africa’s democracy.
These were contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja.
The Presidency also said that the resilience and fortitude of patriotic Nigerians will see the nation through its difficult times.
The statement reads: “TheEconomist is correct: Nigeria faces four key threats to the stability and prosperity of the nation – namely: ISWAP/Boko Haram terrorism in the North-East; kidnapping and crime in the North-West; herder-farmer disputes in the central belt; and the delusions of IPOB terrorists in the South-East.
“The Economist is also accurate to state that they have come to a head under President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, (APC) administration. Yet they do so, because for so long, under previous administrations, whether military or democratic, tough decisions have been ducked, and challenges never fully met – with the effect of abetting these dangers and allowing them all to fester and grow.
“Today, all four threats are being fought concurrently and it is only this President’s administration which has finally had the will and determination to confront them.
“The Buhari administration has sought to push back terrorism which has been a threat for more than two decades since the first emergence of Boko Haram. It is only the Buhari administration that has now sought to intervene against the kidnapping and banditry that has been a simmering threat for far longer.
“It is only this President’s government which has taken on IPOB, the violent terrorist group which bombs police stations and offices of security agencies, while also threatening those who break their Monday-sit-ins whilst claiming the mantle of forebears who half a century ago fought a civil war.
“And it is only the Buhari leadership which has sought – ever, in over one hundred years – to identify the root causes of the herder-farmer clashes and find durable solutions”.
The Presidency further said, “It is important to remind The Economist and the global media that this group’s aggression and widespread presence on social media does not reflect their public support, for which they have none: all elected governors, all elected politicians and all elected state assemblies in the South-East – which IPOB claim to be part of their fantasy kingdom – reject them completely.
“The Economist opinionated and reported on banditry and kidnapping in the North-West. While this has been simmering for generations, it is the newest of the organized threats Nigeria faces to her stability.
“But this too The Economist inaccurately described: “bandits” who have the resources and technology to shoot down a military fighter jet are not bandits at all – but rather highly organised crime syndicates with huge resources and weaponry. Yet they are essentially no different to Boko Haram in this regard who are now cornered. It will take time, but the President is unwavering in his determination to collapse this challenge to public order.
“The Economist is correct: Nigeria faces multiple threats. They confluence now not because of this government; but on the contrary, it is this government which is addressing them concurrently, and simultaneously – when no other prior administration sought to adequately address even a single one.
“That is the difference between what has gone before and what we have now. It is why the President and his party were re-elected with’ an increased majority in national elections two years ago”.