Those politicizing insecurity are unpatriotic, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday.
The Presidents remark came hours after former President Goodluck Jonathan said the security situation in the land was getting worse.
It also came after former President Olusegun Obasanjo gave Buhari a wake-up call on the security challenges to avert a looming calamity.
But, receiving representatives of the Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO) in the State House, Abuja, yesterday, the President branded those politicizing the isolated cases of insecurity as unpatriotic Nigerians.
According to him, every country faces one security challenge or the other. He identified banditry and kidnapping as new security challenges in Nigeria.
Buhari said: Your contribution during the election is commendable. Let me use this medium to assure you that you would not be disappointed because this second term, I intend to renew efforts in securing the country, fighting corruption and strengthening the economy.
Every country has security challenges. While we have made significant progress in fighting against terrorism, we acknowledge that there are new and emerging challenges of kidnapping and banditry.
I assure you that we will not relent in our efforts to secure the country from criminal activities Those who politicize the isolated incidents of insecurity are not patriotic Nigerians.
I am confident that this administration will use all the resources at its disposal to protect the lives of all Nigerians and not just prominent Nigerians but all.
Restating his commitment to stepping up the fight against corruption, Buhari said that his administration would continue to be tough on the menace.
The President saidAs you may be aware, the AU (African Union) at its deliberations last year, appointed me as African Anti-Corruption Champion for the continent.
This is because other countries have seen our dedication to fighting corruption and they are keying in to emulate our approach.
On plans to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, Buhari said the policies put in place to support farmers and small businesses were yielding positive results.
According to him, the government has a plan to integrate farmers and owners of small businesses into the larger economy.
He said: We are keeping our currency steady and are adopting broad business policies to encourage private sector investment.
I want to reassure you that Nigeria is open for business as no country in the world can achieve rapid economic growth without significant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
At another parley with executive members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), President Buhari assured all that security remained a top priority for his administration.
He said the success recorded in degrading terrorists in the Northeast would be extended to the various parts experiencing challenges.
The team was led by the NMA President Dr. Francis Adedayo Faduyile.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President noted that offenders took advantage of the focus on the Northeast to commit crimes in other parts of the country.
If you cannot secure a country or institution, you cannot manage it, he was quoted as saying.
The President said efforts were still ongoing to improve employment level, following the success in getting many into the agricultural sector.
He stressed that opening up the economy for investments and getting youths engaged will control crime.
On health and education, Buhari urged states and local governments to play stronger roles in complementing Federal Governments efforts, especially in getting more children into classrooms.
He said: The issues of health and education are constitutional. If there are too many almajiris in a state, then the government is not following the constitution.
The states also have elites who are educated enough to remind their governments about their responsibility to almajiris.
The NMA President congratulated Buhari for winning a second term in office, attributing his return to efforts made by the government to reposition the country, especially the health sector, such as the establishment of a Cancer Centre in the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
Dr. Faduyile praised the President for always considering the NMA in appointing competent hands for positions in the health sector. The medical association, said Faduyile, will continue to partner with the government to bring good health services to Nigerians.
He spoke of the need to make the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) compulsory for all Nigerians, including those in the informal sector, as some special treatments, such as cancer, will require funds that might be beyond the reach of many.
The NMA chief urged the government to further strengthen the primary health care system, institute a health bank where medical professionals can access loans for facilities, remove duties on imported medical equipment and give more attention to security.
He canvassed that the budget on health should be improved from four per cent to 15 per cent.
Danladi Pasali, who led the BCO delegation, said the visit was to congratulate the President on his victory in the February election, adding that Buhari has performed creditably well since he came into office four years ago.
He expressed optimism that President Buhari would do more in growing the economy, securing the country and fighting corruption.
Speaking with State House reporters after the meeting, a member of the organisation and Iyaloja-General, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, said the group was at the Villa to identify with the good work that the President has been doing.
Stressing that the President had laid a good foundation in the last four years, she said it was for that reason that the BCO worked for his success in the election.
She said: We believe in him; we believe in the policies and the principles. That is why we worked hard to ensure that he emerged again as the President of Nigeria for the second term and we believe that he is going to do more.
Also speaking, former deputy governor of Plateau State Mrs. Pauline Tallen implored all Nigerians, irrespective of political parties, to join hands with President Buhari to lift the country.
Author: Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja