Muhammadu Buhari has lauded the African Parliamentary Union (APU) for promoting democratic culture and human rights in Africa.
The president made the commendation at the opening of the 41st Conference of Speakers of the National Parliaments of the African Parliamentary Union in Abuja on Thursday.
Buhari also commended APU for choosing to look at the issues of terrorism and organised crimes in Africa.
“Since its foundation, the African Parliamentary Union has continued to champion the objective of bringing African Parliaments together to join the challenge of finding solutions to the many problems confronting the continent.
“And at the same time, helping to develop parliamentary practice in the continent toward the promotion of democracy, human rights, freedoms and the realization of the objectives of the African Union to achieve durable peace.
“I am delighted that the 41st Conference of Speakers, as part of its meeting will be considering the role of parliaments in the fight against terrorism, armed gangs and organised crimes in Africa.
“Terrorism, armed banditry and organised crimes have continued to be a security challenge for member states of the African Union, the proliferation of arms aided by abuse of the ease of movement of persons across freer borders, which have been historically in place to encourage African unity have contributed to acts of terrorism by groups like Al Shaabab, ISIS and Boko Haram.”
According to the president, Nigeria has done a lot in tackling the menace of Boko Haram and the country is still working hard to address other security challenges.
The president, however, noted that the terrorists had resulted to ransacking villages and small farming communities for survival.
He said: “here in Nigeria, we have done a lot to reverse the terror trend and halt the advancement of Boko Haram.
“We have in collaboration with our neighbours strengthened our armed forces to effectively confront terror groups and have also initiated programmes to address widespread poverty, which has been identified as a significant factor fueling unrest and boosting terror recruitments.
“In spite of this progress, we are not unmindful of the remaining challenge of armed invaders who ransack villages and small farming communities and commit terrible acts including the cold-blooded murder of women and children.
“We are also making progress in addressing this challenge.’’