President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with President of the Abu Dhabi Peace Forum, Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, at the sidelines of the African Conference for Peace, held in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
The President, who had earlier been invested with the African Award for Strengthening the Peace, was described by the Shaykh as “a symbol and icon of leadership and integrity,” who would remain an inspiration even after leaving office as President.
A statement by the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted Shaykh Bin Bayyah as commending the efforts of the Nigerian President to eradicate religious extremism, stressing that ”it is something the world must collaborate to do.
“You are doing a great job in that regard, and it is something we need to do wherever such rears its head round the world.”
While inviting the Nigerian leader to visit Abu Dhabi within the short time left for him in office, Bin Bayyah stated:
“You have had varied experiences, as a military leader, a democratically elected leader for two terms, and your input will be appreciated in any society. We will be glad to receive you.”
President Buhari recounted efforts made to extirpate the Boko Haram ideology in Nigeria, wondering why the group, along with Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP), wanted to split the country.
“Boko Haram is false. You say Western education is ungodly. It’s fraudulent. Whoever is financing them just wants to split the country.
”All the grounds they seized before we came have been recovered, and the rebuilding process is going on well,” he added.