The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Gutterres, has counselled President Muhammmadu Buhari not to only fight and defeat the Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists militarily but must also address the root causes of terrorism in Nigeria.
The UN Scribe spoke on Wednesday while responding to questions from journalists after a meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Asked what the UN was doing to checkmate terrorists in Africa, Gutterres ssaid: “It is simple. I saw it in Borno State. “If you fight terrorism just militarily, the terrorists will strike back but if you fight terrorists militarily and address the root cause of this terrorism, terrorists will no longer have a chance to persist.
“I think that it was Mao Tse Tung that said insurrection should move like fish in the water. So, if the community are able to defend themselves and they trust the regional government institutions and if there are programmes to guarantee a full reintegration and of ex-terrorists and to guarantee that victims have a future, then I think that we can defeat terrorism.”
GuterresHe also told journalists that measures to address security challenges in the country, Lake Chad and Sahel were discussed, which include the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, have been put in place.
The UN Scribe, who was in Borno State on Tuesday, said what he saw was a departure from the pictures of hopelessness and despair painted, adding that “people exuded hope. Yesterday, I visited Maiduguri where the United Nations is supporting the internally displaced. I was deeply moved by their stories and struggles.
“These include the struggles with hunger, with the World Food Programme projecting 4.1 million people in the North East of Nigeria to be food insecure in the upcoming lean season.”
Guterres said the United Nations had called for an additional 351 million dollars as part of the overall 1.1 billion dollars for the humanitarian response plan for Nigeria.
He added: “But despite all they have seen and endured, the people I met remain hopeful and committed to returning to their communities and resuming their lives.”