Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday told the United Nations that 13,000 Nigerians have so far been killed by Boko Haram insurgents in the country’s North-east zone.
The President, who described the trend as “unacceptable,” also challenged the international community to “act now,” to stop the global menace of terrorism.
He insisted that Boko Haram insurgents are being funded from outside the country and called for international support to countries on the frontline of terrorism war.
Mr. Jonathan said these at a high level meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York, United States of America, on Wednesday.
While describing the activities of terrorists as unacceptable, he said Nigerians have experienced the destructive effects of the menace during the past five years.
“Nigeria knows too well the destructive effects of terrorist activities. Over the past five years, we have been, and are still confronting threats posed by Boko Haram to peace and stability predominantly in the North Eastern part of our country,” Mr. Jonathan said.
“The costs are high: over 13,000 people have been killed, whole communities razed, and hundreds of persons kidnapped, the most prominent being the mindless kidnap of our innocent daughters from Chibok Secondary School, in North East Nigeria.”
While appreciating the UN’s leadership for convening the meeting to address global terrorism concerns, he said the resolution adopted by member states was a critical step in mobilizing international action against terrorism.
Despite the daunting challenge posed by Boko Haram, he said his government has doggedly mobilised resources at its disposal to ensure that the scourge is rooted out of Nigeria.
In addition to our counterterrorism efforts, he noted that the administration has evolved initiatives to alleviate the plight of the population in the affected communities.
He listed some of such efforts to include the Presidential Initiative for the North East, Victims Support Fund as well as the Safe Schools Initiative, which is supported by former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
Continuing, Mr. Jonathan said, “We must now capitalize on the commitment and evident determination of the Security Council to seek more innovative responses to the threat of terrorism and in particular to the growing menace of foreign fighters,” Mr. Jonathan said.
“The council should be concerned about the existence of sources of arming and funding terrorists. Evidence has shown that Boko Haram, for instance, is resourced largely from outside our country.
“We must also commit to ensuring that countries which are in the frontline of this challenge, receive adequate support from the international community.
“The Resolution that we have adopted here today is a critical first step in mobilising international action,” said the Nigeria’s President.
Mr. Jonathan said Nigerians and the world are horrified at the gruesome murder of two American journalists and a British aid worker by elements linked to Islamic State, ISIS.
He noted that the murders typified the new face of global terrorism marked by executions, extreme brutality and impunity.
He listed Al Qaeda in the Arab Maghreb, Al Shabaab in Somalia, and Boko Haram in North Eastern Nigeria as some of the groups that share the agenda of unleashing terror, mayhem, destruction and instability around the world.
The Nigerian President noted that bands of foreign fighters have added a troubling dimension to the emerging phase of global terrorism.
From targeted attacks by Al Qaeda a few years ago, Mr. Jonathan said the world now witness thousands of mobile terrorists sweeping across vast areas, destroying lives, and even attempting to hold territory.
He, however, thanked the American President, Barrack Obama, and the US Government for the security governance initiative which was conceived at the US-Africa Summit in August.
“I believe, if expeditiously implemented, the initiative will enhance security on the continent,” Mr. Jonathan said.
“Only by united action and firm resolve can we check this raging threat to humanity, and also build the enduring structures that will resist their re-emergence.”