Summit: Buhari rallies support for military, countries, victims of Boko Haram

From right, President Muhammadu Buhari; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Zamfara State governor, Abubakar Yari and the Minister of Interior Abdulrahman Dambazzau (behind the president), during the opening of high level plenary meeting on addressing movements of refugees and migrants, at the United Nations headquarters, New York, United States, on Monday.

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged member-states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), development partners and international community to assist security personnel, victims and countries affected by Boko Haram insurgency.

This was contained in a statement by the spokesperson, Nigerian Mission to the United Nations (UN), Mr Akinremi Bolaji, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, on Monday.

The statement quoted the president as making the call in his speech at the 17th Summit of NAM, at the Island of Margarita, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

NAN reported that NAM was a group of states which were not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.

Buhari stressed the need to provide assistance to member-countries that had borne the brunt of Boko Haram terrorism, and relief to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees.

He explained that twin scourge of terrorism and violent extremism had continued to wreak havoc in Nigeria and countries around Lake Chad Basin.

According to him, thousands of nationals had been killed and maimed in addition to the millions displaced from their homes.

He, however, stated that the capacity of Boko Haram had been severely degraded with huge sacrifices of the Nigerian Armed Forces and those of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).

While noting that the situation in some other parts of the world such as Libya, Iraq and Syria had continued to be a major concern, Buhari urged support for the peace process in those countries.

“It is essential that the Non-Aligned Movement finds a role for itself in addressing these challenges so as to retain its relevance in the world of today and in the future,’’ he added.

“In addressing the challenge of resource mobilization and flows for sustainable development of our countries, our collective solidarity is required now more than ever before, to uphold the Bandung Principles.

“I need not stress that cooperation among nations is an essential condition for global peace, security and a just world and economic order anchored on democratic values.’’

Buhari said that there was the need to associate fully with the statement by the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha on behalf of Group 77 and China.

Chan-o-cha, had said that there was a great opportunity for NAM to place the priority and concerns of the developing countries on the global agenda

Buhari said that the international community was currently faced with severe economic crisis characterized by the collapse of commodity prices, worsening youth unemployment and exchange rate instability, among others.

“We need to exchange experiences in tackling these challenges. We must create jobs for our teeming population and explore creative ways of adding value to our terms of trade among ourselves and the rest of the world.

“We must continue to fashion out concrete steps to enhance good governance in our countries, including tackling head on, the challenge of corruption and efficient allocation of scarce resources,” he said.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Khadija Abba-Ibrahim, said at the meeting that Nigeria was firmly committed to the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

According to her, Nigeria recognises the primary responsibility of States to protect civilians within their national jurisdiction.

“This conviction underlines our government’s resolve to take all measures necessary to protect civilians in the battle against the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

“Surely, terrorism must be roundly condemned and rejected by all peace-loving nations and should never be justified or defended under any guise.

“Similarly, no action should also be taken to undermine the morale and professional efficiency of the gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces and those of their partners in the sub-region as they prosecute this campaign,” she said.(