Monday, 1 September 2014

Nigeria to hold Ministerial security summit at Abuja on 3rd September

A one-day Ministerial Meeting on security in Nigeria is scheduled to hold in Abuja, Nigeria on Wednesday, 3rd September, 2014.
The meeting is a follow-up to the earlier conferences held at the Summit level in Paris France on May 17, 2014, the London Ministerial, on June 12, 2014 and the meeting on the same subject matter held on the margins of the recently concluded Africa-United States of America Summit in Washington D.C.
The Abuja meeting is aimed at reviewing progress in the implementation of the outcome of these earlier meetings, especially the extent of the delivery of foreign assistance including efforts by the Nigeria government in the continued fight to put to rout the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Foreign Ministers of the following neighbouring countries have been invited to the meeting which include Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. In addition, the Foreign Ministers of Canada, China, France, UK and the USA are expected to Attend.
Also invited are the following international organizations; ECOWAS, AU, the UN and the OIC.

Talking Points On Government Of Nigeria Actions On Boko Haram
Background: The Nigerian government needs to speak with one voice when addressing foreign audiences on the issue of Boko Haram. As a result, the National Information Centre has prepared the talking points below for use by Nigerian Embassy officials worldwide when discussing the issue of Boko Haram with the media and the public.
Talking Points
The Government of Nigeria and President Goodluck JONATHAN have no higher priority than defeating Boko Haram and rescuing the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.
We are using all the tools of national power – military, Intelligence, Police, Economic and Political – in this effort. And let there be no doubt: we will prevail. The executive has requested for additional bi-national loans to meet financial gaps in the interim.
Nigeria has the will, the resources and the strategies to win this fight. It will take time, but we are committed to this course. It is worth noting that we have already achieved some important successes:
• The Government has procured new equipment and technology towards strengthening the capability and support for the military and security forces, a recent delivery of such military equipment included highly sophisticated fighter helicopters with in-built night vision technology. We are developing an advantage in weapons and reconnaissance capabilities. So far, two (2) divisions of the Nigerian army are focused on the fight with troops on the ground.
• The Government has captured some senior-level Boko Haram commanders who are used as spies and treasury officials. These arrests have yielded valuable intelligence and has unearthed armouries which has been retrieved.
In mid-July alone, Government forces apprehended three top-level Boko Haram targets:

• - Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, one of the masterminds of the April 14 bombing of the Abuja bus station that killed roughly 100 civilians, was arrested by Nigerian officials after securing his extradition from Sudan.
Ogwuche is also accused of leading recruitment efforts for Boko Haram from his base in Sudan. Nigerian Intelligence officials have long been monitoring Nigerian extremists training with Islamist groups in both Somalia and Sudan, where al-Qaeda has a strong presence.
Ogwuche is now in Nigerian custody and will face prosecution.
• - BH chief of intelligence was picked up and is now helping investigation.
• - Mohammed Zakari, a Boko Haram leader known as the “Chief Butcher” was captured during the Nigerian forces raid on Balmo Forest, during which they expelled Boko Haram insurgents from the area, effectively denying the terrorists a notorious haven and launch point for attacks.
The Government is cooperating with and empowering local populations across Nigeria in the battle against Boko Haram. Recent examples of the security forces’ successes resulting from this Government-citizen collaboration include:
• - A recent Boko Haram threat against the Abuja transportation system was uncovered; the public was alerted and casualties were avoided.
• - Following a tip-off, Nigerian police uncovered and prevented a bomb attack near a school in the north eastern city of Gombe.
The Government recognizes that soft power is crucial in the battle against Boko Haram; force alone will not defeat the insurgency. As a result, the Jonathan Administration is implementing a comprehensive program of assistance to support, protect, and empower local communities, with a special focus on the most vulnerable areas of the country. Initiative includes:
• The Safe Schools Initiative has been developed to safeguard our school children in states under emergency rule by strengthening the security of educational facilities. These measures include providing perimeter fences, housing for teachers, community policing and school guards, alarm systems, and communication equipment.
More broadly, the Government is working with State Governors, community leaders, teachers and parents to identify and remedy the vulnerabilities that put our children at risk.
The Safe Schools Initiative is a collective effort. The Government’s spending has been matched dollar for dollar by the private sector and now totals $20 million. Our goal is to create a fund of $100 million to support this program and we have already received pledges of support from the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other donors.
• The Government will continue to expand its programs aimed at improving access to education for underprivileged children. Accordingly, the Jonathan administration has instituted a data collection system to determine the number of children out of school in Nigeria.
• The Government has undertaken important steps to address the socio-economic factors that feed the insurgency and is implementing a community services program that has already recruited 11,500 young people to participate in public works projects. The YouWin program supports hundreds of young entrepreneurs with grants so they can start a business or expand existing ones.
• The Government has launched a Presidential Committee on Victims Support tagged "Nigeria Terrorism Victims Support Foundation" which is billed to be launched on the 31st of July, 2014, essentially targeting to raise $1 billion from a Public-Private Partnership in funding. This Presidential Initiative will mobilise resources and administer appropriate support to victims of insurgency and Boko Haram terror activities across the country. The Committee is Chaired by highly respected retired General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, an accomplished business man, philanthropist and patriot who had supported similar public causes with resounding transparency and enormous goodwill in the past.
• Similarly, Over the long term, the Government is developing a comprehensive economic empowerment plan for the region -- the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE).
• The need to focus and support girl-child education and other educational initiatives has also received tremendous boost and global support. 125 almajiri schools have been established under this initiative targeting millions of out-of-school children who are currently disadvantaged. Under the presidential initiative, 9 new federal universities have been established in the country.
• Appreciate the role of international partners both governments and groups, particularly the international BringbackOurGirls (bbog) campaign that has successfully motivated global attention to terror in our region.
• The President has initiated a number of strategies which have generated international solidarity. For instance, at the instance of the President, a meeting of Presidents of Chad, Cameroun, Niger Republic and Benin Republic was held in Paris. This has successfully created strong regional cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime and terrorism. It also led to the establishment of Regional Intelligence Unit for the purpose of information sharing and joint security operations in the area. Similarly, a multi-national Joint Task Force was established as a fall-out of the Lake Chad Basin Commission Partnership. Closely related is that the ECOWAS took a principled position on terrorism and cross-border crime at its 45th Ordinary Session during which the authority of ECOWAS Heads of Government endorsed the efforts of Nigeria and committed to helping the country in its fight against terror. The African Union and other African national interests have also demonstrated stronger committed to supporting Nigeria in this endeavour. As a result of the President's initiative, Nigeria ha successfully placed the war an issue of terrorism on regional and international focus, making it possible for the build up of a global alliance against resulting in the United Nations designated Boko Haram as a foreign terror group.
The Government has continuously restated its position and willingness to dialogue with the sect. To demonstrate this fact, it set up the Turaki Committee, which went round the country especially the North East with a view to eliciting a discussion with members of the sect. It would however not subject the release of the girls to prisoner swap. Although it has remained committed to dialogue, it will explore only the best options possible and available to it with a view to achieving the release of the girls and stopping insurgency in its track. Towards this end, it recently set up a Presidential Fact-Finding Committee that has submitted its report, which being studied for speedy implementation.
Having known where the girls are, the efforts of government is to ensure that the remain within the border of Nigeria, and that they are eventually rescued alive. And this goes with a lot of planning, evaluation and assessment of prevailing situation within the general mission area. This is in line with with international best practices in respect to such operations. Therefore, we urge all citizens of the world, particularly the parents, members of the Chibok community and Nigerians to be patient and supportive of the effort of government. What is clear is the readiness and willingness of government to deploy assets and resources towards rescuing the children. The parents, the Chibok community are assured and they have no reason to doubt that government and Nigerians are with them in this ordeal.
We have no reason to believe otherwise and we understand that the abductors are guided by a firm religious belief that abhours the mistreatment of women especially young girls and children in captivity. In this case, the children might be used as human shield, which is understandable but regrettably so.
The Government of Nigeria and President Jonathan will not and will never play politics with the lives of its citizens, and even non citizens resident in the country especially those in harms way.
All countries do it and besides it's a long-term facility that will enable the government of Nigeria to purchase equipment towards retooling and re-kiting its forces. It is an essential part Of military strategy to restock depleting assets once in a while. Although the effort will reinforce the fight against insurgency, it is a long term capacity enhancement approach for training, kiting and arsenal build-up for primary security reasons. Don't forget Nigeria has the strongest armed forces in the region which has been called upon severally to help find and build peace in several countries in Africa, Asia among others.



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