PRESENTATION IN LIECHTENSTEIN
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Update on the efforts by the Nigerian
government to address the Boko haram Insurgents
22nd July 2014 marked 100 days that over 200 young Nigerian school girls were abducted from their school, Government Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State, situated in the Northeastern region of Nigeria.
The Government of Nigeria and our, President, Goodluck EBELE JONATHAN have no higher priority than defeating Boko Haram and rescuing the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls. The Government is using all the tools of national power: military, intelligence, police, economic and political resources in this regard. It is evident that Nigeria will prevail, as light prevails over darkness.
The Government of Nigeria has the will, the resources and the strategies to win this fight, and no matter how long it may takes, the government remains totally committed to the course.
Consequent upon its determination, it is worth noting that the following actions have been taken, and important successes achieved.
Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, one of the masterminds of the April 14 deadly bomb-attack on a highly frequented bus station in Abuja, which led to the death of 100 civilians and who is suspected of leading recruitment efforts for Boko Haram from his base in Sudan, is now in detention having been extradited from Sudan.
The chief of intelligence of Boko Haram was picked up and is now helping in the investigations.
Mohammed Zakari, a Boko Haram leader known as the Chief Butcher" was captured during the Nigerian forces’ raid on the dense BalmoForest in BornoState, which expelled Boko Haram insurgents from the area, effectively denying the terrorists a haven and launch pad for attacks.
In addition, the Government is cooperating with and empowering the local population across Nigeria in the battle against Boko Haram. Recent examples of this Government-citizen collaboration include:
Foiling of a planned Boko Haram attack against the Abuja transportation system; the public was alerted and casualties were avoided;
Following a tip-off, the Nigerian police uncovered and prevented a bomb attack near a school in the north eastern city of Gombe.
The Nigerian Government recognizes that soft power is crucial in the battle against Boko Haram; as force alone cannot defeat insurgency. As a result, Government is implementing a comprehensive program of assistance to support, protect, and empower local communities, with special focus on the most vulnerable areas of the country. This Initiative includes:
The Safe Schools initiative is a collective effort aimed at safeguarding our school children in states under emergency rule by strengthening the security of educational facilities. In this regard, perimeter fences, housing for teachers, community policing school guards, alarm and communication equipment are being provided. The Government's spending has been matched dollar for dollar by the private sector and now amount to $20 million. The objective of the government is to create a fund of $100 million to support this program and pledges of support have been received from the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other donors. On the whole, the Government is working with state governors, community leaders, teachers and parents to identify and remedy the vulnerabilities that put our children at risk
Reportedly, the Government is determined to expand its .programs aimed at improving access to education for underprivileged children. In this connection, the Jonathan administration has instituted a data collection system to determine the number of children out of school in Nigeria.
Furthermore, Government has undertaken important steps to address the socio-economic factors that feed the insurgency and is implementing a community services program that has already recruited 11,500 young people to participate in public works projects. The YouWin program supports hundreds of young entrepreneurs with grants to enable them start a business or expand existing ones.
In addition Government has launched a Presidential Committee on Victims Support Fund, a Public-Private Partnership with $30 million in funding, to mobilize resources and administer appropriate support to victims of insurgency and Boko Haram terror activities across the country. The Committee is Chaired by highly respected retired General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, an accomplished business man, philanthropist and patriot who had supported similar public causes with resounding transparency and enormous goodwill in the past.
Similarly, over the long term, the Government is developing a comprehensive economic empowerment plan for the region: the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE). In this regard, government has established a number of Almajiri schools for the disadvantaged, as a means of empowering the youths with useful life-skills 9 new federal universities have also been established, to provide easy access to education in some of the educationally disadvantaged communities.
In conclusion, the government of Nigeria appreciates the role all its international partners both governments, and non-governmental groups have played, particularly the international BringbackOurGirls (BBOG) campaign, that has successfully motivated global attention to the impact of terror in our region.