Jos - President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday lauded the efforts by security agents to check terrorists and their activities in the country.
``The security agents have put in a lot so far toward checking the activities of the terrorists, government will continue to support and encourage them to do more for Nigeria,’’ he said in Jos.
Jonathan spoke while declaring open a three-day ``Eminent Persons and Expert Groups Meeting’’ toward ending insurgencies, holding at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, near Jos.
The president, whose speech was delivered by the Minister of Police Affairs, retired Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade, described terrorism as ``a portent threat to Nigeria today.
``Terrorism stalls social economic development, it distorts state cohesion and leads to the closure of schools, offices and truncates all other activities.
``Terrorism also causes massive relocations as people have to move to areas considered safe. It is one menace we must fight seriously.’’
He said the Federal Government was committed to bequeathing a stable nation to generations yet unborn and urged participants at the meeting to be frank in their discussions toward a safe country.
Jonathan expressed government’s commitment to a thorough investigation of the activities and strategies of terrorists and noted that the meeting was one of such key programmes to achieve that.
The president challenged Nigerians to support government’s efforts toward a better Nigeria, pointing out that only a collective resolve could arrest the threat of the terrorists.
He said that government was mobilising religious, traditional and community leaders as well as youth groups to aid the fight against terrorism.
The president said that avenues for massive employment were being initiated and implemented to take off idle hands from the streets.
He, however, declared that the terrorists would ``never’’ destabilise the country as its nationals had resolved to brave whatever odds to remain one indivisible nation.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, harped on the need for total commitment to a safe nation if Nigeria was to move forward.
``We need peace and stability without which there will be no democracy,’’ Obasanjo said in his speech, which was delivered by former ECOMOG Commander, retired Lt. Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro.
``The meeting is an opportunity for us to brainstorm and seek solutions to our problems. We owe it a duty to the corporate existence of Nigeria to contribute toward seeking a solution to the problem of our time,’’ he said.
Obasanjo decried that crises had engulfed every part of Nigeria and called for concerted efforts to check the trend.
In his remarks, Plateau Governor Jonah Jang expressed the state government’s readiness to work together with people, who believe in one Nigeria.
He blamed the escalation of the violence in Nigeria on the fact that too much had been taken for granted.
Jang, who was represented by his Deputy, Ignatius Longjan, said that the incessant violence in Nigeria, especially in the north, was unacceptable.
He said that the situation had been worsened by the religious colouration in which the menace had been clothed.
The three-day meeting will feature discussions by experts from the military, the police, State Security Services, the academia and others on ways to end insurgencies in the country.