President Goodluck Jonathan Monday allayed fears that the security challenges bogging the country down for the past one year would soon be a thing of the past.
The President reassurance also came on a day a private radio station owner, Chief Adebayo Akande, warned against any action capable of compromising the unity of the country as being surreptitiously championed by the Boko Haram insurgents.
President Jonathan, who spoke at this year's Nigerian Army Day celebration, reaffirmed his administration's commitment to ending the series of violence that has become recurrent by harnessing all resources available to the government to curb the menace of insurgencies and other crimes.
"Our nation has experienced a number of security challenges, particularly over the past one year. I would like to seize this opportunity to reaffirm our administration's commitment to deploying all the resources at our disposal to ensure that this challenge is met head-on," he stated.
While noting the aptness of this year's theme: "Partnering the Civil Society Towards Improved Security", the president expressed confidence that the, "nation's Armed Forces, including the Army, as well as the other security agencies are primed to ensure, in an integrated manner, that peace and security are restored in all the affected areas in the shortest possible time. Only recently, I approved a National Counter Terrorism Strategy to give clear direction to our concerted efforts at frontally confronting and defeating the menace of terrorism in our country," Jonathan explained.
He requested the security agencies to upgrade their capabilities for sustained inter-service cooperation admonishing them to also seek "greater cooperation with the international community."
"I am pleased to note that the military has continued to interface with the Police in our determination to provide security and guarantee the safety of all Nigerians wherever they may reside in the country," he added.
He praised the high degree of professionalism and technical expertise which had characterised the Nigerian Army, as it had demonstrated overtime that it is "a courageous and dedicated force, totally committed to the defence of our unity and the preservation of our territorial integrity."
He applauded the Army's loyalty, promotion of peace at home and abroad, professional excellence and creativity, all of which has demonstrated its sophistication in the management of available resources.
"I am particularly impressed with the use of direct labour by the Army in many of the projects it has undertaken. Apart from saving cost, this initiative also enhances the professional competence of your personnel," he stressed.
He assured that his administration will continue to support the military in order to enable it grow into an even more formidable force with all the capabilities that will allow it efficiently and effectively carry out its responsibilities.
Meanwhile, Akande while speaking with journalists in Ibadan, ahead of the fifth anniversary and annual lecture of the first private radio station, Splash 105.5FM, urged Nigerians to rise and fight for the decentralisation of governance for peace and progress to be achieved.
He blamed government's failure to overcome challenges of corruption and underdevelopment on over-centralisation of power, adding that improper implementation of laws were responsible for the high rate of corruption in the land.
"We have been championing good governance and integrity as a media organisation. Unless we champion the crusade of accountability and transparency the nation cannot move forward. We have to leave the society better than we met it. We should continue to educate the citizens on the need to restructure this country. Unless we do that the nation may not work. "While I am against secession I want to put on record the fact that power must be decentralised.
Presently, the Federal Government is handling too many things. How do you explain a situation where the FG will take 49per cent of the revenue while the states will share the left over? Why should the FG be in charge of all the major roads? Why should the Federal Government be in charge of water? When I came around in 1963/64 as a young lawyer the region used to retain 50 per cent of the Internally Generated Revenue with the remaining 50per cent remitted to FG. The situation has changed. The states are asked to remit tax to the centre thereby creeping development in the states. This leads to high level of corruption at the centre as so much surplus is there."