Loss of 14 LGs to Boko Haram tarnished armed forces’ image – Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja said corruption was largely responsible for the inability of the Nigerian military to quickly defeat Boko Haram.

Speaking at an audience with the Egypt’s Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed El-Tayeb, Buhari said that the loss of 14 local government areas to Boko Haram had greatly tarnished the reputation of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

He, however, noted that with measures taken by his administration to curb corruption and provide better weaponry, logistics, training and welfare for soldiers on the frontlines, the Nigerian military had now almost totally incapacitated Boko Haram as a fighting force.

He added that the military had successfully recovered all territories that were lost to the terrorist sect.

“When we curbed corruption and removed the injustice in the military, we began to make progress,’’ he said.

While welcoming the support of Muslims across the world for Nigeria’s war against insurgency, the president said that the war against terrorism was also a war against injustice, and must be supported by Islam and all the major religions.

“You can’t kill the innocent in churches or in mosques and shout Allahu Akbar,’’ he added.

Buhari noted that the visit of El-Tayeb and his expression of solidarity with Nigeria in the war against terrorism was a clear indication of global Muslim support for Nigeria against the unjust killing of the innocent by terrorists.

The president reaffirmed his administration’s determination to resettle all persons who were displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.

He thanked the Grand Imam for the donation of educational and medical supplies as well as provision of scholarship to Nigeria’s Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

El-Tayeb had earlier told Buhari that Muslims all over the world shared Nigeria’s pains from terrorism.

He said they would continue to support efforts to ensure the return of peace and unity among all faiths in the country.