Thursday, 10 September 2015

In Fighting terrorism, oil theft not easy – Buhari

Fighting terrorism, oil theft not easy – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that it is not easy for his administration to fight terrorism, oil theft and corruption at the same time.

But he said in spite of the difficulties being faced in fighting these scourge, his administration would not relent in eliminating the vices from the nation’s body polity.

Buhari said this when the President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe, visited him in Abuja on Thursday.

The President, who expressed appreciation for Gnassingbe’s visit and for his concern about regional security, said his regime was being challenged with the Boko Haram insurgency, oil theft, illegal fishing, oil pollution and illegal dumping of toxins in the country.

Buhari said it was not easy for his administration, which he said, was fighting on many fronts.

According to him, the government is contending with insurgency in the North-East and oil theft in the South-South while trying to provide infrastructure in the country at the same time.

He said, “His (Gnassingbe’s) concern about regional security made it imperative for him to organise a summit on maritime security and development in November to examine a lot of issues.

“As for Nigeria, we are grateful for the sympathy and the goodwill expressed, touching on the performance of our armed forces and law enforcement agencies, since this administration came into being. It is not easy trying to fight on so many fronts, the North-East, the South-South and then try to provide infrastructure in our country.”

The President observed that the cooperation of the regional countries comprising Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin Republic had resulted in the isolation of Boko Haram and peace in the region.

He also advised African countries to pay attention to agriculture and manufacturing to provide jobs for the jobless.

Earlier, the Togolese President had invited Buhari to a security and piracy summit scheduled for Lome in November.

Gnassingbe said his country was organising the summit because $7bn had been lost to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

The Togolese leader told Buhari that the security summit would deal with issues of piracy, oil theft, environmental pollution, immigration as well as human and drug trafficking.

He therefore called on African nations to collaborate to combat the scourge and security challenges in the sub-region.

Gnassingbe commended Buhari and the Nigerian security forces for the work they were doing to combat terrorism in West Africa.

When asked by journalists if African countries were not hosting too many summits, Gnassingbe disagreed, saying the summits were not enough.

He said, “Piracy alone costs the Gulf of Guinea $7bn a year, that is what we lose for not combating it and we also know that without cooperation you cannot combat piracy, but the first stage is to come together and talk.

“If all the African countries are on the same page, it would be easy to tackle the security

challenges, so we have to keep holding summits, because individual countries cannot combat piracy effectively without cooperation.

“If you try to fight them in Togo, they go to the next country, then you don’t have the mechanism to go into the other countries. So, summits are necessary, they are not even sufficient.”