Buhari: Siphoning of Arms Fund assisted terrorism to grow.

Buhari: Siphoning of Arms Fund assisted terrorism to grow.

President Muhammadu Buhari has said the embezzlement of funds meant to acquire equipment to fight terrorists in the North East by some highly placed government and security officials encouraged terrorism in the country.

Speaking at the launching of the revised National Counter Terrorism Stategy (NACTEST) in Abuja, Buhari who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, (NACTEST), formulated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), said,  “disgraceful and wicked deeds”, as well as the selfish acts of the officials and officers inflicted on the nation, loss of thousands of lives and extended the reign of terror at its peak to about 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs).

He however, assured that his administration was committed “to the absolute defeat of the terrorists and to boost the morale of our armed forces”.

His words, “Since May 29, 2015, we have committed ourselves, as a government to the absolute defeat of terrorists. And to re-equipping and rebuilding the morale of our armed forces, the gallant men and women  of the armed forces who in a few months freed many from Boko Haram held territory and fatally degraded the fighting capacity of the terrorists.

“Our neighbours in the Lake Chad basin area, have been tremendous allies in the various military engagements and like all evil the vestiges of their activities and warped ideologies still linger, through personal contacts, social media, capture and intimidation, men, women and even children  are induced, persuaded or forced to engage in acts of terrorism.”

 “In the past few years, our nation has faced the threat of terrorism characterised by mindless killing of our people including children. The massacre of the Buni-Yadi boys in their hostels at night, the bombing of churches, mosques and market places, the kidnap of the Chibok girls and many others.

“The sheer recklessness of the killings and the shocking barbarity of executions were meant to terrorize and produce maximum fear. To further establish their reign of terror, they took territories and hoisted their tattered flag in almost 27 local governments in the north east.

“Sadly, because of the disgraceful greed and wickedness of men, some in government and some in high office in the armed forces at the time, funds meant to equip soldiers to contain the terrorists were embezzled.

“The NACTEST Desks in MDAs have been established to drive the process so that the menace of terrorism must now be addressed from a multi-dimensional and multi-pronged and all of society approach in order to make it all encompassing”, he said.

Buhari assured that his administration believed a robust and counter-terrorism strategy was crucial in the fight against terrorism and must be constantly reviewed from relevance to contemporary challenges.

According to him, the launch of the reviewed counter-terrorism strategy, underscores the fact that terrorism has numerous ideologies, not static and response must be dynamic and versatile.

“This is why a robust and dynamic counter terrorism strategy is crucial in the fight against terrorism and must be constantly reviewed for relevance to contemporary challenges. Today we are gathered to launch such a policy, a revised counter-terrorism strategy, that it is the revised strategy underscores the fact that we recognised that terrorism has new is not static and our response must be dynamic and versatile.

“I am pleased to confirm that this policy is fit for purpose, and arguable responds to the current and imminent and future challenges.”

Buhari stressed that while many people are being released from captivity, the government is faced with severe challenge of malnutrition.

In response to this challenge, he said that he has asked the vice president to chair an inter-ministerial team to quickly review the challenges and work with the development partners and other civil society organizations to handle the problem.

“Today as hundreds are being released from Boko Haram captivity, we are faced with serious problems of malnutrition in children, I have asked the Vice President to chair and inter-ministerial team to quickly review the situation and work with our development partners and overseas experts to handle this particular problem,” he added.

 

Ealier, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), said that the revised strategy explained what organisations and individuals could do to help in its implementation in order to reduce the risks of terrorism and ensure that people go about their lives freely and with confidence.

According to Monguno, “NACTEST is organised around five streams aimed to forestall, secure, identify, prepare and implement with key objectives and indicators to effectively ensure monitoring and evaluating successes at each stage”.

He said that ONSA has developed a benchmark framework for the evaluation of the implementation of NACTEST, which has now been reviewed to include salient areas like the Nigeria Countering Violent Extremist Program, which are two very critical pillars in the fight against terrorism and engendering sustainable peace.

“The NACTEST Desks in MDAs have been established to drive the process so that the menace of terrorism must now be addressed from a multi-dimensional and multi-prongred and all of society approach in order to make it all encompassing”, he said.

Also speaking, the Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre (CTC), Commodore Yem Musa, said that ONSA in furtherance of the national counter terrorism efforts, developed the “National Terrorism Levels” document to guide MDAs on measures to be taken on receipt of information on a likely terrorists attack.

Musa said that the document, which outlines the alert levels and the actions to be carried out when a terrorism alert level is declared is in 5-levels including: Critical (Red) – Attack is imminent; Severe (Orange) – Attack is highly likely; Substantial (Yellow) – Attack is a strong possibility; Moderate (Blue) – Attack is possible but not likely; and Low (Green) – Attack is unlikely.

“The authority to issue appropriate threat levels lies with the ONSA. The NSA will issue appropriate threat levels based on the threat analysis and risk assessment by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Branch (JTAB) whose work is dependent on inputs from relevant intelligence gathering and security agencies,” he said.

As a complement to the Threat Level System, Musa disclosed that ONSA has also developed a National Handbook on safety and security tips as a basic compilation of simple guides for personal and corporate security.

According to him, the handbook is aimed to enlighten the populace on critical security measures required at all levels of terror threats.

“It is in this regard, that this document has been translated into the three main languages in the first instance, and to others subsequently to give it the much – needed circulation among the citizenry,” he said.

Also speaking, the Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre (CTC), Commodore Yem Musa, said that ONSA in furtherance of the national counter terrorism efforts, developed the “National Terrorism Levels” document to guide MDAs on measures to be taken on receipt of information on a likely terrorists attack.

Musa said that the document, which outlines the alert levels and the actions to be carried out when a terrorism alert level is declared is in 5-levels including: Critical (Red) – Attack is imminent; Severe (Orange) – Attack is highly likely; Substantial (Yellow) – Attack is a strong possibility; Moderate (Blue) – Attack is possible but not likely; and Low (Green) – Attack is unlikely.

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