Being speech by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, delivered by His Excellency, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON at the graduation ceremony of the senior executive course 38 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Jos, Plateau State on November 19, 2016
I am delighted to be here with you this morning on the occasion of the graduation ceremony of the Senior Executive Course 38 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, our nation’s foremost institution for policy, research and training.
It is re-assuring to note that since the establishment of the institute 37 years ago, the national institute has provided a vibrant platform for policy intellectuals and thought leaders on critical issues of national development.
The institute is to be commended for the quality of research and policy output that has been generated over the years.
The innovative ideas that have been proffered by this intellectual power-house have positively influenced national policy and development of our nation through the years.
It is also specially heartwarming to note that some of the current members have contributed significantly to improving the infrastructure here at the institute and that the entire Senior Executive Course 38 of 2016 have donated a block of two shelters to accommodate all of the participants.
Your altruism and generosity is a mark of the leadership efforts that we are confident will define the new Nigeria.
Please accept my sincere condolence on the sudden passing of your course mate, Hajia Maimuna Abdullahi who incidentally was present at the presentation ceremony of your course to me at the Presidential Villa only two weeks ago.
As has become traditional, the Special Guest of Honour’s speech at NIPSS graduation usually seeks to address some crucial policy issue, this is as it should be, our foremost policy think tank ought to be a place where thoughts, ideas and evolving policies in government are laid out and interrogated.
Today permit me to speak briefly on the law and order challenge in Nigeria.
(The law and order challenge in Nigeria, its scope, its implications and the critical pathways for resolving the issues that attempt this matter of law and order.)
It is clear that a stable, safe and prosperous society must be the desire of every group of policy makers and executors.
It is probably true to say also that the chief function of government is the protection and assurance of the security of lives, livelihoods and the properties of the citizenry.
Indeed at the conceptual level, it explains the reason why individuals and communities give over their right of self-help and self-protection and even vengeance to the state; and the state cannot afford to compromise these responsibilities in anyway.
Indeed many nation-states in exercising that duty of ensuring security find themselves unfortunately prioritizing the maintenance of law and order over individual and sometimes communal rights.
In recent years, Nigeria has had to deal with fairly significant and sustained breaches of the norms of law and order, these include the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, several cases of herdsmen and farmer clashes, and also cattle rustling, facility and pipeline sabotage in the Niger Delta, kidnappings for ransom and the Shiite-Army and Police clashes with pro-Biafra agitators in the southeast among others.
But beginning with the Boko Haram insurgency, although in the past year, the capacity of the Boko Haram as a military force and to hold territory has, to a level, been degraded, much laws and instability has resulted, and it is essentially a rag-tag left-over that still carry out the itinerant ambushes and raids especially in border territories.
But almost over 2 million people have been displaced in the Northeast, some in IDP camps, but most in host communities, with orphans in the tens of thousands.
As the insurgents fled very many small border hamlets, they left behind women and children that they had held in captivity, in many cases badly malnourished.
Several local and international humanitarian organisations, working in the region have worked hard with the government to contain the large number of individuals of malnourished and dying children.
I ordered the establishment of an inter-ministerial task-force of relevant line ministries to create more order and synergy with the humanitarian organisations, NGOs and the UN agencies.
Barely two weeks ago, I also formally inaugurated the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiatives (PCNI) headed by General T.Y. Danjuma, Rtd, to coordinate both official and private initiatives in the region and also ensure that the state governments have the same power to rehabilitate in a particular area where they have found their competence useful.
Only recently, Dikwa Local Government had some of the public buildings, schools, hospitals rebuilt, and the PCNI provided the material while the state government, the builders, artisans and labourers executed the job.
Still the humanitarian tragedies are immense and the losses are enormous. No farming has taken place in many of the villages and communities for over three years.
Farmlands in many cases have been mined by the fleeing insurgents and because they are largely at various communities, the deprivation of livelihood and economic opportunities is big.
Invariably, this dents agriculture’s 32 percent contribution to our GDP.