Sunday, 2 August 2015
We Will Defeat Boko Haram by December, Buhari Vows
• Insurgency in North-east will soon be history, says Osinbajo
By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja and Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Despite the increase in bombing of civilian targets by Boko Haram, President Muhammadu Buhari has given assurance that the Multinational Joint Task Force of the Lake Chad Commission will defeat the insurgents by the end of this year.
Buhari, who was on a one-day visit to Cotonou as the special guest of honour at the 55th independence anniversary of Benin Republic, said this yesterday at a gala lunch held in his honour by the President of Benin Republic, Boni Yayi.
Similarly, Vice President Yomi Osinbajo, while on an official visit to the IDPs Camp in Kano over the weekend, said that the on-going insurgency ravaging the North-eastern part of the country would in a matter of time become a thing of the past and that those displaced from their homes would soon return to their normal lives.
According to Osinbajo, the scourge of insurgency had disastrously taken a heavy toll on the economic potentials of the North most especially the North-east saying the federal government is doing everything possible to inject succour into the minds of those traumatised by the destructive conflict.
Also, President Buhari commended Yayi for increasing the number of Benin troops to 800 for the MNJTF, saying "and I assure you that we will defeat Boko Haram by the end of this year."
He also said he was completely overwhelmed by the honour of inviting him for the independence anniversary and by bestowing a national honour of the Republic of Benin on him and noted that even when he was a military head of state, Nigeria had always learnt to live peacefully with her neighbours.
He said: "I am impressed by your concern and critical approaches by increasing your contributions to the multinational task force of the Lake Chad Commission. This is a great sacrifice on the part of the Benin Republic.
"Even in my first coming into office under a different arrangement, we have learnt to live in peace with our neighbours. Within the week I was sworn in, I went to Niger, Chad. I was supposed to go to Cameroon but I was summoned by the G7 leaders to brief them about the security situation in Nigeria concerning Boko Haram, which declared allegiance to ISIS which gives it international dimension."
Earlier, Yayi had pledged that his country was ready to send about 800 troops as part of its contributions to the fight against terrorism.
Yayi said that his country would collaborate with Nigeria in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency, noting that "Your Excellency, I am by your side. You are not alone. We are ready to send about 800 men."
Yayi acknowledged that the Republic of Benin is the 37th state of Nigeria and described Buhari as a man of integrity who, according to him, was concerned about the integration of the sub-region.
He said: "You are a man of integrity. The integration of the sub-region is your concern. Your coming here brings our two countries together. Our customs services should meet about economy. Benin is the 37th state of Nigeria."
Meanwhile, Vice President Osinbajo also assured people displaced and affected by Boko Haram that the Federal Government will remove all mines laid on their farms by the insurgents.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande said the Vice President spoke yesterday in Kano at a reception held at the Kano State Government House in honour of Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant- Media and Publicity to the President.
Osinbajo said the government was doing a comprehensive de-mining of the affected areas to enable the displaced persons to return to their communities to resume their businesses and economic activities, including farming.
According to him, several farms in the North East had been planted with mines by the insurgents and that it was the plan of the Federal Government to remove all the impediments in the land.
Osinbajo had earlier visited the IDP camp in Mariri, Kano where he told the children displaced from Borno State not to lose hope.
He was accompanied by the Kano State Governor Dr Abdullai Umar Ganduje and other officials and dignitaries from the state.
Osinbajo interacted with the children at the Internally Displaced Persons’ School, where some 100 children from Borno state are receiving education and psychological therapy courtesy of the Kano state government.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was committed to the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) to take care of all those affected by insurgency in the country.
He recalled the interaction the President had on Friday with the Victims Support Fund, VSF committee, headed by Gen. Theophilus Danjuma in Abuja, adding that besides the education of the children, the government was also interested in rebuilding places destroyed by terrorists.
He said PINE and the VSF have huge plans that had immediate, medium and long term plans, which the Buhari administration will ensure are well implemented.
At a reception held in honour of Mallam Garba Shehu, the Vice President explained that there was a somewhat ideological question on how to handle the problem of the poor, but that the Buhari administration was very clear on what needed to be done.
He then restated that the All Progressives Congress (APC) social welfare policies of the N5000 Conditional Cash Transfer help for the aged and the disabled among others "are well on target."
Speaking earlier at the reception, elder-statesman Alhaji Maitama Sule said God put President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo together and then added the biblical phrase "what God has joined together let no man put asunder."
The former Nigerian Permanent Representative to the United Nations said the president and the vice president could bring the desired change to the country, adding that the international community had also observed the discipline and integrity of both leaders.
On return to Abuja from Kano, the Vice President later at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport received the President who just returned from a visit to Benin Republic.