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National security remains my priority, Buhari tells British Defence Chief

By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – President Mohammadu Buhari yesterday affirmed his government’s resolve to rid Nigeria of insecurity and improve the national security.

The president said without adequate security, other socio-economic initiatives cannot be successfully implemented.

Buhari spoke when he played host to the Britain’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton in Abuja on Thursday.

He renewed hope that his administration will end the Boko Haram insurgency as quickly as possible.

“For a country to be efficiently administered, it must first be well secured because other social and economic initiatives cannot thrive in an atmosphere of insecurity.

“An environment has to be secured before it can be rehabilitated. Nigeria currently has about 1.5 million internally displaced persons and they need to be returned to their homes and brought out of trauma.

“Their schools, hospitals, churches, mosques, farms and livelihoods have been destroyed by insurgents. If they are not catered for, the country may lose their loyalty.

“When Boko Haram is pushed out and the environment secured, normal life will be restored. That is what we are determined to do. Other things like farming, economic activities and social life will then return. Nigerians are quite enterprising,” he said.

The President expressed gratitude to Britain for their support and retraining of Nigeria’s Armed Forces, also asked for more assistance in other areas such as logistics, equipment and intelligence.

He also called for more international support for regional efforts to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea through which crude oil stolen from Nigeria is shipped.

In his remarks, General Houghton said that the Buhari Presidency was a huge opportunity for Nigeria to make progress.

Houghton said that he was very impressed with the progress Nigeria has made in the war against terrorism under President Buhari and assured the President that Britain will continue to support the Federal Government’s efforts to end the Boko Haram insurgency.

“We will also help to ensure that the causes of insurgency are removed. Beyond the military dimension, we are also interested in the stabilization dimension,” he said.


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