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Insecurity: Buhari Blames COVID-19 For Boko Haram Takeover Of The Fight Against Terrorism

President Buhari in a passionate op-ed for leading French magazine says the leading terrorist group, Boko Haram took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to unleash fresh terror attacks and take over some communities.

The President who has been on a four-day official visit to France to attend the African Finance Summit made this known in an article published in Le Point, a Frence Magazine on Tuesday.

“Around the Lake Chad Basin, Boko Haram terrorists took advantage of the pandemic to relaunch an offensive against my country, Nigeria,” Mr Buhari said following the spate of insecurity in the most populous black nation.

Although Mr Buhari’s regime repeatedly said it had “technically defeated” Boko Haram, a series of attacks linked to the insurgents had continued prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

The president noted that the fight against the pandemic was inseparable from terrorism while seeking the French support in the fight against insecurity.

“The issues that will need to be addressed are inseparable from the fight against another common enemy: terrorism. And in the same way that we are united with France to wage the war against the coronavirus, we are at her side to wage the war against terrorism with a firm determination to defeat these two scourges,” he said.

“Around the world, conflict and the coronavirus have never been far apart. In the Sahel region – this vast expanse of arid land between the Sahara and sub-Saharan Africa – jihadists have taken advantage of governments’ fight against COVID-19. Unfortunately, acts of terrorism have become increasingly common in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger,” Mr Buhari added, maintaining that Boko Haram relaunched attacks on Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and the Republic of Niger.

“As the instability spread, the networks that supported it grew stronger – from arms supply chains from Libya to the importation of Al Qaeda and Iranian ideologies. Islamic State of the Middle East,” Mr Buhari noted.

“Now Nigeria and France should deepen our anti-terror cooperation if we are to overcome this scourge,” he said, adding that the countries “must be agile and flexible, cooperating cross our borders to cut the head off their groups.”

However, Mr Buhari admitted, “We know France has borne much of the strain for combating terrorism of the region, and we – the leaders of Sahel countries – must also do more to present a unified front to lobby other Western nations, particularly Great Britain and the United States and the European Union, for further military and humanitarian assistance.”

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