Home Economy Nigeria blames international community for illicit funds, terrorism, illegal mining in Africa

Nigeria blames international community for illicit funds, terrorism, illegal mining in Africa

by Business News Report

President Bola Tinubu has taken a swipe at the international community for its role in the escalation of illegal mining, illicit funds flow, and terrorism funding in Africa. He said that they owed the continent and must help in the ongoing war against the menaces. Tinubu said this in Abuja at the opening of a two-day African High-Level Meeting on Counter-terrorism. According to Ajuri Ngelale, the Presidential Spokesman, Tinubu’s message to the meeting had the theme ‘Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Institution Building to Address Evolving Threats of Terrorism’. The President alleged that funds from other places were being used to fuel illegal mining in Africa which has in turn been funding terrorism. He said illegal mining, which has robbed countries on the continent of the natural resources that the government ought to have been deployed to meet their national needs is now being hijacked by terrorist groups in exchange for foreign cash, which is in turn used to buy more arms and ammunition.  

“While we seek to address the root causes of terrorism, we must also attack the roots that feed this evil branch. Evolving from the tactics of yesterday, terrorism is becoming a greater threat as it perfects ways to continuously finance, re-equip, and re-supply itself for its sinister mission. Not only does it kidnap people, it kidnaps precious resources. Billions upon billions of dollars that legitimate governments should be using to sculpt better societies by providing education, health care, and food for its people now go to pay for weapons and mayhem. Look at the illegal mining that plagues so many of our nations today. Those who think illegal mining has no connection with financing terrorism are sorely mistaken. The international community has both the moral and legal obligation to help in this cause because it is outside money not African money that fuels the illegal operations.

“We shall be knocking on this door of the international community to answer this call for justice, peace, and fair play”, he said. Terrorism snipes at the very fabric of the tranquil, prosperous, and just societies we seek to build for ourselves and our children. It seeks to frighten the farmer from his field, children from their schools, women from the marketplace, and families from their very homes. “Terror cannot co-exist in the same space as democracy and good governance, just as darkness and light cannot endure in the same room at the same time”, he said. He said terrorism had no respect for national boundaries, ethnic bloodlines, or religious creeds, and therefore requires a comprehensive and collective approach to combat it. “We must address the root causes of extremism, such as poverty, marginalisation, and social injustice. However, this important fact should not become empty rhetoric, devoid of meaning or action”, he added.

Tinubu highlighted the need for a fully operational Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre to serve as a hub for intelligence sharing, operational coordination, and capacity building. He also emphasised the importance of strengthening existing counter-terrorism structures, such as the Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit (RIFU), the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), and the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA). The president stressed the need for a Regional Standby Force that includes tackling terrorism as part of its mandate saying “Such a force can serve as a rapid deployment mechanism, capable of swiftly responding to major threats and bolstering the security of our region.

“It can stand as a strong deterrent to large-scale and protracted terrorist operations and the capture, occupation, or disruption of strategic land and resources”, he said. Tinubu called for the establishment of an all-inclusive African Union Ministerial Committee on Counter-Terrorism to ensure that high-level government officials meet regularly to assess counter-terrorism efforts and provide guidance on how to improve. Nigeria, he said, remained firmly committed to fighting terrorism and violent extremism, and has taken bold steps to enhance its counter-terrorism capabilities through the enactment of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act and the establishment of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC).

“Our security forces continue to demonstrate courage and dedication in the fight against terrorism, often at great personal risk. I am grateful for the selfless work and sacrifice of these patriotic men and women,” he said. Tinubu also highlighted the need to halt the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) on the continent, noting tht “No one state can solve this problem for itself. It requires continuous and concerted action by all of us. “We need to reposition our regional organisations and build the capacity of our national institutions to effectively address this element of terrorism and violent extremism”, he said. Tinubu called on African leaders to work together to defeat terrorism and ensure peace and security on the continent.“Let us show our respective populations that we, as leaders, are committed to their safety and welfare. Let us leave here with real results. May this conference be succinct and to the point. Let us be focused and dedicated to pinpointing and embarking on the meaningful and strong action needed to win the day and free our continent of violent extremists”, he said. The African High-Level Meeting on Counter-Terrorism brings together leaders and experts from across the continent to discuss ways to strengthen regional cooperation and institution-building to combat terrorism. The meeting is expected to produce a communiqué outlining concrete steps to be taken to address the evolving threat of terrorism in Africa

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