Boko Haram has been degraded but its members are still a nuisance around Lake Chad and surrounding islands, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
Buhari spoke yesterday at State House, Abuja, while receiving Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
He said Nigeria was cooperating with Chad, Cameroon, Niger Republic, and other countries.
The president stated, “We are also using the air force quite effectively. They are bandits, and we will continue to treat them as such.”
Buhari, according to a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) Femi Adesina, also commended the support of the ICRC and other humanitarian organizations.
He said, “The situation of the displaced persons is very pathetic. Some children don’t know where their parents are; neither do they know where they come from.
“We are focusing on education and healthcare, along with the rebuilding of infrastructure. The agency formerly under the leadership of Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd) and now headed by Major-General Paul Tarfa (retd) is quietly making an impression. We are dedicating lots of resources to the area.”
Buhari said ‘great progress’ had been made in disabusing the minds of people that the insurgency was religious.
Maurer, who said Nigeria was the 5th largest operation of ICRC worldwide, stated that the organization would continue to render humanitarian action to people affected by violence. He said the recent killing of its two officials in the North-east shook the organization but not discouraged.
The ICRC president, who said relationship would be further strengthened with Nigeria, added that “the more we see activity from Nigerian authorities, the easier it is for us to add here and there.”