*Warns against ethnic, religious prejudices
*Says govt ‘ll protect religious freedom
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari Thursday met with the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari who told the body that the country was dealing with a protracted security problem, assured that his administration was doing everything necessary halt the menace.
He said government had continued to provide the military with the needed equipment as he called on citizens to provide timely intelligence to the nation’s security agencies.
While noting that government cannot do it alone, he urged the people to lend their support to the fight against insurgency.
The President said. “Security is a protracted challenge. But we are not relenting in our efforts. We equipping the military.
“We encourage localities to enhance their intelligence gathering and timely remitting to the security agencies.”
He said that his administration was diversifying the economy as it bids to reduce poverty in the country.
Similarly, he noted that the war against corruption is relentless, assuring that his government will continue to discharge its constitutional responsibilities and ensuring harming in the country.
He assured that he will continue to promote religious freedom and be fair to all as urged all Nigerians to work together.
According to him, “We are diversifying the economy to reduce poverty, we are combating corruption.
“We will continue to promote religious freedom as a constitutional responsibility. If the country must work, we must continue to work together in spite of ethnic and religious differences.
“It is my solemn decision to be fair to all in the society. “
The president urged the traditional leaders to give full backing to the Alternate School Programme (ASP) recently launched even as he admonished them to lend their voices to the COVID-19 global public health crisis to curtail the spread of the disease.
He reiterated that government is working hard to procure COVID-19 vaccines, pleading the NCSIA to join in the drive to educate people on the importance.
Earlier in his address, Sultan Abubakar commended the president for the successes achieved so far in the Northeast, calling on the government to deal decisively with the banditry that is raving the Northwestern States of Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and some parts of the North Central.
While expressing confidence that security forces, with better synergy among them, will overcome present challenges, he solicited for the cooperation of all the governors with the federal government irrespective of their political leanings, calling on Nigerians to support the new leadership of the armed forces.
The NSCIA leader also appealed to Nigerians, particularly religious leaders to refrain from making inflammatory comments that tend towards sowing discord in the polity and exacerbating the current level of insecurity in the land. He asked that religious leaders making subversive comments should be called to order.
The meeting, which took place in the council chamber of the presidential villa, was attended by the Etsu Nupe, Yahaya Abubakar; the Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory, Interior, Information and Culture, Mohammed Bello, Rauf Aregbesola and Lai Mohammed respectively, as well as the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Mongunu and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.