According to him, “Boko Haram has been degraded, but its members are still a nuisance around Lake Chad and surrounding islands. That is why we are cooperating with Chad, Cameroon, Niger Republic, and other countries. We are also using the Air Force quite effectively. They are bandits, and we will continue to treat them as such.”
Buhari noted that the government is focusing on repairing damaged infrastructure, rehabilitation of internally displaced persons and securing their communities, so that they could return home.
The president applauded the support of the ICRC and other humanitarian organisations.
He added: “The situation of the displaced persons is very pathetic. Some children don’t know where their parents are, neither do they know where they come from.
“We are focusing on education and healthcare, along with the rebuilding of infrastructure. The agency formerly under the leadership of Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) and now headed by Major-General Paul Tarfa (rtd) is quietly making an impression. We are dedicating lots of resources to the area.”
He also stated that it is now difficult for boko haram to recruit fighters, saying people have understood that they have a wrong ideology.
“How can you kill people, and say ‘God is great.’ It’s either you don’t know that God or you don’t know what you are talking about. God is the God of justice. And the people have understood the message well, so recruiting is now difficult for the insurgents, ” he said.
Maurer, while speaking, said Nigeria is the fifth largest country of operation of ICRC worldwide, and promised that the organisation would continue to render humanitarian action to people affected by violence.
On the recent killing of two of its officials in the North-east, he said:
“We were shaken by the killing of our staff, but not discouraged. Humanitarian assistance should continue, and we applaud the hospitality of Nigeria.”
The ICRC boss further said the relationship with Nigeria would be strengthened, stressing that “the more we see activity from Nigerian authorities, the easier it is for us to add here and there.”
The ICRC had said thousands of Nigerian civilians have been displaced by bandits and boko haram terrorists this year alone.