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Security: We’ll be tougher going forward – Buhari

By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned of tougher security measures in restive parts of the country, with review of operations and strategy, reassuring Nigerians that the efforts that resulted in relative peace in South-South, and rescuing of North-East from the hold of terrorists will be ramped up.

Buhari noted that the major security challenges have remained in the North Central and North West, saying, “We are going to be very tough.’’

The President spoke on Wednesday at a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Abuja.

“I will like us to reflect on what the situation was before we came in. How many Local Government Areas were under the control of terrorists in the North-East?

“In the South-South, we all know what the situation was; now we have relative peace. With the resources at our disposal, we have done very well.

“People are very forgetful. Our main problem now is in the North West and North Central. People are killing one another in these places, what for? We are going to be very tough,’’ he said.

President Buhari urged party members to be more mindful of the pitfalls that led to the ouster of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

“The PDP thought that only time could remove them, and the time actually came. They thought it was impossible to lose elections,’’ he added.

He said the APC was formed by a merger of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), some members from All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the new PDP, which was a faction of the then ruling party.

“We put together a committee with clear terms of reference on how to remove the PDP from power. The PDP thought it wasn’t going to be possible. But it happened,’’ the President said.

Buhari told new members of the National Working Committee (NWC), which had been delegated powers of NEC for a period, to work towards keeping the party together by creating more room for discussions.

“There’s no time to develop differences among ourselves. We have no time for that,’’ he added.

The President commended Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and all its members for offering themselves to serve the party at a critical moment in utmost satisfaction despite all the attendant challenges, and for organizing the National Convention that produced the NWC.

“I must also sincerely thank all the aspirants for their desire to serve but had to withdraw their aspirations for the over-all interest of our Party. I consider it an honour to my person and an unwavering sacrifice for the unity of our great party as we approach the coming elections.

“I plead with all aspirants who were not elected to put in efforts in support of the leadership of the Party to achieve our goal of success in the forthcoming elections. Furthermore I am pleading with all litigants to withdraw cases against the Party and put faith in party mechanisms.’’

Buhari also advised party leaders against imposing unpopular candidates on the APC.

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