Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, New York
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday welcomed the pledge by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to help Nigeria tackle the Boko Haram insurgency through sound education among others.
This is the second Islamic organisation will be backing President Buhari’s administration in the terrorism fight.
President Buhari had in February 2016, also welcomed support from the OIC for its efforts to rehabilitate parts of the country affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
He had told at a meeting with the then Secretary General of the OIC, Iyad Ameen Madani, in 2016 urged the organisation to send a fact-finding mission to the ravaged states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states to see the damage done by terrorists.
He had stated that the fact-finding visit will help the OIC to determine the scope of assistance it can offer to Nigeria for the rehabilitation and resettlement of internally displaced persons.
During a bilateral meeting Thursday, with OIC Secretary-General, Dr Youssef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly in New York, Buhari also underscored the importance of education in purging the mind of wrong indoctrination, particularly on religion.
President Buhari noted that the problem in Nigeria was aggravated by climate change and population explosion, emphasizing for the umpteenth time the need for the recharge of Lake Chad through inter-basin water transfer, “to take care of about 45 million people who depend on the lake for agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing, and many others.”
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said, the OIC scribe had told the Nigerian President that his organisation had passed a resolution committing member states to support Nigeria in combating extremism.
He said that the body was ready to use its facilities and institutions to correct the wrong narrative that the Boko Haram insurgency was about Islam.
Dr Al-Othaimeen, who noted that development was essential to addressing extremism, also pledged assistance for Nigeria in that respect.