By Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
The President yesterday requested Germany to deploy its technology in support of the government’s battle against Boko Haram.
Dr Goodluck Jonathan told German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a joint news conference in Berlin that with the support of the international community, Nigeria can overcome the insurgency of the sect that has claimed responsibility for the series of attacks and killings across the North.
President Jonathan, who is rounding off a three-day visit to Germany today, said:
“As a nation, we have security challenges because most investors talk about security. At present, we have the local terrorist group, code-named Boko Haram. From publications on this terrorist group, it paints a very gloomy picture as if the whole country is in tatters. These terrorists operate in some states in the Northeastern part of the country but go into other states from time to time.
“But what I can assure the global community, especially our investors from Germany, is that the government is working very hard to bring it under control.”
The President said the sect’s activities surprised the nation, explaining that their mode of operation was alien to Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria needs to deploy superior technology to counter the menace of the fundamentalist sect.
He said: “The area we expect our development partners especially countries like Germany to help is in terms of our security architecture, training and providing us with some modern equipment. You have to fight terrorists with technology because terrorists do not need to come with a rifle and you confront them one on one. They will surprise you; they will not come to engage you except to defend themselves occasionally.
“So, you must have superior technology to monitor them and know how to relate with them. And these are the areas we believe that countries like Germany and others and even the United Nations (UN) can assist us.”
The German Chancellor promised to work with Nigeria to halt the Boko Haram menace.
She said Germany agreed with Nigeria on the dangers posed by members of the sect and the threat to Nigeria’s reputation.
Chancellor Merkel said the newly established bilateral commission between Germany and Nigeria would discuss the issue and come up with details on the areas where Nigeria may need help.
“But I think what is most important is the resolve of the Nigerian government to deal with such a group and to remain on top of the situation and protect the peace-loving people of Nigeria who suffer most from such attacks. Wherever we can be helpful, be it in training, be it in logistics, we will certainly be glad to do that, and the details can then be worked out by the bi-national commission,” she said.
Dr Jonathan, also allayed the fear of investors and potential tycoons. He said his administration was packaging measures that would guarantee good returns for their investments.
He addressed representatives of the private sector and German Business Association at a breakfast meeting.
The President assured the gathering that Nigeria was an investors’ delight because of its favourable investment climate.
Dr Jonathan said: “For those yet to take advantage of opportunities available in my country, I challenge you to take the plunge today and you would be glad you did. As they say, the taste of the pudding is in the eating.”
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