Nigeria reviews National Counter Terrorism Strategy

Timothy Choji, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the nation that his government is committed to the absolute defeat of terrorists in any part of the country.

The President said this in Abuja, at the launch of the reviewed National Counter Terrorism Strategy documents, NACTEST.

He called on all Nigerians to resist any form of terror, to safeguard the country in appreciation of the supreme price paid by its fallen heroes.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the event, said he joined the Army and lived a successful military career; in order to protect the nation and the supreme prize paid by Nigeria’s fallen heroes cannot be in vain thus, citizens must resist anything that can divide or destroy the nation.

“I joined the army early in life and I spent all my professional life in the armed forces of Nigeria. I and so many others were trained to accept, to believe in and to be prepared to die for the security, safety and territorial integrity of Nigeria.

Indeed our Nation today was built on the sacrifices, the supreme sacrifices of many in the forces and outside it. It is, because of the memory of these men and women that we must resist with all we have any attempts by anyone or any group, under any guise to undermine the safety, security, and integrity of our dear Nation,” he said.

President Buhari said since terrorism is not static; the country must also be decisive and dynamic in approaching and defeating it, adding that he will not relent in curbing the activities of any group or persons perpetuating violence, in line with his oath of office.

He said: “This is why a robust and dynamic Counterterrorism strategy is crucial in the fight against terrorism, and must be constantly reviewed for relevance to contemporary challenges. The government is determined to ensure that the safety and security of every single Nigerian is our priority.

This is why I have repeatedly ordered our law enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators of violence in any shape or form are arrested and made to face the law. The activities of armed herdsmen and host farmers, kidnappers, and criminal militants all threaten our peace, security and the stability of our nation.

We will not allow anyone under any guise whether it is politics, culture or religion to violate the physical person, lives or property of other citizens. This is the oath to which I swore and I will uphold it at all costs.”

He noted that the selfishness of terrorists had cost the nation thousands of lives and property, saying they must be defeated in all facets, stressing that the battle of the mind must also be won, to wipe out the bad ideologies being sold to the youth by terrorists.

The President, who commended the office of the National Security Adviser for working so hard on countering terrorism, however urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to play their roles as stipulated by the counter terrorism strategy document.

President Buhari said government has already taken steps to address the problem of malnutrition in the North-East, caused by the boko haram insurgency.

The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), said significant progress has been made in countering terrorism.

He thanked Ministries, Departments and Agencies for their support and pledged to continue working with them, as he called on all Nigerians to respond to the call for action against terrorists.

“All well meaning Nigerians must now rise to the occasion and relevant Ministries, departments and agencies must begin to streamline their contributions according to their roles and responsibilities as identified in the National Counter Terrorism Strategy so that the menace of terrorism must now be addressed from a multi dimensional approach in order to make it all encompassing,” the National Security Adviser stated.

Monguno announced that his office will soon embark on a visit to the 36 states, launch a campaign on counter terrorism, which will involves all the Local Governments in the country.

Highlight of the event was the launching of the NACTEST documents by President Muhammadu Buhari.