By Levinus Nwabughiogu
BEIJING — President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a stern warning to vandals and saboteurs blowing up oil and gas installations, saying the full weight of the law would be unleashed on them should they continue in their nefarious acts.
The President said the fate of the Boko Haram insurgents in the hands of the Nigerian armed forces would be their lot.
Speaking at a meeting with members of the Nigerian community in China, President Buhari said he would not relent in the fight against corruption.
According to him, corruption is an arch-enemy of the nation, which has destroyed the lives of many Nigerians.
He said: “I ask for your support to make our vision of stamping out corruption a reality in the shortest possible time. Whoever is caught will not be spared. The government is still being dared, but those who are sensible should have learned a lesson. Those who are mad, let them continue in their madness.
“I am aware that in the last two weeks, the national grid collapsed a number of times. I hope this message will reach the vandals and saboteurs who are blowing up pipelines and installations. We will deal with them the way we dealt with Boko Haram.”
President Buhari assured the Nigerian community that the Federal Government was working very hard to overcome current national challenges and deliver on its promise of a better Nigeria.
Decades of damage can’t be repaired overnight
He said: “Clearly, our vision of a diversified and inclusive economy will not be achieved overnight. It will be a long, and in some cases, painful journey. I am very confident we will get there but we must start that journey now.
“We hear proposals for short cuts or quick wins. However, all we need to do is look at our history to know that there are no quick wins or short cuts in fixing Nigeria. The many decades of damage and destruction cannot be repaired overnight.
“The reform programme we are implementing is not because oil prices are below $45 per barrel today. It is because when oil prices were over $100 per barrel, majority of Nigerians were still suffering. They were simply forgotten and left behind. So, our reforms are to ensure that the majority of Nigerians are not left behind.”
Buhari also said his administration was fulfilling its promise to improve security across the country.
He said: “When we came into office in 2015, Boko Haram insurgents occupied 14 local government areas. Today, I am pleased to say the insurgents have been routed out of these local governments and their capacity to fight as a force has been significantly degraded.
“We will continue working hard to ensure that the group is eliminated. This is achievable. And we will not settle for anything less.”