President Muhammadu Buhari says the rise of the Boko Haram sect was fraudulent and a plot to destroy Nigeria.

The president said this when he received executive members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.

Mr. Buhari noted that the security situation had improved over the years, particularly in the northeast, where the sect largely operates.

He said that the focus had shifted towards rebuilding infrastructure and reorienting education.

He added that security gains will be further consolidated and more attention will be given to the economy, ahead of delivery on May 29.

“I am very grateful for your visit to the Presidential Villa and I agree with you in some of the observations you have made.

“The issue of insecurity is more important to us because unless a country or an institution is at peace, it will be difficult to manage.

“I have just returned from Adamawa and Yobe states. During the visit to both states, I listened carefully to what people and officials had to say. And everyone said that the situation had improved since 2015, especially in Borno.

“Boko Haram was simply fraudulent and a plot to destroy Nigeria. It cannot be said that people should not learn; people need to grow intellectually,” he said.

Mr. Buhari told the Catholic bishops that the government will continue to rebuild infrastructure in the parts of the country affected by the terrorist attacks and stressed that the terrorists had no control over any space in Nigeria.

“Some people have recognized the difference,” he added.

Turning to the economy, the president said creditors had full confidence in Nigeria, with the ability to use resources and repay loans before approvals were granted.

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“We are credible, that’s why the countries and institutions agreed to support our development with loans,” he said.

Buhari said the destruction of oil facilities slowed revenue generation and the government would be tougher on saboteurs.

“If we look at the economy, we are trying to trust ourselves more. Nigerians are more dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, and we are doing everything we can to help more people and diversify,” the president noted.

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He said that some of the challenges faced in the past, including coups and counter-coups and civil war, had prepared the nation to survive.

“We thank God that Nigeria is still one. We must not forget that more than a million died for the nation to survive.”

The president noted that he had been a part of Nigerian history since 1967, fighting in the civil war, serving as Governor, Minister, Head of State, Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund, competing in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 presidential elections, before winning in 2015. .

“We should thank God, and we should reflect on these things and thank God more,” he added.

In his words, the leader of the delegation and president of the CBCN, Lucius Ugorji, praised the president for the reforms in the electoral system, making it more stable and fair, in particular the signing of the Electoral Law Project.

“We congratulate you and congratulate you on the efforts that the government has made to ensure a real improvement in our electoral system and processes, especially for your approval of the electoral bill.

“Please do not let up on making sure that INEC and other relevant government agencies fulfill their serious duties to conduct peaceful, free, fair and credible elections,” he said.

Ugorji, a reverend, urged the president to use his remaining months in office as commander-in-chief to address insecurity in the country and improve the economy.

“The main crux of our message to you today is one of earnest appeal and strong encouragement.

”His two-term tenure as president, commander-in-chief of Nigeria, is coming to an end.

“But we believe that much can be done to improve things in the remaining four months of his presidency before he steps down in May 2023.

“We have seen some signs that the government is not entirely incapable of addressing the sad state of insecurity on earth, which has consumed thousands of innocent Nigerians of all religions, creeds and ethnic groups,” the cleric noted.

The Catholic bishops presented a souvenir to Mr. Buhari, which contained a letter of encouragement and prayers for the upcoming elections.


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