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Lack Of Social, Economic Inclusion Root Cause Of Terrorism – PMB

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President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that the deaths, damage and destruction caused by terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram over the last 10 years will take decades to repair.

He made the remarks, yesterday, at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa at the Dead Sea, Jordan.

According to him, most of these terrorist organisations have been significantly degraded, saying the world came together to achieve this.

Buhari, who honoured an invitation by King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, however, pointed out that now; the country is faced with the task of rebuilding.

The president also stated that to defeat terrorism, cooperation amongst sovereign nations is no longer a choice but an absolute necessity.

He said, “In this digital age where physical borders no longer exist to protect even the most secured nations, the only way to overcome predatory and divisionary forces is for all well-meaning nations to work together for the greater good of mankind.

“Simply put, cooperation amongst sovereign nations is no longer a choice. It is an absolute necessity. In the last 10 years, the world, as we knew it, has completely changed.

“We have seen and experienced significant shifts on many fronts, in Technology; Population and Migration; Trade and Geopolitics; Climate change; and many more.

“For some nations, these trends have had positive impacts, but of course, we have also seen the negative and destructive outcomes of these trends in other countries. 

“It is my view, that no region of the world has felt the full impact of these dramatic shifts and shocks like the Middle East and Africa – North and Sub-Sahara.

“On one hand, our region is blessed with a very young, vibrant, enterprising and dynamic population. We also have valuable natural resources that are the envy of many nations.

“These assets and endowments contributed to our region experiencing some of the highest economic growth rates in the world.

“On the other hand, however, we have also been hosts to some of the deadliest conflicts in recent history. The deaths, damage and destruction caused by terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram over the last 10 years will take decades to repair.

“By the special grace of God, today, most of these terrorist organisations have been significantly degraded. The world came together to achieve this. Now, we are faced with the task of rebuilding.”

President Buhari said it is at this point that, “we must ask ourselves how we, as a region, got to this point. The answer, at least in the case of Nigeria, is the lack of social and economic inclusion.

As Nigeria is celebrated as being the largest economy in Africa and one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Buhari noted that Nigerians were migrating in droves through harsh desert conditions and across treacherous seas to seek what they believe would be a better life in Europe.

He expressed the view that the lack of social and economic inclusion was the root cause of many challenges the country is experiencing.

According to him, “Today, our population is 190million people. By 2050, it is estimated that we will hit 390million, making us the third most populous country in the world. This means we must start working now to ensure this population is productively engaged.“

“In the last four years, we focused on security while implementing inclusive policies.”

  On the security front, President Buhari said his administration has made significant gains in fighting Boko Haram noting that they have recaptured all territories held by Boko Haram in 2014 and have liberated thousands of Nigerians held against their will.

“Today, I am pleased to say no territory in the Federal Republic of Nigeria is held or controlled by Boko Haram.

“We are extremely grateful to the many countries that have stood with Nigeria to confront this global scourge and in particular, the Kingdom of Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty, the King,” Buhari added.

While stating that Nigeria has now returned to the path of growth, Buhari said his administration is making gains in the ease of doing business indices.

According to him, a key driver for growth is the agricultural sector where they aggressively pushed agricultural policies that empowered millions of our rural citizens.

“Africa and the Middle East must therefore focus on policies that will deliver shared economic prosperity for all our citizens. On trade and investments for example, we can do more. Africa represents only five per cent of Jordan’s trade with the world. But we have the resources, the people and the markets to do more.

“Opportunities exist in key job creating sectors such as Agriculture, Health, Tourism, ICT, Infrastructure as well as Textile and garmenting to mention a few.

“In this new world without borders, my personal view is stability and sustainability can only be achieved through inclusive economic growth, and enhanced cooperation amongst nations,” he stated.

In his welcoming remarks, King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan said inclusive growth would be of benefit to the entire world, especially when it creates enabling environment for youths and women.

The king of Jordan said opportunities must be expanded fast, while noting that “the challenges we face are not only problems to be solved but rather, they are opportunities for collaboration.’’

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, said the world would be better off with stronger collaboration, commending Jordan for playing a historical role in restoring peace in the Middle East, especially between Israel and Palestine.

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