President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said the degrading of Boko Haram insurgency led to the release of 106 Chibok and 104 Dapchi girls abducted by the insurgents.
He said that the routing of the terrorists also accounted for the release of no fewer than 16,000 other persons from their captivity.
Buhari stated this in a broadcast to mark the 19th year of Nigeria’s democracy and the 3rd anniversary of his administration in Abuja.
He said that before the inception of his administration, Boko Haram had held large areas of land spanning several local government areas in the North-East.
He, however, stated that the areas hitherto occupied by the insurgents had been recovered and authority of government re-established.
The president said that his administration was pained over the loss of lives and properties occasioned by “the carnage of insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country”.
He assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would not rest until all criminal elements and their sponsors were brought to justice.
He revealed that government was boosting the capacity of security agencies through recruitment of more personnel, training and procurement of modern equipment, enhancement of intelligence gathering and boosting personnel morale in the face of daunting challenges.
On the conditions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Buhari disclosed that the Federal Government had improved the mechanism for the distribution of basic aid, including foods and essential commodities.
He said that the distribution of the items was being done through various strategies in collaboration with local and international organizations at the IDPs’ camps.
“In order to minimize the impact of the insurgency on IDPs, government has established camps and has improved the mechanism for the distribution of basic aid, foods and essential commodities.
“Efforts are in process for resettlement of IDPs in their communities by providing schools, hospitals, clinics, water and sanitation to facilitate quick return to economic activities.
“Government is similarly implementing de-radicalization and rehabilitation programmes to facilitate sustainable peace and development,’’ he said.
The president, however, deplored the unfortunate incidents of kidnappings, herdsmen and farmers clashes in several communities which had led to high number of fatalities and loss of properties across the country.
He re-assured that the security challenges were being addressed and that identified culprits and their sponsors would face the full wrath of the law.
According to him, the three tiers of government are presently engaged with communities and religious organizations to restore peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
Buhari commended members of the Multinational Joint Task Force drawn from Niger, Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Nigerian security agencies in collaboration with the International Community assisting in the fight against insurgency in the North East.
“I also commend the gallantry of members of our Armed Forces and other security agencies that have continued to provide security for lives and properties across the country.
The president also noted that state and local traditional authorities had been helping with much needed intelligence in the fight against insurgency in the country.
He remarked that the Niger Delta had enjoyed relative peace through social inclusiveness and cooperation of the “elders and the good people of the region.’’
Buhari reaffirmed that his administration was committed to implementing the comprehensive peace, security and development plan for the region.
“The environmental clean-up of the region which commenced with the launch in Bodo, Ogoni, in June, 2016 is progressing satisfactorily.
“Furthermore, farming assets are being revived and investors in cocoa and palm oil plantations are showing serious interest,’’ he added.