President Muhammadu Buhari has warned against ethnic profiling of criminals, assuring Nigerians that his government will continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens.
The president, who spoke while declaring open a meeting of the 19 Northern Governors and chairmen of the region's Traditional Council of Chiefs and Emirs in Kaduna, stressed that, "criminals are criminals and must be dealt with accordingly without resulting to ethnic profiling."
Daily Trust reports that the meeting was put together as a result of the security and socio-economic challenges bedeviling the region.
Those in attendance were representatives of the region at the National Assembly, the Director General of the DSS, IG of Police, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminences, Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar as well as representatives of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Northern Elders Forum (NEF).
President Buhari, who was represented, by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, said his administration would confront the various dimensions of security challenges and continue to emancipate Nigerians from poverty and economic deprivation.
"The government shall continue to deal with insurgents, bandits kidnappers and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens across the country," President Buhari said, adding that he has since tasked the new Service Chiefs to devise new strategies that will end the ugly security situation where lives of Nigerians continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals.
"It is pertinent to note that the increased realization of our security, democracy indices are inextricably linked. Democracy and rule of law promote stability and in turn reinforces the power to assert freedom and economic progress of our people. This thread of interconnection needs support of the Northern State Governors Forum and entire citizenry of the country as any amount of positive sacrifice would be beneficial in bringing about national development and security of our nation," he further said.
Governors should synergise
While advocating for synergy between the Northern Governors Forum and other forums in other regions for the collective good of nation, he stressed the need for the regions to compare notes and peer-review one another to exchange ideas and adopt best practices for the good of the people they govern.
The president also urged the governors to discuss and devise ways of building stronger collaboration with the security architecture and the people in defeating criminality across the region and the nation at large.
He commended the Forum for de-escalate tension arising from clashes between herders and farmers adding that the efforts of the Forum in engaging all parties and supporting the efforts of the Federal Government has gone a long way in ameliorating the situation.