We’ve Stepped up Talks with Int’l Community to Subdue Boko Haram, Says Buhari

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Muhammadu Buhari
  • Tells military to review strategies against ISWAP
  • Adamawa gov recruits 100 vigilantes, donates 10 trucks to military

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari wednesday expressed optimism about the imminent defeat of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the country, saying his administration has intensified collaborations with the international community to curb the spread of terrorism and crush insurgency.

He also charged the military to re-examine strategies towards defeating one of the terror groups in Nigeria, the Islamic States for West African Province (ISWAP), whose terrorists, along with their comrades in Boko Haram, have turned the North-east into a dangerous zone.

The president, at the opening of the 10th National Security Seminar organised by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC) in Abuja, said new threats in the areas of insurgency and terrorism had emerged due mainly to the defeat of ISIS.

Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), represented the president at the seminar with the theme: ‘Combating Insecurity in Nigeria,’ which was organised in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the NDC.

Buhari said: “Looking back over the period since assumption of office, it is worthy of note that there have been positive and significant improvements in all sectors of our national life. However, new threats in the areas of insurgency and terrorism have emerged due mainly to the defeat of the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS) whose fighters have relocated to other countries and regions.

“This is a major concern to us, as their presence in the West Africa Sahel region poses great danger not only to Nigeria but the entire region. Thus we are exploring higher level of collaboration among all nations and international organisations to effectively curtail the spread of terrorism and defeat insurgency and terrorism.

“The criminal elements using kidnapping and other criminal activities as a way to get rich quick should either stop such acts forthwith or face the full weight of the law as security agencies have a renewed mandate to deal with such acts of criminality.’’

He added that his administration would continue to prioritise security and described the seminar as necessary, especially at a time when the government was making efforts to ensure attainment of sustainable peace in the country.

He explained that AANDEC’s collaboration with ONSA, NDC and other security agencies presented the type of desired collaborative efforts towards addressing major security issues and challenges facing the country.

According to him, it is expected that at the end of the seminar, participants will come up with some recommendations to assist the nation to defeat terrorism and other security challenges.

“As we all know, security should be the concern of everyone hence we must all cooperate and work collaboratively to address security issues from all perspectives, be it physical or human.

“The nexus between physical and human security makes it necessary for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to be highly productive.
“State and local governments should also view workers’ welfare with utmost priority while all security agencies in particular must deal appropriately with extremist tendencies that are capable of affecting peace and development of the nation, according to the law.

“The National Security Strategy 2019 is very clear on these and we shall implement every aspect of it.’’

Buhari also said due to the economic recovery efforts of his administration within the last five years, Nigeria is on the path of steady growth while the economic recovery and growth plan 2020 which provided guidance for all the sectors will be replaced with another as it expires with vision 2020.
On border closure, the president stated that government had to temporarily close land borders with a view to taking a closer look at how to address the challenges of smuggling and illegal movement of weapons.

He added that the border issue would be properly examined in collaboration with Nigeria’s neighbours to put in place acceptable measures to prevent illegal economic activities and other related crimes.

The president commended AANDEC for its contribution over the years towards enhancing security, peace and development in Nigeria.
On his part, Magashi, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Nuratu Batagarawa, acknowledged the efforts of Buhari for creating an enabling environment to resolve the prevailing security challenges bedevilling the country.

Magashi said it was imperative to forge a common front among the security challenges to finding permanent solutions to the security challenges.
He said the ministry would come up with measures to implement the recommendations from the communiqué at the end of the seminar.

He expressed optimism that the seminar will help in providing recommendations that would help in tackling the national security challenges.
Earlier, the president of AANDEC, Major General Garba Audu (rtd), had said the seminar was organised with a view to proffering solutions to national security challenges.

Adamawa Gov Recruits 100 Vigilantes, Donates 10 Trucks to Military

Meanwhile, the Governor of Adamawa State, Alhaji Umar Fintiri, has stated that he has donated 10 trucks and recruited 100 vigilantes to support the military following the recent Boko Haram attack on Garkida town, Gombi Local of Government Area of the state,

He added that the state government has embarked on dredging round the town to forestall easy movement of extremists and prevent further attacks on the town.

Fintiri spoke yesterday in Abuja when he visited the Chairman of North East Development Commission (NEDC), Major General Paul Tarfa (rtd), where he presented a compendium of casualties suffered by the people of Garkida during the attacks.

The governor said Boko Haram on February 21 had invaded Garkida and operated for six hours, adding that the level of destruction was one he had never seen in the history of attacks on the state.

Fintiri added that one of the first hostels built in the North then, which was cited in Garkida, was partially destroyed; two of the new ambulances supplied to the hospital burnt down; a pharmaceutical department of the hospital was looted while the ultrasound equipment was also carted away.
Fintiri also lamented that Boko Haram burnt down the police station, the entire police barrack, military camp, three churches, vocational training school of EYN church and about seven vehicles of the church, among others.

“I’m here officially to present to the board and management of NEDC the compendium of the casualties that the people of Garkida have suffered so that together we can move to this town and start rebuilding so that our people can start having home so that they don’t become IDPs in their own community. This, I felt, is necessary for me to come and share with you.

“The key demands they have made is for them to rebuild the security facility that were destroyed by the insurgents so that we can quickly have hope for the people, particularly the police station, army facility, hospital, support for individuals that were affected as a result of the Boko Haram activities and trauma centre for the people.

“We have made efforts immediately to provide palliative; we have further reinforced the town by recruiting 100 vigilantes to support the army who are carrying out their operations in Garkida town. The military themselves have increased the number of their men in Garkida. Before I came here, I donated 10 trucks to the military to further enhance their activities in Garkida town,” he stated.

The governor also explained that the size of the military cannot cover the entire country, hence, the decision of the state to engage the services of vigilantes.

“We are making efforts immediately to start dredging round the town so that they can forestall their easy movement,” he added.
Responding, Tarfa commended the governor for visiting all the places that were damaged in the town.

Tarfa, who is an indigene of Garkida, described the town as one of the most peaceful places to go, saying it has a long history of peace.
He noted that the damage done by the extremist is not only for Garkida and Adamawa people, but to a large extent, the country as a whole.