President Muhammadu Buhari Has Re-Affirmed His Determination To End Boko Haram In A Few Months But Asks G7 Nations To Support Him
Tony Ailemen, Abuja
Nigeria yesterday appealed to leaders of G-7 nations for assistance and greater cooperation on intelligence gathering as part of measures to halt the dreaded Boko Haram insurgency activities. The request is part of the “wish list” of Nigeria in line with the demand of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries, which they had asked the Nigerian leader to present at the just concluded meeting.
President Muhammadu Buhari who made the appeal while meeting with President Francois Hollande of France on the sideline of the G-7 Outreach programme in Elmau, Germany, noted that this would help in perfecting fresh tactics and strategies being evolved to overcome terrorism and insurgency in the country and its sub-region.
The request is coming on the heels of recent escalation of suicide bombing in parts of the northeast, which has killed no less than 100 persons since May 29, as the terrorists changed tactics by engaging more suicide attacks than direct confrontations with the military. President Buhari, while reviewing government’s efforts so far, reaffirmed his administration’s total commitment to ending Boko Haram’s insurgency within the shortest possible time having ordered relocation of the Command centre of the military to Maiduguri.
A statement by Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said that the President, speaking at a meeting with President Francois Hollande of France after his participation in the ongoing G-7 Outreach Programme in Germany, said Nigeria would welcome greater support and cooperation from France and other friendly nations for its ongoing efforts to overcome Boko Haram and restore full security and normalcy to areas affected by the group’s atrocities.
“Nigeria would appreciate more intelligence on the terrorist group’s links with ISIS movements, training and sources of its arms and ammunition to facilitate the perfection of fresh tactics and strategies being evolved to overcome terrorism and insurgency in the country and its sub-region”, the statement quoted President Buhari as saying.
The President said that his administration was already taking concrete action to build a more efficient and effective coalition of Nigeria and neighbouring countries against Boko Haram. President Buhari reiterated at the talks with his French counterpart that there was absolutely no link between religion and the atrocities of Boko Haram. “There is clearly no religious basis for the actions of the group.
Their atrocities show that members of the group either do not know God at all or they don’t believe in Him,” President Buhari said. In his remarks at the meeting, President Hollande commended President Buhari’s efforts to galvanize Nigeria’s Armed Forces, security agencies and neighbouring countries for more decisive action to eradicate Boko Haram.
The French leader assured President Buhari that France would give Nigeria, and its coalition partners, greater support against terrorism and insecurity, including military and intelligence cooperation, to help them overcome the security challenge posed by Boko Haram and its global terrorist allies as quickly as possible.
He also called for greater bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and France in other areas including trade, economic and cultural relations. President Buhari also received similar pledges of enhanced support from Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and Chancellor Angela Merkel who he also conferred with before departing from the venue of the G-7 2015 Summit. The President is due back in Abuja today.