Nigeria: Updated – Insecurity: I Live Daily With ‘Grief and Worry’ – Buhari

“I am living daily with the grief and worry for all those victims and prisoners of terrorism and kidnapping,” Mr Buhari says.

Although many Nigerians see him as incompassionate and lacking empathy, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says he lives daily ‘with grief and worry’ due to the insecurity pervading the country.

Mr Buhari said this in his speech on Sunday to mark this year’s Democracy Day.

“On this special day, I want us all to put all victims of terrorist activities in our thoughts and prayers,” he said.

“I am living daily with the grief and worry for all those victims and prisoners of terrorism and kidnapping.”

The Nigerian leader said he “and the security agencies are doing all we can to free those unfortunate countrymen and countrywomen safely.”

Hundreds of Nigerians are kidnapped monthly by armed groups across the country.

The victims are usually held for days and weeks until a ransom is paid.

Over 50 train passengers kidnapped in March from a Kaduna-bound train are still with their kidnappers.

Beyond kidnapping, dozens of people are killed monthly across Nigeria by various non-state actors, PREMIUM TIMES has reported.

Many Nigerians have criticised Mr Buhari for not showing empathy whenever there are tragedies in the country.

He was criticised during mass kidnappings in Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna, Katsina – the president’s hometown – and Kebbi State when he refused to visit any of the schools.

The president was also criticised when former Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru, alongside ten other military personnel died from a military plane crash in Kaduna.

Many Nigerians criticised Mr Buhari for failing to attend the funeral rites of the personnel.

Justice for victims

In his speech on Sunday, President Buhari assured that his government will continue to seek justice for victims of insecurity.

He said all hands are on deck to rescue kidnap victims and bring their captors to book,

“For those who have lost their lives, we will continue to seek justice for their families against the perpetrators.

“For those currently in captivity, we will not stop until they are freed, and their kidnappers are brought to justice.

“If we all unite, we will be victorious against these agents of terror and destruction,” Mr Buhari said.

He said his government has reformed some security structures, adding that the defence assets procured three years ago have arrived and are being put to use.

“Our cyber security and surveillance systems are being upgraded to further enhance our ability to track and trace criminal elements.

“We are also recruiting and training new personnel across all our security and intelligence agencies to strengthen the country’s overall security,” he said.

Troubled nation

Almost every geopolitical zone in the country is suffering from one form of attack or the other, from armed groups such as Boko Haram/ISWAP, IPOB separatists and bandits.

Nigeria is also witnessing, arguably, the highest number of abductions and hostage-taking since 2014 when the Chibok schoolgirls were abducted.

Besides, the country is also witnessing jailbreaks as no fewer than four prisons were affected in the past year.

Also, bandits have overshadowed the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists as they have made some states in the North-west and North-central the epicentres of killings in the country.

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