The Federal Government on Tuesday took stock of its war against terrorism, especially since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari, and effected changes in its counter-terrorism strategy.
In doing this, the Presidency attributed the popularity that the terrorist sect seemed to enjoy during the immediate past administration on embezzlement perpetrated by those who stole funds meant to acquire equipment to fight terrorism in the North-East.
Buhari made the remarks at the launch of the reviewed National Counter-terrorism Strategy (NACTEST), which was undertaken by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the President noted that those entrusted with the funds displayed parochial interest that led to thousands of lives being lost and extended the reign of terror.
Buhari also cautioned ministries, departments and agencies to ensure that their officers who have been trained on the new security techniques adhere to the strategy as contained in the documents.
He reiterated his orders to security agencies to ensure that those that threaten the peace of the country, life and property of citizens are brought to book.
“In the past few years, our nation has faced the threat of terrorism characterised by mindless killing of our people, including children.
“The massacre of the Buni-Yadi boys in their hostels at night, the bombing of churches, mosques and market places, the kidnap of the Chibok girls and many others.
“The sheer recklessness of the killings, the shootings and the executions were meant to terrorise and produce maximum fear to further establish the reign of terror in the troops territory and hoisted their terror flags in almost 27 local government in the North-East.
“Sadly, because of the disgraceful deed and the wickedness of some in governance and some in high office in the armed forces at the time, fund meant to equip soldiers to continue the fight against terror was embezzled. The incredible selfishness caused the nation thousands of lives, extended the reign of terror and strengthened the enemy,” Buhari said.
The President noted that defeating the terrorist sect and sustaining internal security were some of the core mandates of his administration since he assumed office in May 2015.
He said, “This is why a robust, counter-terrorism strategy is crucial in the fight against terrorism and must be constantly reviewed for relevance to contemporary challenges.
“I wish to confirm that this policy (NACTEST) is fit for purpose to adequately respond to current, imminent and future challenges.
“There must be an understanding that the war against terrorism is the most unconventional one, the enemy is essentially an insane nuisance because he revels in cowardly attacks,” the President said.