Buhari canvasses foreign support to defeat terrorism



PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged countries with diplomatic missions in Nigeria to support the fight against terrorism not only in the country but within the African continent.

Buhari made the observation at the traditional breaking of fast with members of the diplomatic corps at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The breaking of fast with members of the diplomatic corps has become customary in the Presidency. The occasion coincided with his contact with the diplomatic community in Nigeria since his assumption of office as the president.

The president told the diplomats that Nigeria was prepared to play any leadership role in Africa and beyond that would bring about development of the continent, but stressed the need for the country to take care of its own domestic affairs in the first place.

The President said his administration was already taking necessary practical steps to end the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists who have continued to kill innocent people. Such steps, he noted, include rejigging of the nation’s security architecture through replacement of service chiefs on Monday and the relocation of the command and control centre to Maiduguri, the theatre of the battle. 

In doing so, however, Buhari pledged that the fight against terror would be embarked upon with due regard for observation of human rights. “Let me state that we will ensure that all our counter terrorism efforts are within the framework of the human rights obligations we have entered into locally and internationally. Indeed, our military operations shall be governed by rules of fair proportionate, but effective engagement.”

The President stressed that the support of countries within the African region and the Lake Chad area would help a great deal, especially with Boko Haram pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) which has the capacity to extend their activities to other parts of the world.

While thanking their countries for the support for his election, President Buhari said his administration will work towards diversifying the economy and blocking leakages in the course of fighting corruption. 

Ambassador Oubi Bachir of the Saharawi Republic (Western Sahara), dean of diplomatic corps, had earlier commended the President on his election and the people of Nigeria for a peaceful democratic transition. 

He said the commitment to the unity of Nigeria was a display of high sense of citizenship and nationalism. Oubi who also thanked the President for hosting them to the breaking of fast in the Month of Ramadan condemned the insurgency in the North East. He agreed with Buhari that the activities of Boko Haram have nothing to do with Islam, quoting copiously portions of Holy Qur’an, which forbid taking of fellow human life without cause.

The envoy acknowledged what he described as genuine but pragmatic steps so far taken by the President to tackle the menace of terrorism, citing his diplomatic shuttle to the neighbouring African countries, including Chad and Niger.  

According to him, members of the corps believe the efforts of the president would be a success. He said they would all stand to support Nigeria end terrorism. 

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