President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria will spare no efforts at getting rid of Boko Haram terrorists, especially in the North-East part of the West African nation.
He also said that though the insurgent group has been weakened by the defence forces, it is still active in the country, preying on soft targets.
The President stated this on Friday while addressing over 80 world leaders at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Addressing the world leaders including the new UNGA President, Abdulla Shahid of Maldives, Buhari said, “Mr President, terrorism continues to dominate security discourse worldwide. In Nigeria, Boko Haram terrorist group though fragmented by internal strife and weakened by our defence forces is still active and preying on soft targets.
“Nigeria will continue to work closely with the UN Counter-Terrorism bodies and entities with a view to bringing this scourge to an end.
“Nigeria has spared no efforts in addressing the challenges of terrorism posed by the activities of Boko Haram in North-East Nigeria, the Lake Chad region as well as banditry in the North-West and the North-Central. The Nigerian Security Forces have recorded considerable success in the fight against terrorism. As a result of the renewed vigour of our military, many terrorist fighters are voluntarily surrendering to our security forces.”
Buhari lamented that Nigeria was concerned about illicit trading and movement of small arms which he said has been increasing criminality and insurgency in the country.
He added, “Mr President, Nigeria remains deeply concerned about the illicit transfer and circulation of small arms and light weapons. Their excessive accumulation and uncontrolled spread in many regions of the world have had socio-economic consequences, especially on the continent of Africa.
“It is on this note that my delegation calls for the worldwide application of the arms trade treaty to curb and define accountability in conventional arms trading which is critical to the security of nations.
“This is in recognition of the need for a broad-based global partnership in the ongoing battle against trans-border crimes including terrorism and piracy.
“Mr President, we must deal not only with the symptoms of conflict but also the causes that started the conflict in the first place. These include poor and undemocratic governance, human rights abuses, poverty, ignorance, injustice and inequality.
“There are no easy solutions to these problems, they require long-term investments and more effective international cooperation.”
The President also said that the democratic gains recorded in West Africa are now being eroded by the activities of power grabbers in the region, a thinly veiled reference to recent military takeovers in Mali and Guinea, both in West Africa.
He, however, restated that Nigeria supports the efforts of the continental and regional blocs including the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States at solving the issue.