President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that Nigerians who hold the opinion that his administration goes too hard on protesters but treats bandits with care are being unfair.
Buhari stated this in an interview with NTA on Friday evening.
The president noted that his administration is not sparing anyone involved in criminal activities.
He also urged Nigerians to reflect on the circumstances upon which is administration took over the control of the nation.
He added that in terms of resources, “I believe we haven’t done very badly.”
Read excerpt from the interview below
From what you have seen and heard and what you have achieved so far, how will you describe Nigeria today:
Well, I want Nigerians to be fair to this administration. They should reflect seriously at the time we came in, especially relative to North East and South-South. Where we are now is in terms of resources. How much were we producing and the previous administrations were producing?. 2.12 million barrels per day at the price of 100 dollars. When we came, somehow the militants in the south-south were unleashed on this administration. And our production went down to half a million barrels per day. And again the oil market collapsed, so I will like Nigerians to reflect on these, in terms of resources in time and I believe we haven’t done very badly.
You said you will treat criminals in the language they understand, it’s a coded statement what do you mean?
How can you go to police stations and kill the officers there, loot the armory and burn the place? What do you want to achieve? Go and open prison and allow criminals that have been trialed through the legal system and let them loose on the society. And how can government sit aside and allow this confusion to be perpetrated? All they do is confusion and no government can allow confusion.
Look at the EndSARS incident in Lagos. The previous governor of Lagos bought 200 buses to complement the transportation in Lagos but they went and burnt them. The present governor made an album and came to see me. I said thank you very much. I took the album, put it in my archives and I told him to tell Lagosians to walk because we don’t have money after we bought buses and some people come and burn it, So let them walk.
So, do you mean fire for fire?
More than that, what I hope for is that we will arrest them, trial them, give them publicity and then jail them so that people would know that if they misbehave they will not get away with it.
Some Nigerians accuse you of what they call double standards, that insurgents, bandits and kidnappers were never threatened in such a manner. How will you react to that?
They are being unfair, they should go and ask the governors of Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and found out how we have been deploying police, military to deal with the bandits. We are not sparing anybody but Nigeria is vast and there are a lot of forests.
On security, Buhari added that “We are doing a lot, the problem is that when you order helicopter, fighter jets, it takes time. We got our vehicles from Jordan, China and this equipment you will have to take it to institutions where they train the trainers, bring them to Nigeria, stock spare parts before you take them to operational areas. These things take time.”