Shiroro attackers won’t go unpunished – Buhari

...commends Portugal for supplying training weapons

President Muhammadu Buhari has described Thursday’s attack in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State as a direct assault on Nigeria which will not be allowed to go unpunished.

President Buhari stated this while paying tributes to the gallant men of the security forces who lost their lives in the process of defending the attack.

“We honour our security forces, and particularly those brave souls who have given their lives fighting against the evil that is terrorism. They constitute the best that Nigeria has to offer and we remember each of them.

“Sadly, Nigeria’s fight against terrorism continues. It is a battle that is taking its toll on all of us. But we shall not relent, nor shall we surrender.

“We say it again that we have reduced Boko Haram to a shell of its former self. But terrorists are parasites. They thrive when the world is suffering.

“This atrocity only serves to further strengthen us against them. Nigeria is united in obliterating these demons. Each day we grow closer to that goal. When they lash out during times of global suffering it is the act of a cornered animal, an act of desperation.

“As always, their goal is the same: to sow fear and division amongst us. We will not let them.
“Instead let us pray for the families and loved ones of those who sacrificed their lives in the fight against evil, and let us pray for the safe and speedy return of those abducted. We will do everything possible to ensure their return.

“And to the sadists, I say this: we are coming. No matter what rock you crawl under, what hole you sink into, what lie you hide behind, we are coming and we will find you. Shiroro will see justice. Nigeria will know peace,” the President assured.

President Buhari, in a related development, expressed appreciation to Portugal for the deployment of weapons and training of military personnel in ensuring peace in the sub-region.

Speaking at a State Dinner in National Palace Ajuda, Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, the President commended President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for deploying troops for peacekeeping in the Central African Republic, monitoring political developments and providing assistance to some countries in Africa, including Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde and Mozambique.

Read also: Attack on Churches: Enemies out to stoke religious war – Buhari

The President said the Nigerian Government has made it a priority to tackle the issue of insecurity in Nigeria, the ECOWAS, and the Sahel.
He added that this would not have been successful without our regional as well as global partners.
‘‘The Boko Haram insurgency in the North-eastern part of Nigeria is being tackled through the efforts of the government, as well as the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) of member countries,’’ he said.

President Buhari expressed optimism that his State Visit would further strengthen the goodwill and collaboration between the two countries.

He noted that the establishment of a Joint Commission, which is one of the main priorities of the visit, would further promote the full realisation of the objectives of bilateral relations, achieving concrete, specific and viable projects and programmes for the benefit of citizens of the two countries.

‘‘Today, Portugal imports about 60 percent of its gas from Nigeria which makes it our second-largest market in Europe.

‘‘There is still more that can be achieved between the two countries, especially with the current Russia-Ukraine war which has disrupted steady gas supplies to Europe.
‘‘Furthermore, Nigeria wants to see trade diversified to non-oil products such as agriculture, power projects, renewable energy and pharmaceuticals where a lot could be achieved,’’ he said.

The President emphasized the need to revive the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) and finalize all pending bilateral agreements so as to boost economic activities and movement of people between the two countries.

He described Nigeria as one of the most attractive destinations for investment in Africa, adding that his Government is prioritizing building a business-friendly environment.

‘‘Nigeria is part of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) – the largest free trade area in the world. With a population of over 200 million mainly young men and women, Nigeria is a natural and attractive hub for foreign investment and one-stop market access to over 50 countries.’’

The Nigerian leader welcomed the Business Forum organized during the visit and the signing of many Memoranda of Understanding between the two countries’ investment promotion agencies and chambers of commerce.

He described the signing of the agreements ‘‘as excellent foundations for increased bilateral trade.’’

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