15 Apr 2015

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari promise to stop Boko Haram insurgency

The president-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, has promised that his administration will stop the activities of the Boko Haram sect.

Buhari, who blamed the increased insurgency in the country on the inability of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to tame the sect, stressed that he would do everything possible to eradicate the sect in the country.

On the abducted Chibokgirls, the president-elect said although he would do all he can to get the girls reunited with their families and communities, he could not honestly assure Nigerians and the world of their safe return home.
According to him, “My administration, which will take office on May 29, will act differently - indeed it is the very reason we have been elected. This must begin with honesty as to whether the Chibok girls can be rescued.

“Currently, their whereabouts remain unknown. We do not know the state of their health or welfare, or whether they are even still together or alive. As much as I wish to, I cannot promise that we can find them. To do so would be to offer unfounded hope, only to compound the grief if, later, we find out we cannot match such expectation. But I say to every parent, family member and friend of the children that my government will do everything in its power to bring them home.”
In an article published by the president-elect in the New York Times on Tuesday, he lampooned President Jonathan for the poor handling of the situation of the girls, stating that when Boko Haram insurgents attacked their school in the town of Chibok and kidnapped more than 200 girls on April 14, 2014, the people of my country were aghast.
“Across the world, millions of people joined them in asking how was it possible for this terrorist group to act with such impunity? It took nearly two weeks before the government even commented on the crime.

“This lack of reaction was symptomatic of why the administration of President Jonathan was swept aside last month-the first time an incumbent president has been successfully voted out of office in the history of our nation. For too long they ruled, not governed, their administration became so focused on their own self-interest and embroiled in corruption that the duty to react to the anguish suffered by their citizens had become alien to them.

“What I can pledge, with absolute certainty, is that from the first day of my administration, Boko Haram will know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror, and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas.

“Until now, Nigeria has wanted response to their (Boko Haram sect) threat. With our neighbours fighting hard to push the terrorists south and out of their countries, our military was not sufficiently supported or equipped to push them northward. Consequently, the outgoing government’s lack of determination was an accidental enabler of the group, allowing them to operte with impunity in the Nigerian territory,” he said.
The former military ruler noted that that was why the answer to defeating Boko Haram insurgents began and ended with Nigeria.
“That is not to say that allies cannot help us. My administration would welcome the resumption of a military training agreement with the United States, which was halted by the present administration. We must, of course, have better coordination with the military campaigns of our African allies, like Chad and Niger, which are waging the war against the insurgents. But, in the end, the answer to this threat must come from within Nigeria.

“We must start by deploying more troops to the front and away from civilian areas in central and southern Nigeria where for too long, they have been used by successive governments to quell dissent. We must work closer with our neighbours to coordinate our military efforts so offensively and push Boko Haram across the border onto their neighbours’ territory.

“But as our military pushes the sect back, as it will, we must be ready to focus on what else must be done to counter the terrorists. We must address why our young people are joining the Boko Haram insurgency,” the incoming president said.
Buhari stressed that there were many reasons why vulnerable young people joined militant groups, but among them are poverty and ignorance.

He said Boko Haram, which translates in English, roughly, as ‘Western Education is Sinful’, preys on the perverted belief that the opportunities that education brings are sinful.
“If you are young and starving, and in search of answers as to why your life is so difficult, fundamentalism can be alluring. We know this because former members of the Boko Haram sect have admitted it. They offer impressionable young people money and the promise of food, while the group’s mentors twist their minds with fanaticism.

“So we must be ready to offer the parts of our country affected by this group an alternative. Boosting education will be a direct counterbalance to Boko Haram insurgents’ appeal. In particular, we must educate more young girls, ensuring they will grow up to be empowered through learning to play their full part as citizens of Nigeria and pull themselves up and out of poverty. Indeed, we owe it to the schoolgirls of Chibok to provide best education as possible for their fellow young citizens,” Buhari explained.
Credit: Crusoe Osagie/ThisDay

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