Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, will be a fulfilled Nigerian if President Muhammadu Buhari goes beyond recovering looted funds to prosecuting corrupt leaders and sending them to jail if found guilty.
He also wants the Federal Government to institute a National Integrity Plan to be supported by a National Integrity Institute to champion the country’s moral rebirth.
The eminent monarch advanced these views in Abuja yesterday in a keynote address at the National Security Summit organised by the Nigeria Police and SUN Publishing Limited, publishers of Sun Newspapers.
He explained that the proposed integrity plan will refocus Nigeria’s ethical, moral and spiritual energies and the indomitable spirit of Nigerians in building a peaceful, prosperous and democratic country able and willing to take its proper place in the comity of nations.
Abubakar pledged to support President Buhari in the fight against corruption, stating that those who are found guilty of corruption should not just be prosecuted but should be jailed.
He said: “All found culpable of corruption should not only forfeit their assets but should go to jail. We are 100 percent in support of your fight against corruption in the country.
“Our national security agencies must join the crusade against corruption, with commitment and determination. Regardless of how well trained and equipped an organisation is, it cannot attain its full potential if it allows corruption and corrupt elements to grace its corridors. Those who conspire to corrupt our national institutions from the outside must face the same consequences of those who do it from inside,” he said.
The royal father advised that Nigerians should face the task of reforming and repositioning our national institutions.
He continued: “It is imperative to ensure that our security agencies truly become 21st Century organisations able to discharge their mandates effectively and efficiently. We should be able to cater to the operational needs and to the welfare of their members. When we state that they serve and protect, we should mean it by word and deed.
“We should endeavour to build sturdy bridges and bridge the gap between our security agencies and our communities. The record of our recent past is before us and shall serve as a true guide to the future. But we should also learn from our past and avoid expediency. Whatever we do, should be meaningful and sustainable,” he stated.
Sultan Abubakar noted that the last few years had been a very trying period for Nigeria, noting that blood had been shed with careless abandon and means of livelihood had been destroyed.
He challenged traditional, religious and community leaders to come together and safeguard Nigeria. “On our part as traditional rulers, we pledge our support to the security institutions. Traditional institutions over centuries have played vital roles in the sustenance of peace and security in their domains”.
In his speech, former governor of Abia State and Publisher of SUN newspaper, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu advised President Buhari not to fight corruption the way his predecessors did by concentrating on individuals but by sanitising the institutions of government.
FG to recruit 100,000 Policemen
At the event, Buhari unveiled plans by his administration to recruit additional 100,000 to boost the Nigeria Police capacity to secure the country.
He said the government will also establish a well-trained and equipped federal anti-terrorism multi-agency taskforce.
The President said that while it is understandable that unemployment, illiteracy, radicalisation, negative peer group influence, substance abuse and erosion of family and moral values are social factors that underlie criminal tendency, the reality remains that the task of addressing these challenges is that of parents, the community and the state.
“It is in acknowledgement of this that I have defined youth employment as one of the cardinal objectives of my administration. In furtherance to this, the Federal Government is emplacing appropriate framework that will facilitate the employment of at least an extra 100,000 police officers and establish a properly trained and equipped federal anti-terrorism multi-agency task force that will effectively address the challenge of Boko Haram and any form of insurgency in a sustainable manner.
“In addition, efforts are being made to enhance the operational capacity of officers of the Nigeria Police through a tailor-made training programme that will give them the right civil orientation in their roles as guardians of the constitution. In order to further strengthen the security of the public space, consideration is being given to the expansion of the CCTV monitoring system across major cities and towns in the country, while the police accountability mechanism will be strengthened.
“Above all these, in appreciation of the strategic role of the citizens and the community in modern policing, this administration will encourage the development of state-level community policing under the model that will integrate members of the community to policing functions at the grassroots level. It is my high expectation that develop pathways for the attainment of this policy focus of my administration.
President Buhari commended the leadership of the Nigeria Police under the current Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, for his ongoing reform of the Service.
Buhari stressed that if IGP Arase implements most of the initiatives he introduced in the Police, he (Buhari) has no doubt, those ideas would certainly address the factors that threaten public confidence in the police.
Buhari said: “Let me at this juncture commend the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force for appreciating the yearning of the members of the public by ordering the dismantling of police road blocks which have consistently constituted a dark side of policing and object of discord between the police and the citizens of this country. The initiatives of the IGP to also introduce the ‘Safer Highway Motorized Patrol’ Scheme and deployment of 555 patrol vehicles along all major high ways to fill the void created by the enforcement of the order dismantling road blocks is also acknowledged as a proactive action that has reassured the citizens of their safety and security.
“Also noted is the commitment of the Force leadership to uphold and enforce chapter IV of the constitution and commit officers of the Force to the adherence to all United Nations and African Union Charters and other regional global instruments on Human Rights while also introducing Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures to policing functions. Equally acknowledged is the policy thrust of the IGP, which discourages pre-trial detention of citizens while encouraging the practice of intelligence-led policing,” he said.
Earlier, Arase said studies had shown that criminals thrive and national security remains perpetually threatened in a country where there is a deep gulf between policing agencies on the one hand and the citizens on the other hand.
He said: “Therefore, there must come a time in the life of a nation when all citizens must of necessity resolve to frankly engage with their police and build a strong synergy in order to defeat a common enemy. For us as a nation, there is no other auspicious time for this than now.”

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