President Muhammadu Buhari says the Boko Haram terrorists have been degraded to the extent that the group can no longer seize and hold on to any territory in the country.
In a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja, the president made the remark at the 13th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey.
Represented by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, Buhari said government forces had taken over all the territories seized by the insurgents and destroyed their camps.
The president also said most of the leaders of the terrorist group had been arrested, while many others had surrendered. He commended Nigeria’s neighbouring countries, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin and the international community for their support in the fight against insurgency in the country.
Buhari also commended the OIC for its efforts in ensuring peace worldwide. On the theme of the summit: ‘Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace’ he noted that the current precarious situation in the Muslim world was a source of great concern.
“A multiplicity of crises and conflicts litter the entire landscape of the Muslim World – from West and North Africa through Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent; from Jammu and Kashmir to Jakarta.
“And from the Arabian Peninsula and the Near East to the Balkans; many member-states are embroiled in conflicts threatening their very existence and taking an unacceptable toll in human lives and destruction of critical infrastructure.
“Muslim minorities in non-member-states like Myammar, Philippines, Thailand and China; and Muslim migrants in the West are still facing serious political, cultural and economic challenges or outright persecution,” he said.
The president, therefore, called on member-states of the organisation to re-dedicate themselves to the struggle for peace and justice for Palestinians.
He said Nigeria stood in full solidarity with the Palestinians in their legitimate quest for an independent state. “The situation in Palestine remains bleak; the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism remains unabated.
“The drums of Islamaphobia, especially in the countries with minority or migrant Muslims, are being beaten to achieve mischievous political objectives.
“Nigeria identifies with and fully supports the just struggle of the people of Palestine against the unjust occupation of their land and the oppression of their people by Israel,” he said.
Buhari urged the Muslim world to take the path of knowledge, stating that the future lay with the cultivation of knowledge as the mainstay of the economy.
“Nigeria fully supports all OIC efforts towards cooperation in education, science and technology; it also supports measures put in place to develop intra-OIC trade, socio-economic infrastructures, micro-finance sector, agriculture and health.
“Nigeria is already in the process of signing the statute of the newly created Specialised Institution for Food and Security based in Astana, Kazakhstan. It is to share our experiences in the areas of food security and the introduction of an e-platform for agricultural services in rural areas,” he added.