Many states in the North-west and North-central regions have suffered attacks by bandits who kill and kidnap at will.
President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that his administration will "use all available resources and manpower in dealing with bandits" who have been terrorising several parts of Nigeria.
Many states in the North-west and North-central regions have suffered attacks by bandits who kill and kidnap at will. States that have suffered such attacks include Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger and Katsina.
In his speech in Abuja Thursday, after observing the Islamic Eid prayer marking the end of Ramadan, the president linked the activities of the bandits to food security.
"... President Buhari emphatically said that the menace of bandits and kidnappers will be addressed to ensure that the nation's food security is not threatened," the president's spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said in a statement.
Mr Buhari has been criticised for his handling of Nigeria's security situation including that caused by bandits. Apart from the attacks by bandits, kidnappings and killings are also rife in many parts of the country.
Read the full statement by Mr Shehu below.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday pledged that his administration will use all available resources and manpower in dealing with bandits to ensure that they did not create havoc against access to farms and food production in the coming growing season.
Speaking to reporters at the State House shortly after observing the Eid prayer, marking the end of the month-long Ramadan fast, President Buhari emphatically said that the menace of bandits and kidnappers will be addressed to ensure that the nation's food security is not threatened.
The president, who hoped for a good rainy season this year, said "the law enforcement agencies are working hard to regain confidence against bandits, so that we can go back to the land. This is very important. This is what the agencies are busy doing right now. We want people to go back to the land so that we can get enough food for the country and even export."
Explaining ongoing efforts to tackle the security situation in the country by the administration, President Buhari drew attention to the series of long meetings held in recent weeks, chaired by him, saying that a part of resolutions had been made public by the National Security Adviser and the others kept secret.
"With the resources and manpower available to us, we are working very hard. We are hoping Nigerians will understand the problem. Nigerians know at what stage we came in in 2015, what state we are today both on security and the economy and we are doing our best."
The President commended the National Assembly for its support, saying emphatically that "the National Assembly is cooperating very well. Within the resources available, they are certainly giving us priority on our (military) requests."
President Buhari then made an appeal to the nation's elite to show a better appreciation of the problems facing the country.
"The elite should make the attempt to understand the military. If we order for weapons and armored vehicles, it takes time for the manufacturers. It takes time to ship them and when brought here eventually, they are taken to training institutions, train the trainers before sending them to the field. This is a very long process," the president explained.
He appealed to Nigerians for more understanding of the current situation in country. "I expect Nigerians to be more understanding on the issues involved, looking at time and available resources. For example, when we came in, in the Northeast, ask people in Adamawa and Borno States and the South South in terms of security. Without security, you can't do anything. Our big surprise and disappointment is what is happening in the Northwest and we are dealing with it," said the President with a strong emphasis.
President Buhari and members of his family were joined for the Eid at the forecourt of the Villa by the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, cabinet members and the heads of security and intelligence agencies.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)