By Ismail Mudashir
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said terrorism, armed banditry and organized crimes have continued to pose security challenges in Africa because of proliferation of arms aided by free borders in the continent.
The president spoke at the 73rd session of the executive committee and 41st conference of Speakers of National Parliaments of the African Parliamentary Union (APU) in Abuja.
He said the abuse of the ease of movement of persons across borders put in place to encourage African unity contributed to acts of terrorism by groups including All Shaabab, ISIS and Boko Haram.
“Here in Nigeria, we have done a lot to reverse the terror trend and halt the advancement of Boko Haram. We have in collaboration with our neighbours strengthened our armed forces to effectively confront terror groups and have also initiated programmes to address widespread poverty, which has been identified as a significant factor fueling unrest and boosting terror recruitments,” he said.
The president said in spite of the progress recorded in fight against terrorism, they are not unmindful of the remaining challenge of armed invaders who ransack villages and small farming communities and commit terrible acts including the cold-blooded murder of women and children.
He expressed joy that the parliamentarians will be considering the role of parliaments in the fight against terrorism, armed gangs and organized crimes in Africa.
“As Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States, I will be more than willing to fast track your resolutions for deliberation and adoption at the ECOWAS sub-region and the much larger African Union,” he said.
Also speaking, Senate President Bukola Saraki said African legislators need to do more to devise new and effective strategies for addressing the challenges facing the continent.