President Muhammadu Buhari has given assurance that Nigeria will overcome Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast just like the civil war that lasted 30 months.
Buhari gave the assurance while receiving the European Union (EU) Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic at the State House, in Abuja on Friday, 24, 2020.
The civil war was fought between the government of Nigeria and the secessionist state of Biafra from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970.
In a statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Buhari stressed that Nigeria was capable of fighting insurgency, reorganizing herself and moving ahead just like she did with the 30 months’ civil war.
“If we were capable to fight a 30-month civil war and re-organised our country, I wonder why people are thinking that Nigeria cannot do it,” Buhari said.
I assure you of Nigeria’s commitment to enhance and deepen cooperation with the EU in all areas. Our priorities in the next level is to ensure that internally displaced persons, IDPs, are rehabilitated so that livelihood should be established and the children should not lose the opportunity to go back to school, which is very important for the future of that area and Nigeria generally.
“We have the experience of the civil war. I could recall the role of the military, the army, each commander had in his pocket how to behave himself and how to allow international bodies like yourself to go round and see for themselves that people are treated in the most humane way. We have this experience and I assure you that we also have this confidence in your organisation. That is why I feel that Nigeria is capable of handling this crisis, it may take long but we are capable of handling it.
“The important thing really is weapons reaching the Sahel; the instability it is causing. Look at the casualties in Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali; Libya has a direct impact on the stability of the Sahel. As for Boko Haram, we try to disabuse the mind of the people and I think our people now understand the basic dishonesty in it. With my experience personally in the civil war, I am sure we will get over it.”
President Buhari said the freshly formed Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, will do a fabulous job in managing the various humanitarian issues sprouting from the Northeast.
The EU Commissioner reiterated that Nigeria is a major player in the African continent, globally in economic, social and other areas.
The commissioner while asking for a development plan between the EU and Nigeria concerning the issues in the Northeast also appreciated the government’s efforts in Borno State to end the conflict and pledged the support of the union to end the fight.
“We would like to support your efforts. We believe all relevant actors; military, civilian as well as humanitarian should come together. The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs is suggesting such high-level dialogue,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Buhari had blamed Nigerian Muslims for the rise of Boko Haram and urged them to avoid extremist ideas, stating that the greatest challenge to Islam was violent extremism.