President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday expressed his administration’s readiness to put machinery in place to persuade the Boko Haram sect that has been unleashing violence in some parts of the country to embrace peace.
Buhari made the promise while playing host to a delegation of residents of the Federal Capital Territory which included the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who paid him Christmas homage in his official residence at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The promise came less than 24 hours after the President claimed that the Federal Government has “technically won the war” against the sect.
In an interview with the BBC, Buhari had claimed that the militant group could no longer mount “conventional attacks” against security forces or population centres, adding that the militant group had been reduced to fighting with improvised explosives devices and remained a force only in its heartland of Borno State.
But the President said on Friday that he would use government institutions to persuade members of the sect to allow peace to reign.
He, however, did not disclose the nature which the persuasion would take and those who would be involved.
“On Boko Haram, this government is determined to make sure that we persuade them if they can be persuaded, we will use government institutions to persuade them to allow peace to reign,” he said.
Buhari reiterated his position that there could not be any development without security.
He said, “We appreciate that the security agencies are doing their best and their best is showing and we have to continue praying for them. There can be no development without security; we have to continue to pray for them.
“We have two million people who are Internally Displaced Persons and 70 per cent are women and 70 per cent of them are children, some of them are orphans; they grew up not knowing their parents, tradition or culture.
“As leaders, we have a weighty responsibility to ensure that infrastructure for the orphans are taken care of.
“As leaders, we wake with the feeling for those children; the most important thing is that they must not be denied education. Schools must be rebuilt. We also thank Danjuma and the G7 led by the United States. They have been doing their best to help Nigeria train our military.”