Friday, February 9

"No plan to colonize any part of Nigeria" - President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari today explained that the policy proposed by Federal Government in response to the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country is not meant to colonize any part of the country.

Receiving Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) led by Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, President Buhari said the intention of government is to create grazing locations for cattle rearers, which has now been misconstrued as another form of colonization.

President Buhari regretted that the well-thought out policy of the Federal Government, which was conceived after wide consultations with stakeholders, had been largely misunderstood by a section of the public.

‘‘We have done very well on security in the North East, when you compare what the condition was before we came in and what it is now. On the economy, particularly agriculture, I am very pleased that God answered the prayers of Nigerians who prayed for bountiful harvest. People have taken advantage of Federal Government policies and programmes to return to the farm and they have not regretted,’’ he said.

On the fight against corruption, the President reiterated that government would be guided by the law in the investigation and prosecution of all graft-related cases.

‘‘People are being prosecuted systematically with evidence. If a permanent secretary has five houses in Abuja, two in Kaduna and one in Borno and Sokoto and he can’t account for the properties and there are bank transactions linking him to the properties, the prosecuting agencies will not have difficulties to make progress on the case."

On the question of Federal character, the President declared that no ethnic group or political zone has been deliberately marginalised in the appointments made so far.

He, however, added that he would take a second look at areas on which issues have been raised, when a compendium of all government appointments is submitted to him.

In his remarks, Archbishop Kaigama pledged that the Catholic Church in Nigeria would continue to support the Buhari administration and make its contribution to nation-building through prayers, admonitions and assistance to needy Nigerians.

"As the voice of the people, we shall continue to highlight the plight of our people and play our prophetic role of sensitizing the government, thus promoting good governance, national unity and cohesion,’’ Kaigama said.

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