President Goodluck Jonathan has assured Nigerians and the international community that no resource will be spared in bringing to justice all murderers engaging in violent activities in the northern part of the country.
This is even as President Francois Hollande of France and British Prime Minister Dave Cameron have pledged their support to Nigeria and Africa in the fight against terrorism on the continent.
Nigeria’s most prominent terrorist group, Boko Haram has killed thousands of Nigerians, maimed and destroyed properties worth billions of Naira.
Speaking at the Centenary Conference in Abuja, themed: “Human Security, Peace and Development: Agenda for the 21st Century”, Jonathan said that Africa must address some fundamental challenges to the continent’s human security, peace and development.
He said, “But as I address you today, I have a heavy heart. Two days ago, terrorists invaded a secondary school and murdered innocent children in Yobe State, while they slept. The children, the hopes of their parents and the future leaders of our dear nation, had their hopes and dreams snuffed out, leaving behind grieving families, schoolmates, communities and a sad nation.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with their families at this difficult moment of loss. This gruesome and mindless act of savagery is not Nigerian. It is not African. Let me assure all Nigerians that we will spare no resource in bringing those murderers to justice”.
According to him, terrorism which is a global phenomenon has extended its reach to Africa and Nigeria.
Lamenting that the menace of the use of small arms and light weapons is on the increase, Jonathan said that out of the 500 million illegal small arms and light weapons in the world, an estimated 100 million are in Africa, with 10 per cent of that number (10 million) in West Africa.
He noted that the cost of wars and insurgencies are too high and that Africa has been estimated to lose $18 billion per annum from wars and insurgencies.
“In concert with our regional and global partners, we will continue to respond strategically and decisively to this scourge, and together with our people we shall end the killings and bring terrorism to an end.
“Your Excellencies, let us work together across boundaries, not only to coordinate and strengthen our defences, but also to address any socio-economic roots on which these extreme ideologies thrive.
“Terrorism must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. We all must work together, collectively, to rid our world of haters of peace, who use terror to maim, kill, instill fear and deny people their rights to peace and security”.
President Jonathan said that greater regional cooperation in intelligence gathering and control of insurgents will not only ensure Nigeria’s security, but also the security and stability of her neighbours.