Poverty, unemployment fueling insurgency says Buhari

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has stated the security crisis in the Northeast has been largely fueled by unemployment and poverty.

The President, who spoke during an exclusive interview with a team of Arise Television Executives, led by its Chairman Prince Nduka Obaigbena, also confessed it has been extremely difficult fighting corruption under a democratic setting.

The Nigerian leader said he believes his government has done a lot to fight the terrorists but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

He said he believes the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians after being told so by the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum.

On the fight against corruption in the country, he emphasized that it had not been easy for him to fight corruption since he became a democratically elected President six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

He expressed concerns that the local government system was almost non-existent in the country as Governors have continued to starve them of funds saying “in a situation where N300 million is allocated to local government and they are given N100 million is not fair”.

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Also, the President said he had given the police and Armed Forces order to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorizing across the country.

He said he had told the police and the military to treat bandits in the northern part of “the language they understand”.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages. Like I said , we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farms, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble. We are already in enough trouble. So we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,” he assured.

Speaking on dealing with farmers/herders clashes, the President said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.