Nigeria’s president Buhari urges security forces to be “ruthless” in face of unrest

Nigeria’s president has instructed the country’s security services to be ruthless in their quest to eradicate violence and crime in Africa’s most populous oil-producing country.

“We have given the police and the military power to be ruthless and you watch it, in a few weeks time, there will be a difference,” President Muhammadu Buhari said in an interview Thursday with Arise TV, a Lagos-based broadcaster. “We are going to treat them in the language they understand.”

Buhari has been chastised by Nigeria’s opposition for failing to confront the country’s growing insecurity. A decade-long battle against insurgency in the northeast, a deteriorating conflict between nomadic cattle herders and crop farmers in the middle and southern areas, and a new separatist insurgency in the southeast are all challenges facing Africa’s most populous country.

The country is also dealing with an increase in the number of student abductions, which has resulted in the closure of some schools.

Reportedly, the security forces have been “overwhelmed” by the insecurity in the northwest, but Buhari claims that they will be able to deal with it shortly. According to him, police and military troops are being organized in the southeast to combat separatist rebels.

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