Nigeria: I'll Make Police, Judiciary More Efficient - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said he would persuade the police and judiciary to be hard in his second term to address challenges facing the country.

Speaking on a special interview aired last night on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), he said anybody who tries to slow the pace of investigation and prosecution would be uncovered.

The president is due to be sworn-in for second tomorrow at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

Asked whether he would be ruthless in his second term, he said: "All those who call me Baba go-slow will see whether I'm Baba go-slow or fast. It means that I will persuade the police and judiciary to be hard.

"And when I uncover that they are not hard, I will try and trace who is responsible for the slowness in terms of commanders of police from DPOs upward. The IG alone cannot do everything, he has to depend on commissioners and the commissioners have to depend on DPOs."

On the song by a northern musician, Dauda Rarara, warning corrupt persons to run away, the president said, "They either stay and behave themselves or they better run."

The president reiterated his commitment to make the police and the judiciary much more efficient.

"The police are in the frontline, there is no town without a police station. They are supposed to be the frontline for law and order," he said, even as he asked the force to embrace "absolute community security."

He also said that he feels very bad "because there is failure of neighbourhood security, because those who are perpetrating these crimes live in the neighbourhood. In this, the community leadership and the police have failed."

The president urged Nigerians to expose the criminals in their neighbourhood to help the government move the country forward and attract investors.

"You cannot accommodate criminals in your neighbourhood and start blaming government," he said, adding that no investor will want to be in a community where his workers would be kidnapped.

He said the police were not given uniforms and rifles to impress any body but to secure the people

The president assured Nigerians that he would continue to do his best, adding that he appointed the service chiefs based on records.

The president, who scored himself high in the area of security, said his greatest frustration in his first term was the slow pace of investigation and prosecution.

"My frustration is that we cannot move faster in prosecution and punishment of corrupt persons. We made some progress, we recovered a number of fixed assets and money in banks including Europe and America. But under this system you can't be too much in a hurry. Even if you are using whistle blowers, you have to go to the police, the police to go through the rigmarole of full investigation before prosecution. This is my biggest frustration really.

"The frustration is taking too long. By my own hope, I need to see that those who have frustrated our economy are punished," he said.

Saraki, Dogara low on patriotism

The president scored the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House Representatives Yakubu Dogara low on patriotism.

He said "I think a culture was developed at the National Assembly; that they should dictate the terms which I believe was wrong. It is the executive that dictates the terms and take it before the legislature to examine it and agree or disagree with it. But when they go around posing that they are the government, not the executive, then that is the problem.

"I spoke personally to the Senate President Saraki and the leader of the House Dogara and they could not deny it. I told them how do they feel to hold the country to ransom for seven months without passing a budget? I said personally they are not hurting me, they were hurting the country. So really in terms of patriotism, I think I rated them very, very low indeed."

No major scandal in my cabinet

On his pledge to expand his cabinet, he said: "I have addressed my cabinet, I said goodbye to them. I still haven't discussed it (forming new cabinet) with anybody and you will not be the first person I will discuss it with"

On what the type of people he would appoint as ministers, he said: "When I addressed the cabinet, I told them that I'm very pleased we didn't have any major scandal and I think that's a major achievement.

"And anybody who hasn't gotten any evidence against any of my minister, then people have to trust me which of the ministers I will retain and which ones I will say goodbye to. I'm very sincere; I won't go beyond that because I haven't discussed it with anybody yet," he added.

He expressed satisfaction on the turnout of Nigerians during his re-election campaigns, saying, "The so called elites want to impress on Nigerians that they dictate for government at all levels. I found out that the elites are just for themselves."

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