By Ben Agande
Abuja— Nigerian troops will be deployed to Mali where Islamic militants have launched an insurgent attack on the northern part of the country and are threatening to over run the state capital, Bamako.
President Goodluck Jonathan who stated this in Abuja yesterday, said Nigerian troops will be deployed before next week to Mali to help restore peace to that country.
He stated this when he hosted members of the diplomatic corps resident in Nigeria to cocktail yesterday.
According to him, all hands must be on deck to fight extremism as no country knows when it will be her turn.
He said: ”We are confronted presently with a situation in Mali. Let me assure you and the global community that as a nation we will work with other nations to make sure that the problem in Mali is solved.
Already, our technical team is in Mali. So, definitely, Nigerian troops will be in Mali before next week.
Of course, we members of ECOWAS are meeting this weekend. Our expectation is that by next week most other ECOWAS countries that pledged troops would have sent them so that our men will be on ground to assist Mali to liberate the country.
We can no longer surrender any part of the globe to extremism, because it doesn’t pay and we don’t know the next victim. We must collectively discourage individuals or group of individuals that will take laws into their hands and make the world a place that is not safe for all of us.”
President Jonathan expressed his appreciation to all the heads of governments that stood by Nigeria during her trying times of floods, Dana and Helicopter crashes, terrorism attacks, the death of his younger brother and other tragedies.
He said: ”Through you, I want to thank your heads of governments for standing with us during our various challenges and difficult moments. During the floods, the terrorism attacks, the air mishaps of Dana and the helicopter crashes and when I lost my brother.
I also want to thank them for the support and goodwill for my administration last year and I look forward to working for our mutual benefits.
I am aware that building a strong economy will lead to a stronger country and we are committed to doing just that.
I am not the one to diminish the challenges my country faces and that is why we are strengthening democratic institutions.
We have our challenges but we will continue to play her international role to restore peace.”
In his speech, the Acting Dean of Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Democratic Republic of Congo to Nigeria, Mrs. Olumba Kumba, commended Nigeria’s role in restoring world peace.
She said Nigeria enjoys international trust and respect and urged Nigerian historians to ensure that Nigeria’s contribution to international peace and security are documented for the younger generation.
She further commended Nigeria’s contribution to a stronger Africa through her contribution to peacekeeping missions which is the answer to a peaceful nation.