President Muhammadu Buhari has called on state and local governments to revamp their intelligence assets so that the security agencies can foil any planned attacks in remote rural areas.
He made the call in a national broadcast to commemorate the 2020 Democracy Day on Friday.
The president bemoaned the resurgence of terrorist and bandit attacks in some states.
Buhari said recent attacks on some communities in Katsina and Borno States were as a result of criminals taking advantage of COVID-19 restrictions.
While giving assurance that security agencies will bring the perpetrators to justice, he noted that his government’s resolve to end banditry, insurgency and other forms of criminality has remained “unshaken”.
The president also outlined several steps his administration has taken to stem insecurity across the country.
“In the area of security, we remain unshaken in our resolve to protect our national infrastructure including on-shore and off-shore oil installations, secure our territorial waters and end piracy in the Gulf of Guinea,” Buhari said.
“Ending insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality across the nation is being accorded appropriate priorities and the men and women of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have considerably downgraded such threats across all geo-political zones.
“All the Local Governments that were taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have long been recovered and are now occupied by indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes.
“The total collapse of the economies of these areas, which constituted a threat to our food security, has also been reversed with the gradual recovery of farming and other economic activities.
“I regret recent sporadic incidents with tragic loss of lives in Katsina and Borno States as a result of criminals taking advantage of COVID-19 restrictions. Security Agencies will pursue the perpetrators and bring them to swift justice.
“ I must implore state and local governments to revamp their intelligence assets so that the Security Agencies can nip in the bud any planned attacks in remote rural areas. I send my heartfelt condolences to all the relatives and communities affected.
“As part of the strengthening of our internal security architecture, the Ministry of Police Affairs was created.
“Amongst others, Government has expanded the National Command and Control Centre to nineteen states of the federation, resuscitated the National Public Security Communication System and commenced the implementation of the Community Policing Strategy.
“Government has similarly established a Nigerian Police Trust Fund as a public-private sector vehicle for alternative sources of funding security activities.
“To reduce security challenges through our external borders especially smuggling of oil products out of the country, inflow of small arms and drugs into the country and equally protect our local manufacturers, we introduced operation ‘Ex-Swift Response’ closing our borders from August 20th 2019, and have considerably succeeded in meeting its objectives as well as improving our national revenue.”