Rich, influential people behind violence in Nigeria – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says a few rich and influential individuals are behind the violence being experienced in parts of the country.

Buhari, however, assured Nigerians that such culprits would be identified and dealt with at the appropriate time.

A statement on Tuesday by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari spoke while receiving a delegation of the Borno/Yobe Elders Forum at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In the statement titled, “We need this country, we will continue to work for its stability, says President Buhari,” Adesina quoted the President as saying, “I am confident that we will eventually convince the small number of people with resource and influence that are a nuisance to this great country.

“God willing, we will identify them, and deal with them. I am extremely concerned about your constituency like the rest of the country.”

The statement further quoted the President as saying that the stability of the country was of paramount interest to him and the Federal Government, promising to continue to work towards it despite the actions of a few people.

“We need this country. We will continue to work for its stability. I feel that whatever happens, we will continue to make it, and will keep on praying to God so that for those who feel that they don’t need Nigeria, we will succeed over their intentions and actions,” the President said.

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He noted the request for the upgrade and development of infrastructure in the states and assured his guests that while he would do his best in acceding to the requests, he would, however, prioritise development in education.

“We are aware of the infrastructure deficit. Our priorities will be education because all our citizens know that children within a certain age must receive it otherwise if they miss it, the future is destroyed,” he said.

The President also expressed appreciation to the leaders for coming to terms with the positive improvement that has occurred in the states since the inception of the administration.

The statement also quoted Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, as saying that the leaders were in Abuja to thank the President for the tremendous improvement in their states and to intimate him with some of the prevailing socio-economic conditions.

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It also quoted Bunu Sheriff and Gambo Gubio as thanking the President as well as the armed forces for their commitment and sacrifices in bringing a new lease of life to the Northeast.

They requested for completion of long-standing infrastructure and on-going projects in the states, especially roads.

They also called on the President to continue oil exploration in the Chad Basin initiated when he was the Minister of Petroleum in the 70s and the recharging of the Lake Chad which the President is passionate about.

At the end of the meeting, Zulum told State House correspondents that the elders seized the opportunity of the meeting to seek increased military presence in the two states from Buhari.

He said they also called Buhari’s attention to infrastructural deficit in the two states and the entire North.

The governor said, “The Borno Elders’ Forum and Yobe Elders’ Forum met with Mr President purposely to convey their appreciation to the Federal Government, under the distinguished leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari on all the efforts he has made to address insecurity in the region.

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“Again, they have raised their concerns to Mr President with a view to solving them – infrastructural deficits in Borno and Yobe States and the entire northern region.

“They have also requested from the Federal Government sustained military operation which has been yielding fruitful results in recent times.

“So far so good, the President has responded positively to the governments and people of Borno and Yobe states that he will do everything possible within the available resources to ensure sustainability of the ongoing military operations in the region.

“In terms of improving social-economic situation of the region, we have also requested increased government support in terms of humanitarian support, in terms of education and others.

“The bottom line is that we came here to thank Mr President and to ensure increased military and para-military presence in Borno and Yobe States and indeed the entire North East subregion with a view to ensuring security of the nation.”

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