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Homeland Security

Terrorism most immediate problem for new Nigerian Government, President tells UN

28 September 2015 – The new Nigerian Government has many issues to contend with but none as important as defeating the terrorist threat posed by Boko Haram and bringing back the Chibok girls unharmed, the country's President declared at the United Nations General Assembly today.

"Boko Haram's war against the people of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon may not attract as much worldwide attention as the wars in the Middle East but the suffering is just as great and the human cost is equally high," Muhammadu Buhari said in his address to the Assembly's high-level debate.

Stating that Nigerians are on the front lines of the war on terror, he said the battle is between progress and chaos; between democracy and the rule of law.

"Boko Haram celebrates violence against the weak and the innocent and deplorably, they hide behind their perverted interpretation of Islam. Boko Haram is as far away from Islam as anyone can think of."

Mr. Buhari, who was elected President in March, informed fellow world leaders that the new Government is attacking the problems it inherited head-on.

"We intend to tackle inequalities arising from massive unemployment and previous government policies favouring a few people to the detriment of the many. We intend to emphasize quality technological education for development and lay foundation for comprehensive care of the aged, the disadvantaged and the infirm.

"But for now, terrorism is the immediate problem," he stressed.

The President outlined a number of steps being taken, adding that Nigeria and her neighbours Cameroon, Chad and Niger plus Benin are working together to face this common threat within the regional framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

"We have established a multinational joint task force to confront, degrade and defeat Boko Haram. We have driven them away from many of their strongholds, killed or captured many of their operatives or commanders and freed several hundreds of hostages.

"One of our major aims is to rescue the Chibok girls alive and unharmed. We are working round the clock to ensure their safety and eventual reunion with their families. Chibok girls are constantly on our minds and in our plans," he stated.

Some 276 girls were abducted by Boko Haram from their school in Chibok, located in Nigeria's restive north-eastern Borno state, in April 2014, as the militant group ramped up brutal attacks targeting the country's children. Some 200 of the girls were released from captivity in April of this year.

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