Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday urged the international community to partner Nigeria to defeat Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.
Saraki spoke at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, the United States, when he delivered the keynote address at the 4th World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments, organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
He noted that the menace of insurgency and other forms of brutality visited on innocent people by terrorists across the world required international collaboration to curtail.
The Senate president said they posed great threats to global peace and democracy.
According to him, terrorism has become a clog in Nigeria’s wheels to achieve sustainable development.
Saraki said terrorism could no longer be treated as a local problem, adding that it was time the world joined Nigeria to decisively defeat Boko Haram while urgently rebuilding the Northeast.
He said: “The time to act is now. For us in Nigeria, with the new leadership at the executive and legislature, we are reacting already. You have a reliable partner to work with.
“Boko Haram represents the greatest terrorist threat we face. The insurgents’ senseless terror has brought untold destruction and hardship on our people in the Northeast of the country. I, therefore, call on the international community to partner Nigeria to defeat Boko Haram.
“Thankfully, our military has, in recent times, significantly degraded the morale and capacity of the insurgents to launch attacks in the area, a feat that has since seen many settlements liberated, roads reopened and hope restored. I call on the global community to join hands with Nigeria to rebuild the overwhelming destruction of the NortheEast.”
The Senate president said the world had become embattled by several challenges without easy answers.
He listed some of the challenges as climate change, regional conflicts and terrorism.
Saraki said the conflicts had caused internal destitution, displacement and dislocation of people, adding that democracy and development cannot take place in such conditions.
The Senate president noted that the challenge the global community faced was how to quickly turn the tide around to achieve sustainable development.
He said: “Since 2009, we have seen many of our innocent citizens brutally and senselessly murdered and others rendered internally displaced. The idea of a 15-year-old girl suicide bomber, wherever it may be in the world – be it in the Middle East, South America, Asia or in my country Nigeria – is not the world of our dream. It is not reflective of a world where sustainable development is the agenda.
“Surely, it is not a local problem. Terrorism is evil that we must confront. Its brutality, lack of purpose and cross-border activities make it imperative that we adopt a global approach in tackling it.”
Saraki bemoaned the plight of internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast and other parts of the country, saying the human misery in the various camps he recently visited was horrendous.
He said: “Nowhere are these challenges more keenly felt than in the plight of displaced persons, migrants and refugees, where due to conflict and natural disasters, citizens are bereft of human rights, even certifiable citizenship identities, such as the ongoing situations in Northeast Nigeria, with the attendant shockwaves being felt in other parts of the world through the rising tides of unsafe and unregulated, emergency migration, to Europe and other regions…”