Buhari to Boko Haram: How can you kill people and say ‘God is great?’ It’s either you don’t know that God or you don’t know what you are talking about


President Muhammadu Buhari says remnants of Boko Haram in North-East are bandits “and we will continue to treat them as such.”
The President stated this when he received Mr Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.
Buhari maintained that Boko Haram had been degraded, but “its members are still a nuisance around Lake Chad and surrounding islands.
“That is why we are cooperating with Chad, Cameroon, Niger Republic, and other countries. We are also using the Air Force quite effectively. They are bandits, and we will continue to treat them as such,” he said.
The President said the government was concentrating on repairing damaged infrastructure, rehabilitation of internally displaced persons, and securing their communities, so that they can return home.
He applauded the support of the ICRC and other humanitarian organisations, stressing  that the government would not rest until all victims were rehabilitated.
“The situation of the displaced persons is very pathetic. Some children don’t know where their parents are, neither do they know where they come from.
“We are focusing on education and healthcare, along with rebuilding of infrastructure.
“The agency formerly under the leadership of retired Gen. Theophilus Danjuma and now headed by retired Maj.-Gen. Paul Tarfa, is quietly making an impression. We are dedicating lots of resources to the area,” the president said.
He disclosed that great progress had equally been made in disabusing the minds of people that the insurgency was religious.
“How can you kill people, and say ‘God is great.’ It’s either you don’t know that God, or you don’t know what you are talking about.
“God is God of justice. And the people have understood the message well, so recruiting is now difficult for the insurgents,’’ he added.
Earlier, Maurer said Nigeria was the 5th largest operation of ICRC worldwide, and the organisation would continue to render humanitarian action to people affected by violence.
On the recent killing of two of its officials in the North-east, he said: “We are shaken by the killing of our staff, but not discouraged. Humanitarian assistance should continue, and we applaud the hospitality of Nigeria.”
The ICRC President said relationship would be further strengthened with Nigeria, submitting that “the more we see activity from Nigerian authorities, the easier it is for us to add here and there.”
Maurer, who spoke to State House correspondents after the meeting with the Nigerian leader, lauded the Federal Government efforts in providing relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country.
“I have been very much impressed and satisfied by the response of President Buhari.
“My meeting with the President was also an opportunity to convey to the President and his assisting Ministers how much we appreciate our work with the Nigerian Red Cross Society whose volunteers and many officials work in many places and our first and foremost partners that work at the frontline of humanitarian delivery.
“We have in that sense concluded a very positive meeting with the President and I am happy for present and future collaboration between Nigeria and the ICRC,” he said.
Meanwhile, Buhari has vowed to tackle crude oil theft in the country.
He also disclosed that the government would deliver Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) on, at least, four key projects within the nation’s oil and gas industry by the end of last quarter of 2019.
Buhari disclosed this during the ongoing 24th World Energy Congress (WEC) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
A statement by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday in Abuja, however, said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipreye Sylva, represented the President at the congress.
Buhari said his vision was to bequeath a vibrant petroleum industry that would guarantee long term strategic investments and prosperity for Nigerians.
“My plan is to ensure that during my tenure, four Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) are taken.
“I am sure that within the next quarter, we should be able to conclude on some of these FIDs so as to grow the industry,” he said.
The president identified gas development as part of government priority to fast-track the industrialisation drive of the country.
“As you are aware, we are focusing on the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project which will address some of our power issues and encourage the setting up of local industries and businesses along different areas in Nigeria.”
The president also shed more light on the imperative of rehabilitating the nation’s refineries, saying that it was unsustainable for Nigeria to continue to import petroleum products.
He said that while private investment in the refining sector was encouraged, government should focus more on the repair of its existing refineries.
“People are talking about modular refineries, we know that modular refineries are part of the solution but they can only be part of the solution and not the solution.
“So, we are going to try to encourage modular refineries but before that, we are going to really focus on repairing the existing refineries to ensure that we are back on stream very shortly.”
Describing crude oil theft as “intractable”, Buhari said government was looking at practicable solutions to the menace.
He said government was also looking at the issue of reducing the cost of production, through robust engagement with the International Oil Companies (IOCs) toward getting the best value for all stakeholders.
According to him, Nigeria needs to lend its voice to global energy fora as they remain some of the best platforms where major decisions that impact on the global energy landscape are taken.


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