President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday admitted that his administration had hitherto been treating terrorists in the country with kid glove.
Terrorists, especially members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, have hold sway in the North-East zone in the past three years, killing thousands of citizens in attacks on villages, military and police facilities, worship houses and drinking joints.
The President, who is on a two-day State Visit to Namibia, said his government had now decided to be more forceful in its approach because of its desire to stamp out terror groups from the country.
He spoke in Windhoek during a bilateral talk with President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
“Initially, we handled it (terrorism) with kid glove, but now we have decided to be a little more forceful because we must thrash out these terror groups. We must not allow it to continue to slow down economic growth in that part of the country,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan told his Namibian counterpart that a terror attack on any part of the world is an attack on everyone, saying terrorism has become a global phenomenon though the intensity might vary from one country to the other.
He cited the case of Nigeria where he said terrorism was being witnessed in only three North Eastern states out of the 36 states of the federation.
He said the Federal Government had resolved that it would not allow terrorism to continue to hinder economic growth in the affected states.
The President said, “We must not allow it to continue to slow down economic growth in that part of the country.
“With the terror attacks in that part of the country, the rest of the country feel it because Nigerians live everywhere.
“In these other parts, there is always the fear that if you do not tackle it, it will infiltrate in these other parts.
“We will work together to ensure that terror attack is stamped out globally and in Nigeria we are committed.”
Jonathan thanked Pohamba for his country’s support to Nigeria on its election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations.
He made a case for at least two seats for Africa in the UN Security Council.
Jonathan said, “I also believe in your philosophy that if by God’s grace, the UN Security Council will be restructured, that is, if the super powers will allow it to be restructured, Africa should be considered at least for two positions to represent the interest of African people.
“I always say it that we cannot talk of democracy when the strongest institutions globally are not democratic but dictated to by one country alone.
“If we must practice democracy and emphasise that all countries must be democratic, we need to start from these powerful UN institutions that all parts of the globe must have a say there.”
Pohamba had said that his country would forever remain grateful to Nigeria for its contribution and sacrifice towards the attainment of independence. – Punch.