Fellow Citizens, at sunset yesterday, I authorized our armed forces to begin full deployment to the seven Northern states namely, Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Bauchi, Borno and Kebbi. Along with Plateau state, I have declared an indefinite state of emergency.
This action becomes necessary in the face of the series of terrorists acts that have targeted Christians in those parts of the country. I have also directed the Inspector General of Police to put in place appropriate security measures to secure the churches and government buildings as well as other possible targets. As we seek to improve on our responsibility to the families of those affected by these terrorists acts, these security directives will remain in place as long as it's constitutionally necessary to maintain peace and security in the country. I have also directed the newly established SSDF (State security and Defense Force) to begin the mass arrest of all suspected sponsors and members of Boko Haram; this will complement all the efforts we have made in the past.
In this difficult time for the Federal Republic, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who have been affected by these crisis and killings, considering the evidence that there were Muslims who were responsible- you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization, as we witnessed in Kaduna and Kano on Sunday, Muslims amongst Muslims, Christians amongst Christians, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love for a country that has brought us together as one.
For those of you who are Christians and are tempted to be filled with desire for vengeance and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all Muslim people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling- seeing citizens who have placed their hope and trust in me mauled and maimed and shattered to death. But we have to make an effort in this country; we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times, and to understand that Nigeria is far from perfect. What we need in our beloved country Nigeria is not division; what we need in Nigeria is not hatred; what we need in Nigeria is not violence or lawlessness; what we need is the words contained in "Our Pledge" to Nigeria and that overriding responsibility toward the good of one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they are Christians or they are Muslims. As Christians, it is perhaps important that we should try to understand that in the Islamic tradition, there is a similar mixture of values restraining war along with others promoting it and yet, this is not peculiar to Islam. As your President, I have also received the wonderful tutorship of the Islamic religion