The governments of France, Canada and Germany, yesterday, at the G-7 Summit in Elmau, Germany promised to assist Nigeria fight Boko Haram.
The three countries specifically pledged to help the country with training of military personnel and intelligence gathering on the activities of the sect.
Raising issues of terrorism, Canadian leader at the summit, said: “Like other G-7 members, Canada is concerned about the emergence of ISIS-affiliated groups elsewhere in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa, including Boko Haram in Nigeria.”
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, Malam Garba Shehu, said Buhari pledged to rout out Boko Haram at a meeting with President Francois Hollande of France after his participation in the G-7 Outreach Programme.
According to the release, Buhari said Nigeria will welcome greater support and cooperation from France and other friendly nations for its ongoing efforts to overcome Boko Haram and restore normalcy to areas affected by the group’s atrocities.
The President said his administration was already taking concrete action to build a more efficient and effective coalition of Nigeria and neighbouring countries against Boko Haram.
Nigeria, he said, would appreciate more intelligence on the terrorist group’s links with ISIS, movements, training and its sources of arms and ammunition.
This, according to him, is to facilitate the perfection of fresh tactics and strategies being evolved to overcome terrorism and insurgency in the country and its sub-region.
Buhari reiterated that there was absolutely no link between religion and the atrocities of Boko Haram.
He said: “There is clearly no religious basis for the actions of the group. Their atrocities show that members of the group either do not know God at all or they don’t believe in him.”
Hollande lauds Buhari’s efforts to eradicate Boko Haram
In his remarks, President Francois Hollande of France commended President Buhari’s concerted efforts to galvanize Nigeria’s armed forces, security agencies and neighouring countries for more decisive action to eradicate Boko Haram.
The French leader assured Buhari that France would give Nigeria and its coalition partner’s greater support against terrorism and insecurity, including military and intelligence cooperation.
He said the support was to help them to overcome the security challenge posed by Boko Haram and its global terrorist allies as quickly as possible.
He also called for greater bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and France in other areas, including trade, economic and cultural relations.
The release added that Buhari also received similar pledges of enhanced support from Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and Chancellor Angela Merkel, who he also conferred with before departing from the venue of the G-7 2015 Summit. The President is due back in Abuja early today.
President Buhari, who was invited to the summit with a wish list, had listed the war against Boko Haram as number one priority presented to the G-7 meeting.
According to a communiqué issued after the meeting, the group of seven leaders spent extra time discussing terrorist threats after a shortened debate on curbing climate change, a topic championed by Germany, France and Italy.
Leaders meeting for the second and final day of the G-7 summit in the Bavarian Alps switched topics after 35 minutes of their morning session and “opted to dedicate the remainder” to “global threats to international security,” Canada’s delegation said in a statement.
On global warming
German officials said earlier that the whole one-hour session would focus on global warming.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a former environment minister, is hosting the summit six months before a United Nations climate conference in Paris.
Merkel said last week that she wanted to make the summit discussion on climate a priority to help ensure the UN conference’s success. Group of Seven leaders agreed yesterday to wean their economies off carbon fuels and supported a global goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but they stopped short of agreeing their own immediate binding targets.
In a communique issued after their two-day summit in Bavaria, the G-7 leaders said they backed reducing global greenhouse gas emissions at the upper end of a range of 40 to 70 per cent by 2050, using 2010 as a basis. The range was recommended by the IPCC, the United Nations’ climate-change panel. They also backed a global target for limiting the rise in average global temperatures to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial levels.
“We commit to doing our part to achieve a low-carbon global economy in the long-term, including developing and deploying innovative technologies striving for a transformation of the energy sectors by 2050, and invite all countries to join us in this endeavor,” the communique read.
G-7 host, Angela Merkel of Germany, once dubbed the “climate chancellor,” hoped to revitalize her green credentials by getting the G-7 nations to agree specific emissions goals ahead of a larger year-end United Nations climate meeting in Paris.
The leaders stopped short of agreeing any such immediate binding targets for their economies. Green lobby groups nonetheless welcomed the direction of their agreements.
“They’ve given important political signals, but they could have done more, particularly by making concrete national commitments for immediate action,” said Sam Smith, leader of the WWF Global Climate and Energy Initiative.
“We had hoped for more commitments on what they would do right now.” The Europeans had pressed their G7 partners to sign up to legally binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Buhari has capacity tocrush insurgency—Useni
On President Buhari’s capacity to deal with Boko Haram threats, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and Senator-elect for Plateau South senatorial zone, Gen. Jeremiah Useni, said he was optimistic the administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari would crush the sect.
Useni urged Nigerians to be patient and support the new administration in its bid to put an end to insurgency and reposition the nation for the good of the citizens.
Speaking at the weekend in a chat with journalists in Jos, the senator-elect also commended the governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, for upholding the rule of law and swearing in the elected Chairman of Langtang North Local Government Area, Dan Dul.
Useni, who noted that the governor had started his governance on a good footing, also urged him to give priority to the civil servants by settling the seven month salaries arrears owed them, even if it meant suspending the execution of capital projects for the time being.
He, however, faulted the wasted money and time in building of the new Government House by the immediate past administration in the state, saying such huge resources would have been used in other ventures since the state did not lack a befitting Government House.
His words: “It is regrettable the ongoing security challenges, especially in the North-East but the President is doing his best right now to see insurgency brought to an end.
“The Buhari I know will not relent until he brings the perpetrators to book, let us support him, pray for him and be united as a family.”
Boko Haram kills security operative
Meanwhile, security operative was feared killed yesterday during a gun battle with suspected members of the Boko Haram insurgent group, at Keke-B village in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Reports said the two insurgents involved escaped.
According to eye witness, security operatives comprising men from the SSS and soldiers raided the residence of the suspected members of the Boko Haram sect in the area, at about 1am on Sunday.
The eyewitness said the gun duel between the security operatives and the insurgents lasted about four hours and that a security personnel was killed in the process.
“Two suspects escaped but the security men arrested two women who are wives of the Boko Haram people,” the eye witness said.
The Dagaci (Village Head) of the area, Malam Suleiman Mohammed, confirmed the report, saying they started hearing gun shots from about 1 am.
According to him, the team of security operatives which was made up of SSS and soldiers later announced that the neighbours should all come out of their houses and ordered them to leave the area to avoid being victims.
Efforts to reach the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, at the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, were unsuccessful.