“Help Us Recover $150 billion Looted In Past Decade,” Buhari Writes In WashingtonPost

Nigeria Committed To Good Governance And Fighting Terror

This month, the world moved a step closer to the defeat of Boko Haram, the jihadist group that has terrorized hundreds of thousands in the northern states of Nigeria. In one of my first acts since taking office as president six weeks ago, I have replaced the heads of Nigeria’s army, navy and air force. Our new military leadership has not been chosen because of their familiarity with those in government, as was too often the case in the past, but on their track records and qualifications alone.

These new military leaders will be based in Borno State in northern Nigeria, where the headquarters of the armed services has been relocated. This shift of resources and command directly to the front line, in addition to the replacement of the head of the State Security Service, Nigeria’s intelligence organization, and a new emphasis on working in partnership with our neighbors, has equipped us to take the fight directly to Boko Haram.


Already we are beginning to see a degrading of Boko Haram’s capabilities as a fighting force. In recent weeks, it appears to have shifted away from confronting the military directly to an increase in attacks on civilian areas, as we saw only last week when an elderly woman and 10-year-old girl blew themselves up at a Muslim prayer gathering in northeastern Nigeria. We should not be confused by this change, hateful as it is: It does not mean that Boko Haram is succeeding in its aims — it shows that it is losing.

While we work to defeat the terrorists, I ask the people of Nigeria and the world for resolve and fortitude. The campaign we will wage will not be easy; it may not be swift. We should expect stages of success and also moments when it may appear that our advances have been checked. But no one should have any doubt as to the strength of our collective will or my commitment to rid this nation of terror and bring back peace and normalcy to all affected areas.

Similarly, my determination should not be underestimated in other matters. This includes instilling good governance and tackling the scourge of corruption that has held Nigeria back for too long.

Former Presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan

As I meet with President Obama today — the first time a president of the United States will encounter a Nigerian counterpart following the peaceful transfer of power in a contested election in our history — I will be discussing my plans for critical reforms. So, too, will I discuss why the formation of my administration is taking time and, crucially, why it must. Already there are voices saying these changes are taking too long — even though only six weeks have passed since my inauguration. I hear such calls, but this task cannot and should not be rushed.

My Cabinet Ministers Will Be Appointed In September

When cabinet ministers are appointed in September, it will be some months after I took the oath of office. It is worth noting that Obama himself did not have his full Cabinet in place for several months after first taking office; the United States did not cease to function in the interim. In Nigeria’s case, it would neither be prudent nor serve the interests of sound government to have made these appointments immediately on my elevation to the presidency; instead, Nigeria must first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place.

I cannot stress how important it is to ensure that this process is carried out correctly, just as it has been crucial to first install the correct leadership of the military and security services before we fully take the fight to Boko Haram.

I now seek Obama’s assistance in locating and returning $150 billion in funds stolen in the past decade…

There are too few examples in the history of Nigeria since independence where it can be said that good management and governance were instituted at a national level. This lack of a governance framework has allowed many of those in charge, devoid of any real checks and balances, to plunder. The fact that I now seek Obama’s assistance in locating and returning $150 billion in funds stolen in the past decade and held in foreign bank accounts on behalf of former, corrupt officials is testament to how badly Nigeria has been run. This way of conducting our affairs cannot continue.
Indeed, the failure of governance, it can be argued, has been as much a factor in Nigeria’s inability thus far to defeat Boko Haram as have been issues with the military campaign itself.

Former president’s Abdusalami and Jonathan of the PDP while having meetings over holding president-eloect Buhari to give amnesty if to be handed power
Former president’s Abdusalami and Jonathan of the PDP while having meetings over holding president-eloect Buhari to give amnesty if to be handed power

So the path we must take is simple, even if it is not easy: First, instill rules and good governance; second, install officials who are experienced and capable of managing state agencies and ministries; and third, seek to recover funds stolen under previous regimes so that this money can be invested in Nigeria for the benefit of all of our citizens.

We seek the support and partnership of the United States in these tasks. The importance of the fight against terrorism and corruption in Nigeria, Africa’s most powerful economy and largest populace, cannot be underestimated. Our allies can provide much-needed military training and intelligence as our soldiers take the war effort to Boko Haram. Similarly, we look to U.S. businesses as well as the Obama administration to help develop governance initiatives that can ensure that Nigeria’s wealth benefits all its people, not just a few. By taking these steps, we will be positioned to benefit from increased investment — particularly in energy and electricity — from the United States.

I was elected on a platform of change. I know this is what the people of Nigeria desire more than anything else. I know they are impatient for action. I realize the world waits to see evidence that my administration will be different from all those that came before. Yet reforming my country after so many years of abuse cannot be achieved overnight. In our campaigns against both Boko Haram and corruption, we should remain steadfast and remember, as it is said: “Have patience. All things become difficult before they become easy.





MAROUA, Cameroon/MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigerian forces have killed more than 300 Boko Haram fighters during an operation to recapture 11 towns and villages since the start of the week, the military said on Wednesday, as regional neighbours also pounded the militants.

“Weapons and equipment were also captured and some destroyed,” defence spokesman Major-General Chris Olukolade said in a statement. “However, two soldiers lost their lives while 10 others were wounded,” he added.

It was not possible to independently verify the military’s statement. Nigerian forces have in past been accused of overstating enemy casualties while greatly understating their own and those of civilians caught in the crossfire.

Cameroonian forces supported by Chad’s air force carried out air strikes and used heavy artillery against Boko Haram in the village of Gourgouroon, on the Nigeria-Cameroon border, Cameroon army spokesman Colonel Didier Badjeck said.

Boko Haram’s relentless attacks on military and civilians have killed thousands since the group launched its violent campaign for a breakaway Islamic state in mid-2009, threatening the stability of Africa’s biggest economy and top oil producer as well as that of the entire region.

Boko Haram was cited as a reason for postponing by six weeks a Nigerian presidential election that had been due to take place this past Saturday. In a video on Tuesday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appeared in a video monitored by the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group in which he threatened to disrupt the upcoming vote.

But in the past two weeks the tide has appeared to turn against them, as neighbours Chad, Cameroon and Niger, all of whom are plagued by Boko Haram insurgents, have weighed in.


Nigerian soldiers recaptured the strategic town of Monguno, on the shores of Lake Chad where the four countries meet, from Boko Haram on Monday. More than 5,000 people fled the town after the insurgents seized it last month.

Olukolade said troops had seized five types of armoured fighting vehicles, an anti-aircraft gun, 50 cases of bombs, eight different types of machine guns, some 50 cases of ammunition and 300 motorcycles the rebels use to launch attacks.

Chadian troops cleared Boko Haram out of Nigeria’s Gamburu earlier this month. Niger soldiers shot dead a suicide bomber suspected of belonging to Islamist militant group Boko Haram on Monday after he tried to detonate an explosive belt near a military post in the southern Niger town of Bagara.

Violence in the northeast has hurt the re-election prospects of President Goodluck Jonathan, accused of doing too little to protect civilians from the militants, although recent victories could swing public opinion in his favour.

The growing cooperation between Nigeria’s neighbours is also attracting donor support to fight the Islamists, with the U.S. army providing equipment and intelligence to allies.

Presidents from the 10-nation Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) pledged on Monday to create an emergency fund of 50 billion CFA francs ($87 million) to the fight.




President Idriss Deby greeting President Goodluck Jonathan in N’Djaména

The Federal Government on Thursday said 15 Chadians were among the 42 Boko Haram insurgents killed in Biu, Borno State, when the terrorists attacked the town on Wednesday.

The Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, who confirmed this while briefing journalists in Abuja, also said that the Department of State Security would investigate the five militants captured alive during the operation.

Omeri also said that security forces would ensure that the Chibok girls, seized from their school nine months ago, were freed.

At the briefing, Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Sani Sidi, disclosed that the number of Nigerians displaced by the activities of insurgency and natural disasters had increased to 981,416.

Omeeri said, “Despite the fact that it is nine months since our girls were abducted from a secondary school in Chibok town, government has not relented and will not relent in deploying all efforts to ensure the rescue of these girls. The government therefore reassures the parents and relations of these girls, and in fact all Nigerians, of its commitment in this regards.

“The Nigerian Army successfully countered an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants near the town of Biu, Borno State. At least 42 insurgents, including 15 Chadians were killed during an intense ground battle, which saw the military repel and then advance on militants.

“As the military gained and held ground against the militants, remaining insurgents retreated. Five militants were captured and have been taken to a secure facility for questioning. Nigerian officials led by the Department of State Services will conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the five militants captured to determine if they were involved in any other atrocities conducted against the Nigerian people.

“Those found to have committed any crimes against the state will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in accordance with international standards and best practice. This operation is another example in a string of recent successes against Boko Haram.

“Security forces will continue to make remarkable progress against these terrorists. The recent rise in suicide bombings is clear evidence that Boko Haram is running out of options. The government is fully committed to ensuring that all militants are rooted out from their hiding places and a safe and secure country for all Nigerians is restored.”

Omeri, who is also the Director-General of the National Orientation Agency, also confirmed that insurgents killed three civilians and injured at least 21 people in a suicide bomb attack near a mosque at Kasuwan Mata, Gombe State, on Tuesday.

He said that security forces had established presence on the ground to provide a safe and secure environment for the Nigerian Red Cross Society and other humanitarian agencies to provide critical assistance to those injured.

Omeri also disclosed that NEMA was taking care of 3,200 internally-displaced persons from Baga, currently accommodated in the Teachers’ Village Camp, a secure facility in Maiduguri.

The camp is operated by NEMA in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Nigerian Red Cross.

Copyright PUNCH.
January 16, 2015 by Everest Amaefule 3 Comments