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Nigeria @57

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On 1 October, Nigeria celebrated its 57th Independence Day. On this occasion, President Buhari, present after his long absence this summer because of poor health, paid tribute to the country’s military in Maiduguri and commended the military’s efforts fighting Boko Haram in the country’s northeast. In his 2017 State of the Nation Address, Buhari evaluated the government’s actions over the past two years. Nigeria’s three top priorities remain security, economic recovery and the fight against corruption. “The country must first be secured,” said President Buhari. “The economy must be re-balanced so that we do not depend on oil alone. We must fight corruption, which is Nigeria’s number one enemy. Our administration is tackling these tasks in earnest.” Targeted air strikes destroyed Boko Haram insurgents’ logistical bases and routes; a naval force is currently being established in the Lake Chad basin; and President Buhari intends to beef up Nigeria’s military operation Lafiya Dole (“peace by all means”), which will be composed of mobile strike teams to “ensure the final push to wipe out the remnants of Boko Haram.” However, the humanitarian and food situation remains critical in northeastern Nigeria, an area that hosts 1.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and an estimated 4.7 million food insecure people. A recent report published by Amnesty International estimates that Boko Haram killed at least 400 people since April 2017. President Buhari also announced a new presidential initiative aimed at creating 10 000 jobs for the unemployed youth, with support from the CBN’s development finance initiatives. He indicated that there has been substantial progress in the agricultural sector. In response to separatist movements in the Niger Delta, President Buhari called for national unity and dialogue with stakeholders to keep the peace. “I am very disappointed that responsible leaders of [these] communities do not warn their hot-headed youths what the country went through. […] The government is grateful to the responsible leadership of those communities and will pursue lasting peace in the Niger Delta,” he declared. Nigeria’s Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo released a list of the presidential administration’s 57 achievements including the release of 106 abducted Chibok girls, the arrest of 16 000 Boko Haram members and the fight against the insurgency.

 

Official statement by President Buhari

57 key achievements