By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA- President Mohammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja stated that no part of Nigerian territory was under the occupation of the Boko haram insurgents.
This came as European countries have announced a donation of $50 million to Nigeria and the countries within the lake Chad basin to fight terrorism.
President Buhari said that the Nigerian military had succeeded in decimating the terrorists who had hitherto occupied some local government areas in the north eastern part of the country.
He made the submission while welcoming the president of Germany, Joachim Gauck at the president villa, Abuja.
Speaking during a joint briefing with his guest, president Buhari regretted that his German counterpart was “welcome” with the news of attacks on Dikwa, Borno State by the insurgents.
He however stated that the terrorists have resorted to attacking soft targets having been pursued out of their base by the Nigerian army.
The president said that the challenge facing the government now was to relocate and rehabilitate the victims of insurgency.
He said: “It is a pity Boko Haram welcomed you by explosions Maidugiri that took so many lives, but I have attempted to explain in so many fora that Boko haram is not what it used to be. While they are firmly holding 14 out of 774 local governments when we came in, they are not holding any local government now.
“What they have resorted to is using improvised explosive devices to cause maximum casualties on soft targets as they did yesterday, doing what they are capable of doing now. But for them to organize conventional attacks on military, police installations and take hold towns, I think they are not able to do that. They send groups to go and kill vulnerable targets.
“Having said that, our efforts have to be redoubled to make sure that the people in internally displaced camps have been rehabilitated especially the children. More than 60% of the 2million people in IDPs are women and children and more than 60% of them are children and more than 60% of the children are orphaned.
“Some of them don’t know where they are from, they don’t know their parents, this is a pathetic situation the leadership of this government is facing because the least we should is to quickly resettle those children if possible try and identify their neighborhoods, refer the schools health centers and maybe part of the village so that they can get out of the trauma that they are in”.
President Buhari who thanked Germany for its assistance to Nigeria in the anti-terrorism war also commended the country for the quality of jobs its construction companies were doing in Nigeria.
“I am pleased with the response from G7, the United States to Europe, Training teams have been sent to our institutions. Help has been sent but what we do is to try get our own committee under Gen T. Y. Danjuma which has made some efforts where he himself and Dangote has made some special contributions to start doing something in the field and we ask those who are coming to help, like NGOs from within or outside the country to go and meet them so that should be shown what damage have been done to the infrastructure and what plans we have.
“We also thank Germany for the help they extended to make sure that the last election was a success. The party I know is in laison with the parties in Germany which is basically under humanitarian concern that a country of at least 170 million people with very volatile political development should find peace as this is their main concern.
“We thank them for the help they are giving us in terms of what happened during the Ebola and polio scourge which they continue to do which is coupled now by the help in the IDP camps and North-East generally. We are very grateful for the aid Germany continues to give us through the NGOs and directly to the Federal Government.
“We also like to mention to the president and their companies that their quality of jobs are appreciated by Nigerians. We know it is at a price, but the important thing is if you get our jobs very well done, then it saves you so much in terms of maintenance
“Anybody driving through Abuja, can see the quality of infrastructure including this one. The first time I was the head of state, I was in a barrack somewhere but when I came back as President I saw this beautiful castle very well built and very well maintained. This is to say i feel the German company is doing a good job and it is appreciated”, president Buhari said.
He also appealed to the president to assist Nigeria in getting a permanent seat ant the United Nations security council.
“Outside bilateral, in the United Nations, Nigeria an African country feels that we are qualified by our number, by our size, by our position in Africa to have a seat in the United Nations. We hope that Germany will support us”, he said.
Also speaking, the visiting president, Joachim Gauck, thanked president Buhari for the reception accorded him.
He said that Germany would assist Nigeria in the insurgency fight and announced a donation of $50 million for the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF.
“We indeed had a very fruitful exchange today, permit me to express my condolences in the face of the attack on the IDP yesterday
“As regards my visit, I am grateful for being invited and been given the opportunity to know the country and and its people and to talk to you about where we can further intensify and deepen our bilateral relationships. Nigeria is indeed a very hospitable country with impressive people and the spirit of hope of a country being on the move, I was very impressed by that.
“I had the opportunity to visit Lagos and now am delighted to be in Abuja. It is very important for me to let you know that we believe and we see in you, one of our most important partners here in the region and in your country. When it comes to developing the region at large, your country plays a major role and at the same time you are facing major challenges.
“We are hoping for a peaceful change and that makes it easier to engage in cooperations with you .
“You personally have made it clear that it’s is in a determined way that you intend to fight the Boko Haram and its methods that deeply violate the principles of humanity.
We intend to support you because we believe that it is a very good approach that you have chosen and that is something we would make available financial support and and this that approach consists joining forces with Neighbouring countries to fight Boko haram together and you have already taken steps in that direction as members of the African Union. We as Europe will support that initiative with $50 million
“In our exchange today we made it clear that development is not possible without governance and without dev governance you cannot fight. I had the opportunity to pay a visit to IDP camp. Germany will continue to provide humanitarian support especially to the vulnerable women and children”, he said.
On the looted funds, president Gauck said that “I am afraid the president of Germany is not involved in the ….Allow me to state how we dealt with that issue”.