President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and Nigerians themselves for the spate of insecurity in the country.
Speaking during a special interview on NTA on Monday, May 27, 2019, the president said the government cannot be blamed if regular Nigerians and community leaders fail to cooperate with law enforcement agencies to fish out criminals in their communities.
Nigeria has experienced a rise in insecurity over the past few months. Banditry has taken a life of its own and created a huge insecurity headache for the country with countless cases of killings and kidnappings recorded.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, revealed earlier this month that a total of 1,071 people were killed in crime-related cases across the country in the first quarter of 2019.
During his interview, President Buhari said Nigeria's economy will continue to suffer as long as insecurity persists and called on Nigerians to fish out the criminals among them before blaming the government for failing to attract investment.
He further noted that the Police itself has failed Nigeria, to some extent, and promised to make the Force more efficient as he prepares to be sworn in for a second term.
He said, "We're making noise that we want people to come and invest their money. Who'll bring his money when his general manager will be abducted?
"So, all those screaming for local jobs and so on because we're not attracting capital investment, they should blame them for not cooperating with law enforcement agencies to get the criminals among us - the abductors, you know, and the 419ners.
"They live with them, they know them. They can't accommodate them and then blame government for not rebuilding factories. The government cannot build all the factories required, and employ all the people and produce all the goods and services.
"What the government should do is to provide security and convince entrepreneurs to invest, to employ people to produce goods and services. And what ordinary Nigerians should do is expose the kidnappers and the thieves."
Later during the interview, the president reiterated his call on Nigerians to fish out the criminals before 'glibly' blaming the government for the consequences of insecurity in the country.
He said, "My message to Nigerians is that they should please expose the criminals in their neighbourhoods to help the government clear the country and attract foreign entrepreneurs to come and invest into the country, to create factories, employ people and produce goods and services. This is what will move Nigeria forward.
"You cannot accommodate criminals in your neighbourhood and start glibly blaming government that nothing is being done. People are differently stopping government from doing anything."
When questioned on if he'll be more ruthless against criminals in his second term, President Buhari, a former military dictator, said he'll make the Police and judiciary more efficient and make sure everyone is accountable.
"I'll persuade the Police and the judiciary to be hard and where I uncover that they're not hard, I'll try and trace who's responsible for the slowness," he said.
Buhari, 76, will be sworn in for a second term on Wednesday, May 29, and he promised Nigerians that he'll continue to do his best to steer the country in the right direction.