Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari said on Friday Nigeria would soon overcome the insurgency rocking the North East.
The President stated this when he received the European Union (EU) Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said Nigeria had seen similar challenges in the past, but managed to overcome such and forged on.
The President, according to a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, also assured that the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development would effectively manage all attendant crises from the insurgency.
Buhari, who recalled his experience of the Nigerian Civil War, noted that the current security challenge in the North East, though might take some time, would also be subdued.
He said: “If we were capable to fight a 30-month civil war and reorganised our country, I wonder why people are thinking that Nigeria cannot do it.”
He also highlighted the devastating effect of the Libyan crisis on the Sahel region, saying the activities of terror groups in Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso were direct fallouts of the conflict.
He, however, assured the EU envoy of Nigeria’s continued cooperation with the body, saying “I assure you of Nigeria’s commitment to enhancing and deepening of cooperation with the EU in all areas.
“Our priorities in the next level is 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 organisation. That is why I feel that Nigeria is capable of handling this crisis, it may take long but we are capable of handling it.
“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.
“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 utilised.
“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.”