President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met with Senate President Ahmad Lawan where they deliberated on national issues including security challenges facing the country and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the closed doors meeting, the senate president described the deliberation as fruitful, saying Nigerians troubled areas would in the two months have their environment secured to enable them engage in agricultural activities and other businesses.
According to him, the government cannot shy away from securing the environment in bothrural and urban parts of the country.
“I have come to meet with Mr. President, to discuss the issue of security of our nation. And in fact, there is nothing more important today or more topical, than the security of Nigeria.
“We have discussed, we had a very extensive discussion on the security of all parts of Nigeria, and how we should go about improving the situation, we all have roles to play.
“Nobody would like to see the kind of thing that we experience in various parts of the country in the form of insecurity. As political leaders, we cannot shy away from that, we have to get our people secured, we have to secure the environment for them to earn the means of livelihood.
“We would like to see our farmers go back to farms before the rainy season starts. And this means we have to secure the rural parts of Nigeria as well as the urban centres because we need businesses to flourish.
“So, I believe that between now and probably the next two months, there will be a lot of activities to ensure that we secure will cover and secure environments for people to lead a very normal life, where we also believe that the government is headed in the right direction,’’ he said.
Lawan commended the National Economic Council (NEC) for approving some funds from the Excess Crude Accounts (ECA) for the procurement of more sophisticated weapons and security gadgets for the armed forces.
He, therefore, expressed the hope that additional weapons when procured would go a long way in addressing security challenges across the country.
He said: “You recall that the National Economic Council approved of taking some funds from the excess crude accounts with a view to giving more sources to our armed forces.
“This is a commendable effort and we are ready to help with appropriation to ensure that we acquire those weapons for the armed forces to fight and end this insecurity in the North East, in the North West, in the South-South, and South West as well.
“We believe that this is also going to help empower and build the capacity of other security agencies like the police because the police need to be there.
“They (Police) are supposed to maintain the internal security and whenever the armed forces, secure environment, the police should be there to stay put and make sure there is law and order.’’
On recent utterances by some political actors attempting to promote ethno-religious differences among peace-loving citizens, Lawan frowned at those politicians, saying such utterances were uncalled for.
“Recently, there have been a lot of arguments on what should happen, what should not, especially with regards to what political leaders would say or not supposed to say.
“I want to point out very clearly that the Nigerian citizen believes in Nigeria so strongly, and that is why you will find an Igbo man from the Southeast in the remotest part of northern Nigeria.
“That’s why you will find a Hausa man in faraway Southwest or Southeast or South-South and probably even marry from those areas. Probably he will be selling kolanuts, but he believes that this is Nigeria and he can live peacefully and is living and making a family. You will find a Yoruba man in faraway, South Eastern or northern Nigeria, maybe even becoming an indigene.
“I was born and brought up in Gashua, Gashua is in Yobe State and I want to use this as an example of how people can be integrated. The Kalega family lived in Gashua for almost 100 years.
“We are born to see the family like that. I earned a scholarship from my state, the Kalega family members earned the same scholarship. In fact, they are indigenes of my local government.
“So, we have this Nigerianness in our citizens. As political leaders, we are supposed to ensure that we support this kind of feeling by giving everybody protection.
“If a Yoruba man, a Southwestern decides to live in faraway Sokoto, he should be protected; If a Hausa man decides to live in faraway Bonny or Port Harcourt, he/she should be protected, and so on and so forth. Because this is how we will be able to use our diversity to weave it into a capacity to make Nigeria a big and successful nation.
“So, I believe that we will walk throughout, both the federal government, state governments, and even the local governments while our traditional rulers will have a role to play in this.”
On the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC, the senate president stressed the need to sanction all those implicated in wrong doings by the audit reports.
“I agree with Mr President, that we have to end the forensic audit to ensure that everything is done properly and the report is submitted to him.
“And here, it is very, very significant, that whoever is found culpable, should be treated as such, so that that will serve as a lesson and as a deterrent to others, because NDDC should have transformed the Niger Delta into a better environment than what it has,” he said.
The Senate President praised the Buhari led administration for workingto revamp the economy in line with its campaign promises to Nigerians.(NAN)