By EMMA AMAIZE & KINGSLEY OMONOBI
ABUJA—Against the backdrop of increased terrorist attacks in the country and fears that the Boko Haram sect may have targeted the bombing of foreign embassies operating in Nigeria, the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Andrew Lloyd, yesterday declared that Britain was willing to provide intelligence and technological support in the nation’s fight against terrorism.

Mr Lloyd who disclosed this when he paid a visit to the Minister of Defence, Bello Haliru Mohammed in his office said the very close bilateral relations between Nigeria and Britain had made it imperative that issues of terrorism which are condemnable acts are tackled headlong together in the interest of the people of both nations.

 

He said that though Britain has always provided support in the areas of training for Nigeria’s military personnel, it has made it imperative for new pages of cooperation to be opened in providing modern technological devices and the advanced intelligence needed to tackle terrorism cankerworm.

The High Commissioner also disclosed that the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which is presently operating below capacity would be given British support and experience through the exchange of expertise and other required support to succeed in its quest to develop, manufacture and assemble arms and ammunition for the nation.

Defence Minister, Dr. Bello Mohammed in his response, requested Britain’s support in Nigeria’s bid to become a permanent member of the UN security council explaining that by virtue of Nigeria’s contribution to peace keeping efforts worldwide, the country deserves to be at the security council.

Commending Britain for its support to the armed forces particularly as it regards training and capacity building of personnel, the minister reminded the High Commissioner that terrorism being a global phenomenon, required all hands to be on deck to fight it hence he called for greater cooperation between the two countries in this regard.

Dr. Bello further requested Britain to improve its trade ties with Nigeria and show example to other countries still dragging their feet toward investing and benefitting from the immense socio-economic and mineral opportunities that abound within the country.

Niger Delta militants volunteer to join forces with army

Meanwhile following uncovered intelligence reports that the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, had concluded plans to bomb some states in the Niger-Delta, South-East and South-West geo-political zones, militants in the Niger Delta, have volunteered to team up with the security agencies, especially the armed forces to repel the rebellious group.

Spokesman of the militants under the aegis of Niger Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, “Captain” Mark Anthony, in an online statement, Tuesday, said the Israeli forces contracted by the government cannot provide adequate security and volunteered special security services for President Goodluck Jonathan and members of his immediate family because of the precarious security situation in the country.

The militant group specifically warned Boko Haram members to steer clear of Niger Delta in their own interest, saying, “If they ignore this warning, the counter reaction will be disastrous”.

Part of the statement reads thus: “We, on behalf of the good people of Niger Delta and Nigerians do hereby offer to partner with the federal security force, especially the army to give voluntary security services to President Goodluck Jonathan and his immediate family over the precarious security situation created by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram with suicide bombing at strategic locations in Abuja and other cities in the nation, thereby creating total insecurity”.

“This call for partnership becomes expedient, especially with the porous security network and backstabbing at high security quarters , which gave the feeling that the life of the President and his immediate family members is at risk.

“We show concern for the fact that the Nigerian security apparatus have been overtly cowed down by the activities of the Boko Haram. For us, President Goodluck Jonathan is a product of our intensified Niger Delta arms struggle and we will not claim not to know that the Boko Harram mission is to destabilize President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration or assassinate him, if they could have their way. God will not allow it to happen as emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan was through divine providence”, he added..

The militant group stated that, “The Boko Haram agitation is not anti-western education, but anti Niger Delta/Christianity and we will not continue to fold our hands and allow these devils in human faces to terrorize and kill innocent citizens at will”.

“We are aware that the government had offered the security of the life of President Goodluck Jonathan to Israeli police, but that is not enough as NDLF tested soldiers are still very visible to give the President the needed support/security as one of our own from any external force, if the enabling environment is given to us.

“We do not want anything to happen to the life of our President. This is because President Goodluck Jonathan is an exchange of lives of countless youths who died during the heat of Niger Delta agitation.

For us, suicide bombing or throwing hand grenade at public places is ‘ woman fight’, that is why while we were in the creek, we always alertëd soldiers of our pre-targets and our locations. And we did not throw any bomb at public places because such operations are devilish and satanic and are not part of Niger Delta struggle.”

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