President Muhammadu Buhari has once again declared that none of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria is under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents.
President Buhari made this disclosure yesterday at a joint briefing with the visiting German President, Mr. Joachim Guack, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja .
LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that Senator Baba Kaka Garbai (APC, Borno Centra) had recently raised the alarm that more than 50% of Borno State was under the control of Boko Haram, a claim that was denied by the governor of the state, Kashim Shettima.
Corroborating the governor's claim, President Buhari said the group can no longer organize conventional attacks on military and police installations or take hold of towns.
He said, "It is a pity Boko Haram welcomed you by explosions in Maidugiri that took so many lives, but I have attempted to explain in so many fora that Boko haram is not what it used to be.
"While they were firmly holding 14 out of 774 local governments when we came in, they are not holding any local government now. What they have resorted to is using improvised explosive devices to cause maximum casualties on soft targets as they did yesterday; that's what they are capable of doing now.
"I think they are not able to do that; they send groups to go and kill vulnerable targets. Having said that, our efforts have to be redoubled to make sure that the people in internally displaced camps (IDPs) have been rehabilitated, especially the children.
On his part, speaking through an interpreter, the German President condoled Nigeria for the recent terror attacks in the country.
He commended Buhari for his approach against Boko Haram, and pledged more support from his country towards the defeat of the terrorists.
He announced $15 million support for Nigerian's joint forces with neighbouring countries.
Military Might Alone Can't Defeat Boko Haram - German President
President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck yesterday told the Nigerian government that resorting to military might alone will not eliminate Boko Haram from the country.
Speaking when he led his delegation to visit the leadership of the National Assembly in Abuja, Gauck said Nigeria must foster good governance in its quest to completely end insurgency in the country.
The German leader who was accompanied on the visit by his wife, Ms Daniela Schadt, and other German investors, declared that Germany is ready to support the federal government in the ongoing fight against terrorism and corruption in the country.
Gauck said he was particularly delighted about the peaceful elections that brought about the change of guards in Nigeria.
"We believe that terror would not be defeated with military might alone. The Nigerian government needs to further foster good governance and ensure the prospect of a better future for all its citizens", Gauck stated.
Noting that the country has over two million IDPs that need support and reintegration, he said the rebuilding of infrastructure, including schools and healthcare facilities, in the affected areas would go a long way to give the people a hope for better future and thus contribute in bringing an end to terrorism in the country.
For his part, the Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki called on the German government and the European Union (EU) to assist Nigeria in eliminating terrorism from the sub-region as well as the resettlement and full integration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, Sanni Onogu, Saraki said the visit by the German president underscores the excellent relationship between Germany and Nigeria.
Saraki who is also the chairman of the National Assembly said that the National Assembly would continue to support the executive in its quest to provide a better life for the people, especially in the fight against corruption and commitment to economic diversification.
He said the National Assembly will not only make new laws but will amend existing ones to make for secured and business-friendly environment in the country.
Saraki added: "This Assembly... shall earnestly support the Executive in its fight against corruption, terrorism and insecurity. We urge you, to use your good office as President of Germany to promote and support our efforts in this regards.
"Our country is presently experiencing the challenges of global terrorism. Notwithstanding the significant victories we have recorded, Boko Haram has continued to pose colossal national and regional security challenge.
"We have a lot to learn from Germany and to gain from stronger Nigeria-Germany relation in this regard. So we call on the German government and the EU to lend us their unflinching support and solidarity in order for us to fully eliminate terrorism from the sub region."
Present to receive the German President were both presiding and principal officers of the two chambers of the National Assembly, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and the Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, among others.