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We Will Banish Terrorism, We Won’t Bow To It, Tinubu Says at African Anti-Terrrorism Summit 

Nigeria President Tinubu says those who think illegal mining is not connected to terrorism financing are “surely mistaken.”

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said that rather than Nigeria and Africa at large to bow to the societal vice that is terrorism, the region will banish the dastardly act that has plagued it for years.

The President said this while giving a speech at the African Counter Terrorism which was hosted by the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, in Abuja on Monday.

Tinubu also revealed at the meeting that illegal mining in the region is linked to terrorism financing, and that those who think that the two vices are not connected are “surely mistaken.”

Tinubu, during the counter-terrorism summit, said that terrorism cannot exist in the same space as good governance as democracy, as he said, “Its goal is to cause such a havoc that we will doubt our democratic principles, putting societies and governments into such confusion and disarray that we begin to fight amongst ourselves instead of fighting the very thing that seeks our destruction.

“Already terrorism has taken too many lives and delayed our better future for too long. While terrorism troubles us greatly at the moment, we do well by remembering terrorism is not of Africa. We must tell this imported evil that wants to bend and break us that it shall not succeed, instead of making us bow, we shall banish it.”

The president then called for combined regional efforts and international collaboration to fight terrorism, saying, “The fight against terrorism requires a comprehensive approach. We must address the root cause of extremism such as poverty, marginalisation, and social injustice. However, these important facts should not become empty rhetorics devoid of meaning or action. While we seek to address the root cause of terrorism, we must also attack the root that feeds this evil branch.

“Evolving from the tactics of yesterday, terrorism is becoming a greater threat as it perfects ways to continuously finance itself, reequip, resupply itself for its sinister mission. Not only does it kidnap people, it kidnaps precious resources, billions of dollars that legitimate government should be using to sculpt better society by providing education, healthcare and food for its people now go to pay for weapons and mayhem.

“Look at illegal mining that plagues so many of our nations today. Those who think that illegal mining has no connection with the financing of terrorism are surely mistaken. The international community has both the moral and legal obligation to help in this call, because it is outside money, not African money that fuels illegal operations. We shall be knocking on this door of the international community to answer the call for justice, peace and fair play.

“Key to our collective efforts against terrorism is the need for a fully operational regional counter-terrorism centre. This centre will serve as a hub for intelligence sharing, operational coordination, and capacity building throughout our region. Additionally, we must strengthen existing counter terrorism structures, such as Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit, RIFU Abuja, the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism in Algiers, and the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa in Addis Ababa. All of these bodies must work hard together to continue constantly to change the problem. A regional standby force that includes tackling terrorism as part of its mandate must not be abandoned.

Tinubu then reiterated Nigeria’s efforts in combating terrorism as he said, “For its part, Nigeria remains firmly committed to fighting terrorism and violent extremism. Our most urgent National Security threats, our counter terrorism capabilities have been enhanced through enactment of terrorism prevention and prohibition act, establishing the National Terrorism Centre, NCTC. We have and we continue to take bold steps in safeguarding our nation and the wider region.

The president then appreciated Nigeria’s armed forces, saying, “Similarly, our security forces continue to demonstrate great courage, dedication, and bravery in fighting against terrorism, I salute them. Often at great personal risk, I am grateful to the selfless work and sacrifice of these patriotic men and women. They are the best of the best.”

The counter terrorism summit was attended by many dignitaries, inclusive of the President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe, the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo, Undersecretary of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, Minister of Defence for Chad Republic, Bichara Issa Djadallah, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, amongst others.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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