The Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Tijjani Bande, has said that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has taken measures that contributed to the confrontation and decimation of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group.
Mr Bande stated this while addressing a UN Committee on the topic: ‘Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism’ at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York.
The envoy said: “Nigeria is no stranger to the activities of terrorists, and in particular, Boko Haram.
“But, the Nigerian Government has since confronted and decimated their activities and has put in place bold and robust strategies to continue to address the heinous atrocities of the Boko Haram insurgency.
“The collaboration of neighbours and many partners aided us in large measure to achieve the current outcome.
“We continue to enjoy closer cooperation with our neighbours, especially Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Benin Republic who have come together within the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to form a Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), headquartered in N’Djamena, Chad”.
The Nigerian envoy regretted that terrorism had continued to be a serious menace to international peace and security.
According to him, terrorist acts are insidious in character and usually destabilise the structures of governance with adverse effects on development in the affected countries.
Given this sad reality, Mr Bande said the international community needed to develop an inclusive and collaborative approach to jointly deter and annihilate terrorism.
He reaffirmed Nigeria’s continued support and readiness to cooperate with UN on efforts to end terrorism in all its manifestations.
He said: “I am glad to also emphasise that Nigeria’s counter-terrorism strategy is fully anchored on the respect for human rights and international humanitarian laws.
“It is against this background that the residents in the North-Eastern states of Nigeria now move about their daily businesses in relative safety.
“Since the commencement of the revised National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) by the current administration in 2016, Nigerians have equipped themselves psychologically to win the war against terrorism.”
According to him, the strategy succeeded in uniting Nigerians from all works of life towards defeating Boko Haram.
It also encourages religious leaders to use their various places of worship to enlighten their followers against any extremism or intolerance, he added.
Mr Bande said the programme for de-radicalisation, rehabilitation, reorientation and re-integration for repentant Boko Haram members, Victims Support Fund and the Presidential Initiative for the North East as well as the Safe School Initiative are still ongoing.
These initiatives, he said, had facilitated the provision of humanitarian relief, socio-economic stabilization and resettlement of persons displaced by Boko Haram.
“Certainly, the war against terrorism on all frontiers can only be achieved through the determined resolve of all Member States of the United Nations to work together.
“States Parties must ensure full compliance with all United Nations Resolutions and Conventions against terrorism and its financing as well as other instruments adopted at regional levels.
“This will constitute not only a valid point of departure, but also a contextual framework for cooperation among member states,” he stressed.
Bande said Nigeria’s adoption of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy and Plan of Action to prevent violent extremism is a clear indication of its readiness to root out terrorism and end the destructive activities of Boko Haram.
“Consistent with our faith in the need for a collective fight against terrorism, I like to re-affirm Nigeria’s commitment to work closely with all UN Counter Terrorism entities,” he pledged.