Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has once again solicited for support from the United States and other countries in the fight against insurgency within the country’s border.
In an opinion piece published on Financial Times, Mr Buhari recognised the expanding grip of extremist groups and terrorists across the African continent, citing countries like Mozambique and Somalia.
He calls on the United States for aid; saying while “the U.S. and its western allies cannot be expected to underpin the security of others everywhere and indefinitely.
Africa has enough soldiers of our own. However, more can be done to help with technical assistance, advanced weaponry, intelligence and ordinance.”
Mr Buhari’s comments come after the events that unfolded in Afghanistan on Sunday, where the Afghan president stepped down for the Taliban, who demanded unconditional surrender of the country’s leadership.
He noted the inability of African leaders to provide their people with proper economic policies and a suitable environment to encourage economic growth in light of the constantly expanding population.
“My continent’s gross domestic product gains are insufficient to provide for burgeoning populations,” Mr Buhari wrote, adding that Africa needs an in-depth partnership with the West to catch up with their economic and demographic growth.
Mr Buhari speaks on the importance of military strategy and strength in the war against terrorism, as well as how unemployment factors into feeding terrorists groups such as the Boko Haram and the Daesh.
However, he asserts that infrastructure trumps military action and argues that infrastructure would be a longer lasting solution to the rising insecurity across Africa.
“What we need above all is investment in infrastructure. Transport and freight lines can spread opportunity across nations unequal in economic strength,” Mr Buhari wrote, ” That is why we in Nigeria have begun building a train line from the southern coast through the north-east to Niger, our neighbour.
My government has been accused of wasting money, because trade between our two nations is minimal.
But that is hardly a surprise, given that there is no trade infrastructure between us”
Mr Buhari argues that the rail system between Nigeria and Niger will aid security and encourage economic growth.
In January, The Buhari-led regime alloted $1.9 billion to a rail project linking Nigeria to the Niger Republic, transportation of oil to Nigeria and job creation were cited as reasons for constructing the rail line, as well as Mr Buhari stating he has family members there.