The Federal Government has hailed the recent global endorsement of its fight against terrorism, as contained in the 2017 Global Terrorism Index of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, expressed delight at the report, which showed that the largest decrease in terrorism deaths globally occurred in Nigeria.
The statement signed by Mr Segun Adeyemi, the Special Adviser to the Minister, said the report specifically showed that terrorism deaths attributed to Boko Haram fell by 80 per cent in 2016.
The Minister said it was also encouraging that for the second consecutive year, the total number of deaths was down with a 13 per cent Year-On-Year reduction.
He said compared to 2015, with countries most affected by terrorism – Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria recorded 33 per cent fewer deaths.
The Minister said that the progress made by Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015, was duly acknowledged by the Executive Chairman of IEP, Steve Killelea.
He said Killelea was quoted by the report as saying: ”The decline of Boko Haram in Nigeria is having a positive ripple effect, with Cameroon, Chad and Niger collectively recording 75 per cent fewer deaths.”
Mohammed said Nigeria’s success in the fight against terrorism was a direct result of the leadership provided by President Buhari.
He said the President did not just provide the enabling environment for the Nigerian military to regain its lost glory in the fight against terrorism, but also rallied Nigeria’s neighbours to forge a wide, sub-regional front against Boko Haram.
“It is fitting, therefore, that the 2017 Global Terrorism Index acknowledges the success recorded by the Multinational Joint Task Force that has been exerting pressure on Boko Haram,” he said.
The Minister recalled that President Buhari, in his inaugural speech on May 29. 2015, directed the relocation of the command centre of the fight against Boko Haram to Maiduguri.
He said the President followed up the directive with a shuttle diplomacy that took him to Cameroon, Chad and Niger, and resulted in the rejuvenation of the Multinational Joint Task Force.
Mohammed congratulated the Nigerian military for its patriotism and sacrifice that had once again made the country a proud member of the comity of nations.
He said the 2017 Global Terrorism Index would provide a fresh shot in the arm for the Administration to continue its efforts to wipe out the vestige of Boko Haram, and to tackle all other forms of insecurity facing the nation.