Despite a string of deadly attacks and loss of over 500 lives since May 29 to the activities of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group, President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, February 28, 2016 says that the Islamist terrorist group is no longer “in a position to cause serious threat to his administration’s development programmes”.
The President, speaking in Qatar boasted that since he was sworn in in May 2015, that Boko Haram had been “systematically decimated”. He also admitted that Boko Haram has during the period killed many people and caused the displacement of the innocent in the country.
According to a statement by one of his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President spoke at a bilateral meeting with the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani.
Buhari was also said to have talked on the situation in the Middle East and commended the role Qatar is playing in resolving the present Syrian crisis, the Palestinian cause and efforts in reconstructing Gaza.
He said, “The conflicts in Yemen and Syria, with their attendant humanitarian crisis, need genuine international effort to solve.
“Nigeria as a peace-loving country identifies with the State of Qatar in all her peace efforts in the world to end terrorist activities.
“Nigeria is a victim of terrorism. It is with heavy heart that I stand before you and say activities of Boko Haram have led to loss of many lives and displacement of innocent people in our dear nation.
“We, however, take pride to inform you that since our coming to power, Boko Haram has been systematically decimated and are in no position to cause serious threat to our development programmes.
“I wish to reiterate that Nigeria rejects violence and extremism in all their ramifications, and we assure Your Highness that we are with the State of Qatar in your efforts to fight terrorism and injustice in your region and in the world at large.”
Buhari also called for a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying, “We in Nigeria, like the State of Qatar, favour a ‘Two State’ solution, with the State of Palestine living side by side with the State of Israel.
“I want to assure you that we will stand side by side with you, until our brothers and sisters in Palestine achieve their desired objectives.
“Our support for various Security Council resolutions restoring and respecting 1967 boundaries with Jerusalem as capital of Palestine is firm and unshaken.”
The President also stressed the need for member states of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC members to cooperate and find a common ground to stabilise crude oil prices.
He described the current market situation in the industry which has seen oil prices plummet by 70 per cent since mid-2014, as unacceptable.
“As members of OPEC and Gas Exporting Countries Forum, our relations in the areas of oil and gas, which our two nations heavily rely on, need to be enhanced and coordinated for the benefit of our people.
“The current market situation in the oil industry is unsustainable and totally unacceptable.
“We must cooperate both within and outside our respective organisations to find a common ground to stabilise the market, which will be beneficial to our nations,’’ the President said on the second day of his state visit to Qatar.
The President used the occasion of his address to the emir to commend the existing cordial bilateral relations between both countries and invited prospective Qatari investors to take advantage of the abundant opportunities in Nigeria and invest in the key areas of energy, agriculture, real estate development, banking and finance.