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We Can Handle Boko Haram, Buhari Tells EU

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, said Nigeria can handle boko haram insurgency.

Buhari stated this while receiving Janez Lenarcic, the European Union (EU) Commissioner for Crisis Management, in State House, Abuja.

He assured them that the country can survive the current state of insecurity in the North-East, if it could overcome the challenges of the Nigerian civil war.
“If we were capable to fight a 30-month civil war and reorganized our country, I wonder why people are thinking that Nigeria cannot do it.

“I assure you of Nigeria’s commitment to enhance and deepen cooperation with the EU in all areas. Our priorities in the next level are 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 organization. That is why I feel that Nigeria is capable of handling this crisis, it may take longer but we are capable of handling it,” he said.

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The Nigerian leader also appreciated the recent meeting in Germany, which deliberated on the war in Libya.

“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”, he also said.

Buhari further assured that the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, will manage various humanitarian issues that may arise from the region.

“I assure you that we are aware of these problems and we will continue to do our best. The newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs is coordinating NEMA and others, to make sure that whatever resources we get are well utilized. The ministry will be accountable to the government instead of having too many bodies doing the same thing. We are also reaching out to foreign countries explaining to them our position, and we are confident we will get over it,” he added.

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The EU Commissioner, while speaking, emphasized that Nigeria plays a big role in the African continent, global economy and in other spheres.

He asked for a development plan between Nigeria and the EU, relating to the situation in the Northeast.

Lenarcic disclosed that he had been to Borno, and appreciates government’s efforts to end the conflict there.

“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.

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“In situations such as what we have in the northeast, international law and international humanitarian law should apply. We believe in your efforts to end the conflict; military effort alone probably will not be sufficient without identifying and addressing the socio-economic factors causing it, “he stated.

About Oluwafemi Ashaolu

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