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Opposition aware of my achievement, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, said his administration had degraded the Boko Haram sect to the point that even “the opposition party” recognised that there was a considerable improvement of security in the North-East under his leadership.

He did not name the political party he was referring to but the Peoples Democratic Party is believed to be the major opposition party in the country.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke during a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi of Pakistan, on the margins of the ninth D-8 summit in Istanbul, Turkey.

Buhari was said to have told the Pakistani Prime Minister that Boko Haram terrorist group remained degraded.

He said, “We have moved them out from their strongholds in the North East, we have denied them space and even their attacks on soft targets are becoming less often.

“Even the opposition (party) recognises that there is a considerable improvement of security in the North-East.”

The President said the Nigeria-Pakistan Joint Commission would be revamped as a veritable platform to strengthen economic and trade relations between both countries.

Buhari, who expressed satisfaction at the level of defence and military cooperation between both countries, however, agreed with the Prime Minister that there was still room to do more.

He regretted that same could not be said on the economic and trade fronts, which he said had fallen far short of what could be achieved by both countries.

“Nigeria-Pakistan cooperation is very historical. Military training has been very consistent and I am impressed with the efficiency of officers trained in Pakistan.

“But the performance of our countries in relation to trade and industrial cooperation had been very disappointing,” Buhari said.

In his remarks, Abbasi said both countries had similar prospects and challenges, including large population, key regional players in economy and security; the fight against terrorism, improving governance and the domestic economy.

He said Pakistan would continue to share experiences with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism towards developing effective strategies and results.

Meanwhile, Buhari has urged African leaders to speak “with one voice” independent of foreign influence.

He said this was necessary to achieve economic integration, development, peace, and security on the continent.

Buhari, according to a statement on Saturday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stated this at a bilateral meeting with President Alpha Conde of Guinea on Friday night in Istanbul, Turkey.

He said, “African leaders should learn from history. They should effectively tackle conflicts, violent extremism, and proliferation of small arms and light weapons.”

The statement added that the two Presidents, who met on the margins of the ninth D8 Summit in Istanbul, exchanged views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Buhari assured his Guinean counterpart, who is also the current chairman of the African Union, that Nigeria would continue to strengthen its engagement with all AU member states to address the current security challenges in restive areas such as South Sudan and Libya, and the political crisis in Togo.

Conde praised Nigeria’s leadership on the continent, particularly Buhari’s great job on anti-corruption and his strong voice on African issues at the international stage.

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