Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday stressed the need for "constructive and productive engagement" among the three arms of government to tackle the current security challenges in the country.
Jonathan made the statement shortly after swearing in the new Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said that while every effort was being made to tackle the security challenges, the need for the three arms of government to join forces in addressing them was vital.
Jonathan said he was confident that the judiciary would rise to the challenge and "provide the much needed support to enable us overcome the challenges of terrorism and insurgency".
The president said the new CJN was assuming office at a time that the nation was implementing institutional reforms to improve on governance and service delivery.
"It is particularly gratifying to know that he (CJN) has been a critical part of these reforms from the onset, of course, we heard that from his citation.
"Therefore, he is at a vantage position to superintend over the processes.
"I have no doubt that his tenure will witness even greater zeal in reforming and repositioning the judiciary for the effective and efficient discharge of its constitutional mandate.
"I note with satisfaction that the outgoing Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Aloma Mukhtar, made a solemn promise to the nation on assumption of office, to carry out necessary reforms in the judiciary in order to restore public confidence in our courts.
"I'm convinced that she has acquitted herself creditably well in the discharge of that responsibility.
"As Hon. Justice Mohammed braces up to continue from where she left off, he can be assured of our administration's unwavering support and cooperation," the president said.
Jonathan also noted that as the 2015 general elections drew closer, Nigerians looked up to the judiciary as an impartial arbiter.
He stressed the need for the judiciary to quickly set a roadmap for politicians, otherwise "the environment would be too noisy for the country.’’
"The role of the judiciary in resolving political disputes in the country has been commendable,’’ the president said.
He said that the judiciary had over the years engendered public confidence and discouraged resort to self-help by the people and the negative consequences that followed.
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"I, therefore, urge our new chief justice to continue to steer the judiciary on the path of forthrightness required to entrench democratic consolidation," the president said.
He congratulated Mohammed on his appointment and described it as well deserved and befitting recognition of his "worthy contributions and commitment to the service of humanity and the nation".
Responding, Mohammed thanked the president, the National Judicial Council and the Senate for their role in his appointment, confirmation and swearing-in.
He promised to build on the foundation laid by his predecessor, particularly the ongoing review of the rules and guidelines for the institution of disciplinary actions against erring judicial officers.
Jonathan immediately conferred the national award of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger on the new chief justice.
The ceremony was witnessed by some former CJNs, retired and serving justices of the Supreme Court, state governors and members of the Federal Executive council.