Buhari Renews Fight Against Boko Haram

President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Niamey, the capital of Niger Republic, said the Nigerian Army was formidable enough to crush the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Buhari, who made this declaration after holding talks with Nigerien President Issoufou Mahamadou, asserted that the Nigerian Army, which had earned a good reputation globally, remained a virile fighting force.

“I am four days in office today and we have already started the process of ending the insurgency,” he told journalists after meeting with his host.

The president hinted that he had, at the over five hours’ meeting with heads of Nigeria’s Armed Forces and security agencies on Tuesday, taken time with the service chiefs to review ongoing operations against Boko Haram for better results.

Buhari added, however, that because of the peculiarities of terrorism, the movement of terrorists across borders and the unconventional nature of the war against terror, Nigeria would continue to seek the support of neighbouring countries in its bid to overcome the militants.

President expresses worry over influx of 150, 000 Nigerian refugees in Niger Republic

He also expressed worry at the influx of refugees as a result of the insurgency, noting that there were over 150,000 displaced Nigerians in Niger.

“Another issue of concern to us, which is closely associated with the insurgency in the region, is the influx of refugees and other displaced persons. We are aware that, currently, there are over 150,000 displaced persons comprising refugees and returnees taking refuge in various parts of Niger,” Buhari stated.

According to him, he was in Niger Republic to seek more support from the country in bringing a quick end to the atrocities of Boko Haram, and would hold similar meetings with Chadian authorities after leaving Niamey today.

Buhari further noted that Nigeria would also require the assistance of other nations and multi-lateral institutions to rebuild areas adversely affected by the insurgents and rehabilitate displaced persons.

Earlier at the opening of bilateral talks between Nigeria and Niger earlier, President Buhari praised his host’s contributions to the ongoing multi-national effort against terrorism, insurgency and cross-border crimes.

He said, “Permit me also to acknowledge the consistency with which the government and people of Niger Republic have stood beside Nigeria under all circumstances. I would like to convey the appreciation of Nigeria for the sacrifices by Niger in the ongoing efforts to counter the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency.

“Niger Republic has, over the years, proved to be a reliable ally to Nigeria both at bilateral and multilateral levels. It is our hope and aspiration that this special relationship would be further consolidated during my administration.

“My administration will bring new impetus and a renewed commitment to the efforts to wipe out the menace of the Boko Haram insurgents. As a first step, we have directed the relocation of the command post of the counter-insurgency operations to Maiduguri until such a time that the insurgency is completely defeated.

“Our administration will work closely with governments of the affected states to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the displaced persons and their host communities. The ultimate objective, however, remains to end the insurgency and facilitate the displaced persons’ return to their homes.”

On his part, the president of Niger commended President Buhari for making Niger the first country he would visit after his inauguration.

Mahamadou assured Buhari that Niger would continue to support Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram.

“Your decision to move the military command of Nigeria to the North East has further strengthened our conviction that the war against terrorism will soon come to an end”, he said.

Buhari also urged Nigerians to be patient with his administration, saying the task of rebuilding Nigeria will be a very difficult one.

Speaking when he met with members of Nigerian community in Niger, he said, “As you are aware, our government is just coming on board and is still in the process of setting out appropriate modalities on how to actualize its agenda of revamping Nigeria, as contained in the APC manifesto on which basis we were elected. I urge you to exercise some patience as the task of rebuilding Nigeria is indeed an arduous one.”

He listed the challenges his government intends to tackle in revamping Nigeria to include the challenges of insecurity, near economic collapse, pervasive corruption and power shortages.

The president continued: “I want to reassure that we are going to tackle these challenges head-on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.

“However daunting the task to surmount these challenges may be, they are by no means insurmountable. There is now a national consensus that our chosen route to national development is democracy. To achieve our objectives, we must consciously work to improve the democratic system.

“I want to reassure you that my government would be resolute in ensuring that our country’s name is raised higher, and we need all Nigerians, including those in the Diaspora, to partner with us.”

Nigerian heads multi-national force based in Chad

A Nigerian senior military officer, Maj-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has been appointed the Force Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) comprising forces from Nigeria, Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon.

This was announced yesterday in a statement signed by the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, who also confirmed that the new MNJTF is to be located in Chad.

Olukolade said that Buratai had assumed duties at the new headquarters in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad Republic.

He explained that the reorganised MNJTF arrangement was in line with the decisions of member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), which include Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroun, with Benin Republic as an honorary member.

He also disclosed that the latest arrangement has the backing of partners in the fight against Boko Haram namely, France, the UK and the USA.

According to the Defence spokesman, the MNJTF has now been divided into three sectors towards achieving more effect in its operations, with one of the sector’s headquarters retained in Baga, Borno State.

Meanwhile, a military source revealed that Chad and other Francophone member-countries blackmailed Nigeria into locating the coalition headquarters in Chad.

“You are aware that MNJTF has only been in name because Nigeria has been contributing forces and financing it alone all this while. The other French-speaking countries had simply refused to contribute troops unless the headquarters are sited in their countries.

“Chad in particular frustrated every discussion on this Joint Task Force unless it was located out of Nigeria, claiming that Baga was not safe. They simply blackmailed us,” the source said.

14 killed in another bomb blast in Maiduguri

At least 14 people have been reported killed in an explosion along Baga Road in Maiduguri, Borno State, witnesses said yesterday.

“We have so far recovered six dead bodies. We are still working at the scene, so the casualties may rise,” a resident told our reporter.

The spate of attacks came after President Muhammadu Buhari took office on Friday and described Boko Haram as “godless” and “mindless” in his inaugural speech.

A civilian vigilante, who works in the Baga Road area, said the blast happened at a garage opposite a military unit and it appeared to have been caused by explosives left nearby.

Maiduguri has been a regular target for Boko Haram militants since the group began its insurgency six years ago and has been hit four times since last Friday.

On Saturday, the militants launched an attack with Rocket-Propelled Grenades but they were repelled by the military but, hours later, a suicide bomber killed 29 at a mosque in the city.

On Tuesday, there was again shelling from positions on the outskirts of the city and another suicide attack, this time at a cattle market that left at least 50 people dead.

Military begins relocation Friday

Following President Muhamadu Buhari’s directive that the Command and Control Centre of the military relocate to Maiduguri, the advance party of the Army, Air Force and Defence Headquarters, led by their service chiefs, will start moving tomorrow.

LEADERSHIP recalls that President Buhari had, in his inaugural address to the nation last Friday, directed the command and control of the Military to relocate to Maiduguri as a means of clearing the Boko Haram insurgents.

Although there was initial reluctance on the part of the military chiefs, the maiden meeting held between the president and the service chiefs on Tuesday laid the matter to rest.

According to informed military sources, all arrangements for the movement had been completed and the advance troops will move on Friday to start setting up the structures for the final relocation of the service chiefs.

The source also disclosed that preparations were in top gear for the movement as the chief of army staff yesterday briefed the top directors at Army headquarters who are in the first leg of the movement on the main assignment to be carried out there.

The military source further revealed that the logistics and all that is needed would start moving today before the departure of the advance party to Maiduguri.

He added that the president’s directive was being taken seriously by all the service chiefs as they are ready to comply with all aspects of it, to end the Boko Haram insurgency.

The Nigerian Air Force, too, is said to be in the same mood as a component is being prepared for immediate relocation to Maiduguri.

Our source disclosed that more troops would also be deployed to the North East in continuation of the war against Boko Haram.

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Source: Leadership

One Response to Buhari Renews Fight Against Boko Haram

  1. Chuma June 5, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Boko is untouchable, and if Buhari can put an end to this nonsense i will gladly allow him to cling on to power right to his last breath.


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