President Muhammadu Buhari says the country’s security is the responsibility of all Nigerians, whether in office or not.
“Addressing them (security challenges) effectively to restore peace and security remains the responsibility of all Nigerians in and out of the public office and our democratic institutions,” Buhari said at the opening of a four-day special summit on national security organized by the House of Representatives in Abuja on Wednesday.
The President commended the House for creating the forum to allow stakeholders to brainstorm on issues affecting the country and the way forward.
Buhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, said security had become a major concern at global, regional and national levels.
“Nigeria shares land borders with Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger; and maritime boundaries with Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Sao Tome and Principe.
“The challenges these borders pose to our national security and interest are enormous; the instability and conflict in the Chad basin alone deserves close attention.
“Our nation has to grapple with various forms of internal security issues over the past decade in all geo-political zones,” the President said
Buhari said the summit was timely, as the country was mourning the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other gallant officers who died in a plane crash.
He said that their death was a painful loss to the nation, the military, and efforts to combat security challenges in the country.
In his remark, the President of the Senate, Sen. Ahmed Lawal, said that Nigeria was at a crossroad, adding that the very essence of the country’s existence was under threat.
He said what began as a small insurgency in Yobe had snowballed into full-blown terrorism with banditry in the North West, herders/farmers clashes in North Central and attack on government facilities in South East.
Lawal said that the summit was essentially to enhance the work of security agencies as criminals were becoming too comfortable, adding that the nationhood was being tested.
He said that the legislature and the Executive must come together to salvage the situation appealing to the Executive to implement the summit’s outcome.
The senate president, who pledged the support of the parliament for security agencies, stressed the need to review the procurement process in the military.
Lawal said that the parliament would work with the Executive towards reviewing the country’s security architecture, TheGuardian reports.