President Muhammadu Buhari says the battle against terrorists is approaching its end.
The president, through his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, congratulated the Muslim faithful across the country on the end of the Ramadan month.
He said with the designation of bandit groups in north-west and north-central as terrorists, “the challenges of banditry and kidnapping are being tackled differently”.
“As the Holy month of Ramadan reaches its end and Muslims mark the Eid, President Muhammadu Buhari sends his best wishes to Muslims in Nigeria and across the world celebrating the occasion,” the president said on Sunday.
“After a period of fasting and reflection, this year, we have cause to welcome the occasion in hope. The battle waged against terrorists who falsely masquerade under the name of Islam is approaching its conclusion.
“The fight has been long and hard. Final victory is within sight. Boko Haram and its offshoots’ final embers are now fading.”Last month, the leader of ISWAP was killed in an airstrike. Since the New Year, thousands of fighters have surrendered to enter rehabilitation programmes.
“The territories they used to occupy are now seeing the return of those who were forced to flee their barbarity. Normality is finally beginning to return to the Northeast. It is a long process. Yet it is one we are, together, now embarking upon.”
The president said his administration is making progress in the cleansing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) militants who attack public facilities in the south-east.
“While we are making progress cleaning the environment, some evil people are busy causing more pollution and destruction,” he said.
“In response to the disturbing rise in criminal attacks targeting law enforcement and public facilities in the South East, concerted military operations to rid the region of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) elements have in recent weeks, led to the overrunning of IPOB/ESN bases, the seizure of weapons and the arrest of a large number of suspects.’’ The President approved the establishment of a Naval Base in Oguta, Imo State.
“The reinvigoration of the war against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking is also showing positive results as shown by the arrest of over 12, 300 offenders including seven drug barons; the conviction of 1,400, counselling and rehabilitation of about 8,000 drug users.
“The seizure of over 3.4 million kilograms of drugs and cash worth over N130 billion, all in 2021 has been recorded while the first Quarter of this year has seen the arrest of no fewer than 3,536 offenders including security personnel and a well-known billionaire drug baron.
“The seizure of more than 65,000 tons of assorted drugs in this period sets a record for the nation.’’