By Okodili Ndidi, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said his administration is exploring higher level of collaboration among nations and international organisations to defeat insurgency and terrorism in the country.
Buhari who was represented by stated this in a key note address at the national security seminar organized by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC) in collaboration with the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) with the theme “Combating Insecurity in Nigeria” at the National Defence College, Abuja.
The President was represented by the Minister of Defence Major General Bashir Magashi (Retd).
He said security forces over the years had worked hard to defeat Boko Haram and they will also re-examine their strategies to deal with the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) that has invade parts of the country.
According to him, “looking back over the period since assumption of office, it is worthy of note that there have been positive and significant improvements in all sectors of our national life. However, new threats in the areas of insurgency and terrorism have emerged due mainly to the defeat of the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS) whose fighters have relocated to other countries and regions.
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“This is a major concern to us, as their presence in the West Africa Sahel region poses great danger not only to Nigeria but the entire region. Thus we are exploring higher level of collaboration among all nations and International organisations to effectively curtail the spread of terrorism and defeat insurgency and terrorism”.
The President further noted that his administration will continue to put in place measures to deter Nigerians from engaging in criminal activities.
On the spate of kidnapping, he said “the criminal elements using kidnapping and other criminal activities as a way to get rich quick should either stop such acts forthwith or face the full weight of the law as security agencies have a renewed mandate to deal with such acts of criminality”
The President noted that due to the economic recovery efforts of his administration within the last five years, Nigeria is on the path of steady growth, adding that the economic recovery and growth plan 2020 which provided guidance for all the sectors will be replaced with another as it expires with vision 2020.
He said though the temporary border closure led to reduction in inflow of illicit weapons and growth of entrepreneurial development, it will be re-examined and acceptable measures adopted to prevent illegal economic activities and other related crimes.
The President AANDEC, Major General Garba Audu (Retired) said the seminar was convened to discuss four cardinal issues bedeviling the country.
He said the association was worried over key security issues “negotiations with bandits to achieve peace, increasing wave of kidnapping in the country, management of International borders and the root causes considered fundamental,”
Audu added that the association also believes the solutions to security issues go beyond military mights to social economic measures.