THE European Union has raised concerns bordering on the deterioration of the fight against terrorism, particularly Boko Haram and the ISWAP in Nigeria, reminding President Muhammadu Buhari that he was re-elected in 2019 on promises that insurgency will be defeated in the north-eastern region of the country.
The Union highlighted its concerns in a press statement issued by the European Parliament on resolutions about Nigeria with particular reference to the recent terrorist attacks in Nigeria.
EU said it “recalls that Nigeria’s President Buhari was re-elected in 2019 on the promise of defeating the violent extremism promoted by Boko Haram and other terror groups and urges the President to implement his campaign promises”.
The parliament of the EU said it condemned in particular, the recent increase in violence against ethnic and religious communities, including the targeting of religious institutions and worshippers.
EU said it ‘”deplores that progress has stalled in the fight against Boko Haram, ISWAP and the increased occurrence and severity of suicide attacks and direct attacks against military positions.”
EU noted that although since the establishment of Multinational Joint Task Force, many terrorist groups have been driven out of their areas despite that, the ‘region still remains highly unstable’.
“Since 2015 the government has been criticised for its inadequate handling of the Islamic insurgency across the country; whereas Nigeria’s military and police are facing a myriad of security threats and appear overstretched and unable to tackle simultaneous security crises,” the EU stated.
The resolution noted that the Nigerian Military has with little or no evidence detained over 3600 children, especially girls who suffer abuse including sexual violence.
The Union said, “the military has systematically denied access to the detention facilities to verify the conditions in which children are held”.
Lamenting the spate of crisis in Nigeria, the EU slammed the Buhari government about the condition of the Internally Displace Persons (IDPs), making reference to the report by the Human Rights Watch, which noted that most IDP cannot exercise their basic human rights including food, housing and freedom of movement.
“The EU has allocated EUR 28,3 million to support humanitarian assistance in the country, but humanitarian aid needs are far from being met by current funds,” the statement read.
The Union said its investigations in relation to terrorism in Nigeria shows that the government’s action is limited in depth and in scope.
The statement further read that the EU believes that military action alone is not sufficient to combat terrorism effectively.
Charging Nigeria on the necessary steps to take, the union advised that the Nigerian government should develop a comprehensive strategy to address the root cause of terrorism by focusing on a preventive approach to eliminate the appeal of terrorist ideology.
EU further called on the Nigerian government to address the root causes of violence by ensuring equal rights for all citizens and non-discrimination in legislation.
The Union advised the need to further promote inter-religious dialogue and the peaceful coexistence of citizens irrespective of their religion, engaging with all relevant stakeholders, including the Nigerian Inter-religious Council.