President Buhari hosted members of the Diplomatic corps in Nigeria, to a cocktail party, at his official residence in the Presidential Villa on Thursday, February 18, 2016.
He did not hesitate to share his resolve to fight corruption and set Nigeria on the path of economic recovery.
Here are the 10 important things Buhari said at the cocktail party
1. It is almost eight months since I assumed office. In this time, we have witnessed resurgence in the morale and will of the Nigerian Armed Forces to dislodge Boko Haram from their bases in the North East. The changes in both command structure and operational tactics have brought about significant gains on the ground. The Armed Forces have been given specific instructions on rules of engagement to treat captured terrorists humanely and to avoid civilian casualties
2. It is worthy to note that when I assumed office on May 29, 2015, Boko Haram had full control of fourteen (14) Local Governments Areas in the North East, but today, the group holds no territory in Nigeria. They are hiding in Sambisa forest and occasionally undertake cowardly attacks on innocent citizens in soft targets.
3. This has resulted in a dramatic improvement in the security situation in that part of the country. You are, in fact, aware that people who were once internally displaced from their homes for years are gradually returning to rebuild their homes, communities and livelihood.
4. As the security situation continues to improve, and as more people return to their homes, government will spare no effort to support them with robust programmes and projects to hasten the process of rehabilitation and resettlement. The General T.Y Danjuma-led Committee has been saddled with the responsibility of coordinating these efforts.
5. May I use this occasion to once again thank our friends and partners for the invaluable support they have and continue to render in our fight against Boko Haram.
6. We are quite aware that the war on terror will not, and cannot be won by military means alone. We need a soft approach that speaks directly to the human mind. Poverty and hunger do not only incapacitate, but they can lead to desperation. We are also aware that poverty and marginalization, amongst other factors, can easily create room for indoctrination and co-option into violent extremism.
7. Accordingly, we are paying attention to those economic programmes that will lead to empowerment of the people and thus provide an alternative lifestyle of fruitful engagement rather than resort to extremist and terrorist activities. Job creation and provision of quality education are key areas that are already receiving our attention.
8. We are resolved to build a stable and prosperous Nigeria, a country that is inclusive of all her diverse peoples and a country that is at ease with itself. Building such a country will not be possible where corruption is pervasive. Mindful of this, it has become necessary to wage a relentless war against the cancer of corruption. So long as corruption holds center stage in the affairs of Nigeria, the country will continue to suffer incalculable harm.
9. You are witnesses to the preliminary findings that have emerged in the past few weeks from our investigations into corrupt practices in different sectors of Nigeria’s Public Service. I will leave no stone unturned in the efforts to rid Nigeria of corruption. I must however, add that in doing this, we shall operate within the ambit of the law.
10. In a similar fight in the past, and armed with the might of military muscle, I led a government that required persons presumed to be corrupt to prove their innocence. Today, as committed democrats, and in a culture of deepening democracy, we respect the law that presumes all persons innocent until they are proven to be guilty.