Boko Haram Degraded Says Buhari, Boko Haram Very Dangerous Says Hollande

by on May 15, 2016

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French President, Fran­cois Hollande, yesterday warned President Mu­hammadu Buhari not to relent in the fight against Boko Ha­ram insurgency because the terror group remains a threat despite the “impressive” mili­tary gains against it.

President Hollande stated this at the Presidential Villa when he was hosted by Presi­dent Buhari on the sidelines of the second regional security summit which held in Abuja yesterday.

Regional and Western lead­ers gathered in the nation’s capital to marshal out closer military corporation and as­sistance in tackling the threat of terrorism and the conse­quent humanitarian crises.

Speaking at a joint press conference after a closed-door bilateral discussion, President Hollande who spoke through an interpreter said “the results of the counter-insurgency are impressive” and the insurgents had been “diminished and forced to retreat”.

Although Boko Haram has been weakened and has shifted ground from areas they were earlier occupying, “this terrorist group neverthe­less remains a threat”, Holland stressed.

“I also held a meeting two years ago in Paris where we discussed together with the neighbours of Nigeria the common threat, which is Boko Haram, and how to deal with it.

“And when I hosted Presi­dent Buhari in Paris in Sep­tember 2015, we underlined the importance of implement­ing this Paris plan. And this afternoon, the second of this summit will be held here in Abuja to take stock of the pro­gresses achieved in these two years and work on what re­mains to be done,” he said.

He said France had also pro­vided training and equipment as part of the international support to the fight against in­surgency in Nigeria which in­cludes British military trainers and US surveillance drones.

Hollande noted further that “this terror group, Boko Haram, which massacres, ter­rorize people and abducted the Chibok girls in particular, they have been weakened, forced to move back, forced to loose ground, they have been chased about and they had to give up the territories they were controlling.”

The French President com­mended Buhari on the level of success in the fight against the insurgents, as well the coordi­nation of the countries in the region.

“It is also time for the French taking responsibility because France had been supporting this action through intelli­gence gathering, information sharing, training by provid­ing equipment to support the missions of the Multinational Joint Task Force and it’s been this coalition, solidary, strategy which has enabled the success we are witnessing”, he stated.

During the closed doors bilateral talks, Presidents Hol­lande and Buhari signed a “Letter of Intent” that will pave the way for a defence agree­ment.

The two leaders also signed several accords strengthening existing cultural cooperation.

According to Hollande, “we also discussed other matters and signed agreement in tech­nical, scientific, and cultural cooperation agreement as well as agreements on develop­ment.

“As you may know, the French Development Agency invested a lot in Nigeria which is the first beneficiary of its loans.

“There are also a lot of agree­ments and decisions taken by our many businesses like Total who are strengthening their businesses in Nigeria,” Hol­lande said.

In his remarks, President Buhari assured the French leader that Nigeria would con­tinue to work closely with his government.

He said, “Boko Haram has preoccupied this discussion both in and out of the bilateral discussions. We do appreciate the efforts, the successes re­corded by this administration.

“I was told that a hundred articulated tankers leave Kano alone on a daily basis, seven days a week to Maiduguri, from there traders from Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, so you have at least two million Nigerians from wheel barrow pushers to traders that benefit from Maiduguri market before Boko Haram struck.

“We were not aware of their international coloration until they claimed that they are loyal to ISIS. So, I assure you we are doing our best,” he said.

“The international terrorism now with the help of technol­ogy and million of volunteers respect no borders. It is a lot of concern for people of con­science to learn that in Nigeria we have more than two million IDPs most of them women and children. We are doing our best to organise series of com­mittees,” Buhari added.

He said in tackling the in­surgency, his government will also move against all forms of trafficking including drug trafficking.

Also speaking at the 2nd Regional Security Summit in Abuja, alongside the Presi­dent of France, Francois Hol­lande, and other seven regional leaders including the Heads of States of Chad, Cameroun, Niger, Benin, Senegal and Gabon, Buhari said the Boko Haram has been significant­ly degraded and currently squeezed in a small enclave in Sambisa Forest.

He declared that he is on the verge of fulfilling the pledge he made when he assumed office to devote all his energy to eradicat­ing the scourge of terrorism, that ravaged the North Eastern part of the country.

According to him, Boko Ha­ram has been militarily been defeated and confined that they have now resorted to hit and run tactics.

“When I started, our first task was to improve our security in­frastructure and strengthen our regional and international alli­ances. We have degraded Boko Haram and squeezed them into a small enclave in Sambisa Forest.

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