The United States government has condemned the senseless killings of Nigerian civilians under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

The U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, noted in a statement on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 that tens of thousands of civilians have lost their lives in recent years to violent attacks by terrorist groups or criminal gangs, in inter-communal violence, or due to their religious beliefs.

“The United States calls on the Government of Nigeria to do more to strengthen ongoing efforts to address this violence, hold those responsible accountable, and protect civilians,” he said.

United States' Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo (left), released his statement on the same day Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari (right) called on citizens to trust in his leadership to end insecurity in many restive states [VON]United States’ Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo (left), released his statement on the same day Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari (right) called on citizens to trust in his leadership to end insecurity in many restive states [VON]

Insecurity has been a major problem throughout Buhari’s presidency since he was first inaugurated in 2015.

His promise to end the decade-long insurgency of Boko Haram terrorists in the restive northeast region has remained unfulfilled, despite some gains over the years.

Attacks from bandits, and bloody inter-communal clashes have also became mainstays in some northern states, including the president’s own native Katsina.

There have recently been many protests by residents in the state who have called on the president to put an end to killings in their communities.

A poster of the president was set on fire during one of such protests.

The president begged those protesters, in a statement on Tuesday, to return home so as not to distract the military from their efforts to crush the bandits.

He said the military has a strong track record of quelling crises once given enough time and pleaded for patience from residents.

“Nigeria’s military has displayed its capabilities in the past and will show it again by dealing with the current challenges,” he said.

Buhari, 77, noted that there’s a joint military and police operation currently underway that specifically targets areas populated by bandits in Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, and Sokoto.

He said surveillance of the areas will be improved, with more night vision aircrafts already deployed for Operation Accord, which kicked off three weeks ago.