Lingering banditry in the Northwest is painful, President Muhammadu Buhari said in his Duara country home, Katsina State, on Thursday.
He described the situation as most disturbing and a source of concern to him because the bandits and their victims belong to the same tribe and religion.
The President, who spoke while hosting 12 governors and some federal lawmakers, said: “The lingering development in the Northwest is the most amazing one because of the fact that they are the same people, the same religion but keep on killing and stealing each other’s cattle and burning their own villages.
“They are the same people, the same religion but keep on killing and stealing each other’s cattle and burning their own villages.
“This has made it necessary for the Federal Government to change the entire security approach by redeploying soldiers and other security forces to restore peace in the affected regions.”
The governors and the lawmakers were in Daura to celebrate Sallah with the President.
On Sunday, Kebbi State Governor and Chairman of the Progress Governors’ Forum (PGF) Atiku Bagudu confirmed that President Buhari has mandated the seven governors in the Northwest to end banditry in the zone.
The President also told intellectuals and historians to properly document his tenure for posterity, reminding Nigerians of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration took over in 2015 when insecurity was at its peak in the Northeast and Southsouth.
He noted that only the people in the Northeast that can tell their story on how Boko Haram terrorists occupied virtually half of their local government areas.
“The subsequent development in the Northwest is the most amazing, where people who lived together, spoke same language and shared common faith, started killing each other and rustling cows.
“I had to change the security chiefs and we had to get down to the fundamentals of providing security. If you look at the situation in relation to time and resources, you will find out what we have been able to achieve.”
“It’s not easy for us in this country to make people appreciate what we have gone through but if you try to discuss in relation to time and resources, then you appreciate what the APC government has done.
“I think all of us have done our best and we thank God within the resources and the time available. God has helped us and we have succeeded otherwise; we will have been in trouble.
“So, I thank you very much for the visit, including those who have recently joined the party. I assure you that our intellectuals and historians will be expected to be fair to the APC-led government to examine the time and resources within which we operate so that for those who are looking for positions of excellence in the presidency and the governor not expose to know the ignorance or lack of political knowledge of the ordinary people and feed them with light.
The President demanded truth and fairness from those who would be recording the activities of his administration in the history of Nigeria after his exit from office.
He said the request to present what transpired under his administration sincerely and factually will guide the electorate in making right choices of leaders in future.
According to him, the future of Nigeria would be shaped by the diligence and honesty of those who document history and provide analysis of situations, knowing the value of what obtained in the past, and afterwards.
He warned that it will be unfortunate to mislead electorate with lies and personal bias, reiterating the need to put the larger interest of the country beyond other colourations.
The President said: “For the time remaining, and for those who have one more term in office based on the provision of the constitution, the elections are important to the parties. Intellectuals and historians should be fair to us so that those who are looking for leadership positions will not exploit the political ignorance or lack of knowledge of the people.”
House of Representative Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila alongside some federal lawmakers from across the country also visited the President.
The governors are: Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina); Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Gboyega Oyetola (Osun); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Simon Lalong (Plateau); Abubakar Sani-Bello (Niger); Ben Ayade (Cross River), Abdullahi Sule (Nassarawa), Mohammed Matawalle (Zamfara); Babaji Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Dave Umahi (Ebonyi).