The United Kingdom has expressed her readiness to cooperate with Nigeria to tackle the challenges posed by Boko Haram in some parts of northern Nigeria as well as towards restoring peace in Mali. This was even as House of Representatives queried Nigeria’s interest in the campaign
The agreements were reached at the end of a meeting between the United Kingdom’s Minister for Africa, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Mark Simmons and Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru in Abuja, yesterday.
Both countries also agreed to collaborate to find a lasting solution to the problems in Guinea Bissau, to curb crude oil theft and fight piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Ashiru expressed appreciation to the UK Government for providing logistics to the French Army’s emergency intervention in Mali which helped the troops to regain key cities that were lost to the terrorists.
Ashiru said: “If these countries had not quickly taken the steps they took, we may have had a situation where we have a terrorist nation next to us, and that would be a very serious issue”.
The Minister disclosed that the two countries have committed to increasing their present trade figures and investment promotion, and pointed out that Nigerian citizens must benefit from any business relationship with the UK or any other country.
Mark Simmons in his remarks said that the meeting was to explore bilateral economic development through various sectors of the two economies.
He, however, commended Nigeria’s role in the sub-region and in the Africa -led International Support Mission to Mali through ECOWAS.
In the same vein, Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Parliament Senator Ike Ekweremadu said that the regional body has resolved that all member states must come together to effect international arrest warrants against the leadership of the various terrorist groups in Mali such as MUJAO, the MIA, and the Islamic Movement of Azawad.
Ekweramadu who is Deputy President of Nigeria’s Senate said this at the closing of the 1st Extra-ordinary session of the third Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.
The speaker pointed out that the ECOWAS owed it to the peoples of the sub-region and to the interest of world peace and security to ensure that these merchants of death are apprehended.