President Buhari calls for more assistance from Commonwealth

The President expressed hope that the committee would be established before the next meeting of the organisation.


President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the establishment of a Commonwealth Committee to oversee the rendering of assistance and support to Nigeria and other member-countries affected by the scourge of terrorism.

Mr Femi Adesina, the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, said this on Saturday in Abuja in a statement issued to newsmen.

The statement said Buhari made the call at a banquet hosted by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II for Heads of State and Government participating in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta.

According to him, the committee, when functional, should visit member-countries of the Commonwealth where terrorist organisations have established a foothold with a view to evolving practical strategies for more meaningful assistance to them.

He urged the Commonwealth to show greater resolve in helping Nigeria and other developing nations in its ranks to overcome the challenges of economic development, security, terrorism and corruption.

"With the improvement of global communications, terrorism has no borders now.

"What happened recently in France had a profound effect on all of us, but very few countries realise that Nigeria has suffered terrorist casualties of over 10,000 killed in the last six years.

"Right now, we have over two million internally displaced persons, most of whom are women and children and most of the children are orphans,’’ he said.

Buhari informed the gathering of efforts being made by Nigeria and other members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to curb the menace of Boko Haram.

He said that the problem of terrorism in West Africa had been aggravated by the collapse of the Gadhafi's regime in Libya.

"We have agreed to a joint task-force for the elimination of Boko Haram, but it may not be easy, especially after the events in Libya when trained people with weapons moved back to Sahel region from where they were recruited by the former Libyan leader.

"Those weapons and expertise in their use are now aggravating the situation in the Sahel and further south,’’ he said.

While calling for more international assistance to Nigeria and other countries affected by terrorism, Buhari expressed appreciation for the assistance received from the Commonwealth, Britain, the Group of Seven Industrialised Nations, France and the United States.

"I am grateful to Britain, France and the United States. They have already sent teams to train the Nigeria Military and Police in the control of terrorism.

"The Commonwealth has helped us in so many ways by the visible support they have been giving to help us overcome the problem of terrorism,’’ he said.

The statement said that the United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon also attended the banquet.


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