Thursday, November 23, 2017

“We’ll persuade Boko Haram to embrace peace” – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said his administration is ready to put modalities in place to persuade Boko Haram sect, to embrace peace.

The President made the promise while hosting a delegation of residents of the Federal Capital Territory that included the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and the Christian Community, who paid him Christmas visit in his official residence at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The promise came less than 24 hours after the President claimed that the Federal Government has “technically won the war” against the sect.

In an interview with the BCC, Buhari had claimed that the militant group could no longer mount “conventional attacks” against security forces or population centres, adding that the militant group had been reduced to fighting with improvised explosives devices and remained a force only in its heartland of Borno State.

But the President said on Friday that he would use government institutions to persuade members of the sect to allow peace to reign.

He however did not disclose the nature which the persuasion would take and those that would be involved.

“On Boko Haram, this government is determined to make sure that we persuade them if they can be persuaded, we will use government institutions to persuade them to allow peace to reign,” he said.

The President stressed the need for all Nigerians to come come together and pull the country out of the problems that it has found itself.

He said while everybody in the world believed that Nigeria is a lucky country because of its natural resources, the country’s problem remained how to organise its citizens and how to get the right leadership in place.

He recalled that from the analysis of the All Progressives Congress during campaign, the party discovered that the country’s three biggest problems were security, unemployment of youths as well as bribery and corruption.

He noted that while the youth make up 65 per cent of the country’s population, 65 per cent of them are unemployed.

His words: “On Boko Haram, this government is determined to make sure that we persuade them if they can be persuaded, we will use government institutions to persuade them to allow peace to reign.

“We appreciate that security agencies are doing their best and it is showing, and we have to continue praying for them.”

He stressed that there can be no development without security, adding that they have to continue to pray for the security agencies.

President Buhari also recalled that from the analysis of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the campaign, the three biggest problems the party discovered are security, unemployment of youths which make up 65 per cent of the population and 65 per cent of them are unemployed.

The other challenges, according to him are “bribery and corruption”. We are not too happy but we are happy that our analysis of the problems have not been challenged.”

He maintained that as leaders, they have a weighty responsibility to ensure that infrastructure for the orphans are taken care of.

“If we have 2million people IDPs and 70 per cent are women and children and some of them are orphans, they grew up not knowing their parents.

“As leaders, we wake with the feeling for those children, the most important thing is that they must not be denied education; schools must be rebuilt. We also thank Danjuma and the G7 led by the U.S., they have been doing their best to help Nigeria to train our military “.

He also expressed appreciation for the visit from the Christian leaders, adding that, “I am pleased that all the communities are well represented, I don’t know what kind of host I have as I don’t get to move around freely”.

President Buhari appealed to Nigerians to come together and pull the country out of this problem.

“Everybody in the world believes that Nigeria is a lucky country because of its natural resources. Our problem is how to organize ourselves and how to get the right leadership in place.”

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