President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday attributed banditry and terrorism in the West African sub-region to cross-border influences.
Buhari made the disclosure while receiving the Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Mali to Nigeria, Moustapha Traore at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
According to a statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari called for intensified and sustained security operation across the West African sub-region to tackle the rising threats of insurgency and banditry.
He stressed that only a collective fight would halt the threats to lives and property.
Buhari said the sub-region would continue to struggle with the basics of development so long as people live in fear and uncertainty.
He said, “The problems of terrorism and banditry have persisted in our countries, and we are doing our best to secure lives and property, but we tend to underestimate cross-border influences.”
The president said the external influences on Boko Haram and the impact of what happened in Libya are very critical issues that must be looked into because they are all at the expense of development.
In his remarks, Traore said he would work hard to strengthen bilateral relations in areas of intelligence sharing between the security agents of both countries and issues related to trade and economic development.
He said, “My president holds you in very high regard Your Excellency, and he praises your achievements in security and the economy since 2015.”
President Buhari, who also received a Letter of Credence from the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia, Dura Likar, assured him of Nigeria’s full commitment to improving bilateral relations, especially in the areas of trade and security.
Likar said Serbia remained interested in building relations with Nigeria in security, education, sports and trade.
“Let me say Serbia is ready to help and support the Nigerian armed forces and we have had a long-standing relationship,” the Serbian envoy said.