By Deborah Usman
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed optimism about the imminent defeat of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the country, saying his administration has intensified collaborations with the international community to curb the spread of terrorism and crush insurgency.
The president, at the opening of the 10th National Security Seminar organised by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College, AANDEC in Abuja, said new threats in the areas of insurgency and terrorism had emerged due mainly to the defeat of ISIS.
Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), represented the president at the seminar with the theme: ‘Combating Insecurity in Nigeria,’ which was organised in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA and the NDC.
According to the President, “Looking back over the period since assumption of office, it is worthy of note that there have been positive and significant improvements in all sectors of our national life. However, new threats in the areas of insurgency and terrorism have emerged due mainly to the defeat of the Islamic State in Syria, ISIS whose fighters have relocated to other countries and regions.”
“This is a major concern to us, as their presence in the West Africa Sahel region poses great danger not only to Nigeria but the entire region. Thus we are exploring higher level of collaboration among all nations and international organisations to effectively curtail the spread of terrorism and defeat insurgency and terrorism.
“The criminal elements using kidnapping and other criminal activities as a way to get rich quick should either stop such acts forthwith or face the full weight of the law as security agencies have a renewed mandate to deal with such acts of criminality’’ he said.
He added that his administration would continue to prioritise security and described the seminar as necessary, especially at a time when the government was making efforts to ensure attainment of sustainable peace in the country.
He said, “It is expected that at the end of the seminar, participants will come up with some recommendations to assist the nation to defeat terrorism and other security challenges.
“As we all know, security should be the concern of everyone hence we must all cooperate and work collaboratively to address security issues from all perspectives, be it physical or human.
“The nexus between physical and human security makes it necessary for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs to be highly productive.
“State and local governments should also view workers’ welfare with utmost priority while all security agencies in particular must deal appropriately with extremist tendencies that are capable of affecting peace and development of the nation, according to the law”