By Umar Muhammad Puma
The Federal Government of Nigeria has hailed the recent global endorsement of its fight against terrorism, as contained in the 2017 Global Terrorism Index of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, expressed delight at the report, which shows that the largest decrease in terrorism deaths globally occurred in Nigeria, where terrorism deaths attributed to Boko Haram fell by 80% in 2016.
The Minister said it was also encouraging that for the second consecutive year, the total number of deaths is down with a 13% Year-On-Year reduction compared to 2015, with four of the five countries most affected by terrorism – Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria – recording 33% fewer deaths.
He said the progress that has been made by Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in2015, was duly acknowledged by the Executive Chairman of IEP, SteveKillelea, who was quoted by the report as saying, inter alia: ‘’The decline of Boko Haram in Nigeria is having a positive ripple effect, with Cameroon, Chad and Niger collectively recording 75% fewer deaths.”
Alhaji Mohammed said Nigeria’s success in the fight against terrorismis a direct result of the leadership provided by President Buhari, who did not just provide the enabling environment for the Nigerian military to regain its lost glory in the fight against terrorism, but also rallied Nigeria’s neighbours to forge a wide, sub-regional front against Boko Haram.
‘’It is fitting, therefore, that the 2017 Global Terrorism Index acknowledges the success recorded by the Multinational Joint Task Force that has been exerting pressure on Boko Haram,’’ he said.
The Minister recalled that President Buhari, in his inaugural speech on the 29th of May 2015, directed the relocation of the command centre of the fight against Boko Haram to Maiduguri, and then followed up with a shuttle diplomacy that took him to Cameroon, Chad and Niger, and resulted in the rejuvenation of the Multinational Joint Task Force.
He congratulated the Nigerian military for its patriotism and sacrifice that have once again made the country a proud member of the comity of nations.
Alhaji Mohammed said the 2017 Global Terrorism Index will provide afresh shot in the arm for the Administration to continue its efforts to wipe out the vestige of Boko Haram, and to tackle all other forms of insecurity facing the nation.