The All Progressives Congress has said Nigerian security forces cannot fight Boko Haram insurgents alone.
The APC said President Muhammadu Buhari should be praised for his “shuttle diplomacy” aimed at forging a stronger regional front against Boko Haram insurgency rather than be criticised for his efforts.
The President had visited Niger and Chad last week to seek the support of the neighbouring countries in the war against terrorism.
In a statement issued on Saturday by APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Lai Mohammed, the party stated that the insurgency, which started off as a Nigerian problem, had assumed a regional dilemma affecting more West African countries.
Therefore, the party said any solution to the crisis, if it was to endure, must be regional in nature, with Nigeria taking the lead. It added that since terrorism had become a global dimension, no nation, including the United States of America, could fight the growing menace alone.
“This is why even in our days in opposition, we advocated a regional solution to the crisis,” the APC said.
According to the statement, Buhari’s trip to Niger and Chad, two of the countries worst-hit by the Boko Haram insurgency, shows that the President understands the regional dimension that the insurgency has assumed, and that for any effort by Nigeria to yield positive results, it must seek the cooperation of its neighbouring countries.
It urged Buhari not to relent in his efforts to forge a regional front against the terrorists, despite the “misguided criticism emanating from certain quarters.”
The statement further read, “It is baffling that some opposition politicians wanted Nigeria to go it alone against Boko Haram, even as the terrorist group has taken its battle beyond the shores of Nigeria, to such countries as Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
“It is common knowledge that the terrorists use these countries as launch pads for their attacks against Nigeria, and vice versa, and that they routinely engage in cross-boundary raids.
“Also, Boko Haram’s tentacles have spread as far as Mali, the home base of the Movement for the Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), a splinter group of the Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.
“It is no longer a secret that Boko Haram has now affiliated itself to the Islamic State, seeing itself as the West African chapter of the terror group. How then can Nigeria effectively deal with Boko Haram without seeking the assistance of other concerned countries?”
The party reminded the critics of Buhari’s call for foreign intervention that even the United States sought and had continued to seek a global coalition against Al-Qaida and IS, despite the country’s enormous military, economic and political powers.