President Muhammadu Buhari recently renewed his plea that the global community should act with more determination and vigour against radicalism and extremist ideologies which encourage terrorism.

Buhari made the appeal at a memorial service organised in honour of some Kenyan soldiers who were killed by the Al-Shabaab group in Somalia recently.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying that peace-loving nations must now come together and deal with the threat posed by terrorism to global security with greater zeal and cohesion.

“Terrorists should not have a place in our communities, villages, towns, cities and countries. We must all rise against the culture of intolerance, hatred and extremist ideologies, which drive terrorism.

“We must also act with more firmness against radicalisation and all those who promote values and principles that threaten our unity and cohesion as a people.

“Nigeria is willing to work with Kenya, other African countries and the global community, with a view to defeating these undesirable elements.

“We must take the battle to the terrorists; whoever they are and wherever they are.

“However, this requires commitment, sacrifice, resources, collaboration and above all, a realisation that no country is immune to the scourge; as terrorists do not respect national boundaries, race, colour, religion or creed,’’ Buhari who was on a three-day visit to Kenya said.

Applauding the bravery of Kenyan soldiers who died in the terrorist attack on their base in Somalia, Buhari said that the soldiers “have remained faithful and committed to the cause of ensuring a secure and peaceful world in spite of daunting challenges.

“I wish to use this occasion to pay tribute to all the fallen heroes of the El Adde attack and pray for the repose of their souls.

“In our efforts to collaboratively tackle terrorism, it is our sacred duty as leaders, politicians and compatriots to ensure that the blood of these fallen heroes was not shed in vain,’’ he said.

Further stressing the points at bilateral talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta, Buhari called on the global community to develop and implement comprehensive and coordinated counter-extremism strategies at sub-regional, regional and continental levels for peace to reign in the world.

Buhari warned that radicalism and violent extremism were increasingly taking root across Africa and must be tackled head-on with new strategies.

His words: “The threat posed to national, regional and global peace and security by terrorists has taken an alarming dimension in recent times.

“In Nigeria, Boko Haram has wreaked havoc, especially in the north-eastern part of the country; killing, maiming, destroying livelihoods and displacing hapless citizens, majority of whom are women and children.

“In Kenya, you also face terrorist challenges. Similarly, Iraq and Syria are facing their own brand of terrorism which has thrown the entire Middle East into turmoil.

“Terrorism does not respect religion, creed, race or national boundaries. No country is safe from the menace.

“This is why the entire global community must work in a concerted manner, particularly in areas of sharing intelligence and pooling resources and finance to confront the scourge.

“Our armed forces and security services should also be adequately supported and well-motivated to fight terrorism.’’

Buhari noted that terrorists were constantly changing tactics, building alliances, merging and getting more sophisticated, all in an attempt to build their capacity to inflict pain and misery on societies.

“To win the war on terror, therefore, we must respond to this phenomenon by developing new and versatile strategies.

“Together with our allies, Nigeria and Kenya can successfully tackle these challenges that have traumatised and brought untold suffering to our people,’’ he said.

Buhari underscored the need to tackle and defeat terrorism, reiterating that there could be no meaningful development and prosperity in an atmosphere of insecurity and instability.

He also emphasised that communities must be aided to build resilience against violent extremism.

He said that extremist narratives and ideologies by radical elements and militants in all societies must be tackled via counter-narratives which emphasised education, moderation and tolerance.

“For our efforts to achieve the desired results, communities, religious leaders, civil society and educational institutions must be fully involved,’’ he added.

Underscoring Buhari’s resolve to defeat terrorism through proactive collaboration with the global community, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said that the Federal Government would mobilise all elements of national power to counter terrorism, corruption and lift Nigerians out of poverty.

The minister, who spoke at a recent workshop on Conflict Sensitive Communications and Reporting for the Media and Security Spokespersons in Abuja, said: “Through communication processes and infrastructure, we will synchronise government efforts in support of better coordination and access to information by the media.

“We will also support online communication in deepening democracy and building the capacity of Nigerians to participate in the decision-making process.’’

Besides, Mohammed said that the Federal Government would empower Nigerians with requisite information on government policies and actions, so as to enable them to make wise decisions and take due advantage of opportunities.

“Our country is facing numerous challenges at this time; the challenges include terrorism, widespread corruption, poverty and economic issues.

“But the good news is that Nigerians across faiths, tribes, age groups and income levels have made a choice to break from the past and embrace a future free from insecurity, corruption and poverty.

“With this choice, difficult but necessary paths to opportunities have opened up, promising to defeat terrorism, free public funds from the web of corruption and put our people back to economic prosperity,’’ he noted.

The minister, however, underscored the need for every Nigerian to play a role in efforts to achieve these goals.

“Across the globe, Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, continues to enjoy the goodwill and support of big nations and organisations, all of which want to see us free from the scourge of terrorism and corruption,’’ he noted.

Mohammed said that the Federal Government recognised the opportunity to tackle the ills facing the country and seized it promptly.

“As spokespersons of various agencies, defence correspondents and media stakeholders, Nigeria relies on you to understand this changing pattern of our fortune and report it in a conflict-sensitive manner,’’ he said.

Mohammed pledged that he would welcome any pragmatic recommendation on the roles which the ministry could play in efforts to strengthen the lessons garnered by the workshop’s participants.

He said the workshop was imperative to bridge existing communication gaps, while building trust and learning from each other’s challenges.

Speaking on the government’s efforts to engage the citizenry in the on-going war against insurgency, the National Security Adviser to the President, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, underscored the government’s determination to partner with all relevant stakeholders to bring about better management of conflicts.

He said that communicating and reporting conflicts in a sensitive manner was critical to all peace and conflict resolution efforts.

Moguno emphasised that governance relied on communication, as part of designed efforts to connect with the citizenry in a credible and efficient manner.

He said that with the increasing communicative roles of the social media, both government and the media must work closely to manage emerging communication changes and trends in ways that ensured national security and progress.

Observers, nonetheless, insist that efforts to de-radicalise the mind-set of the youth can only be fruitful if religious preachers are fully mobilised to key into the venture.

“Religion is the tool which insurgents use to indoctrinate our children with extremist ideologies; they misinterpret our scripture to radicalise the youth against us but religious leaders have a duty to discourage this,’’ Alhaji Nuru Khalid, the Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters Mosque, Abuja, said.