The Presidency says President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to ending banditry and terrorism in the Nothern part of the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in Abuja during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He said President Buhari has ordered the security agencies to shoot at sight anyone caught in the illegal possession of AK-47 rifles, saying that the order still stands.
Shehu neither confirmed nor debunked the claim that President Buhari would relax the shoot-at-sight order in exchange for the release of some abducted students.
He also condemned some media practitioners for glamorising crime by making some Boko Haram terrorists look like heroes.
He said: “We have the most vibrant media community on the continent and we expect robustness or criticism from them.
“Some of the elements, I am careful to say some of the elements in our media that glamorise crime that will make Boko Haram look like heroes. It doesn’t help anybody.”
Shehu noted that President Buhari is passionate about the unity of Nigeria, noting that Nigerians enjoy the freedom of speech under President Buhari’s administration.
“This President is focused on securing this country, he is focused on the unity of this country and he will preserve it,” he said.
“People should be free to say whatever because this country is under the best democratic government that we have had since the fourth republic.
“The President will not lock up people, there is no assassination by state actors under Buhari and so, therefore, people can say whatever they want to say. They will go home and sleep very soundly.”
He also accused members of the opposition of exploiting the country’s security challenges in spite of the government’s efforts to tackle issues facing the nation.
Shehu said: “I want to assure Nigerians that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is addressing multiple challenges that are facing the country especially in dealing with security and yet we are still making progress in agriculture, economy, anti-corruption, which are the key policies that brought the party and the government to office.
“It is sad for the country that opposition is exploiting some of these things. It is quite unfortunate and I want to assure that the president remains focused on preserving the security and unity of this country.”