—As Buhari promises to champion security network in W/Africa
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammadu has expressed appreciation to the President of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, King Abdullah 11, for the donation of 200 Armoured Fighting Vehicles to combat terrorism and insurgency.
President Buhari said that the kind gesture “reflects true concern for Nigeria’s security situation and genuine goodwill towards a friendly nation.”
Speaking during a bilateral meeting with King Abdullah II shortly after his address to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York on Tuesday, Buhari thanked the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for its support to Nigeria’s campaign against terrorism and insurgency with the donation of military hardware and the
pledge to further supply helicopters.
President Buhari according to a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina also reassured King Abdullah of Nigeria’s commitment towards the proposed Aqaba Process with countries in the region as well as Nigeria’s willingness to play a leading role in bringing together countries in the West African sub-region into this collective security arrangement.
He pledged Nigeria’s continued desire for enhanced bilateral ties with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Speaking earlier, the Jordanian King informed President Buhari that his government was in the process of opening an embassy in Abuja in the next few months, and appreciated the support being extended to his country by the Nigerian government in this regard.
He said that his National Security Adviser would soon be working out the finer details of the Aqaba Process with his Nigerian counterpart.
President Buhari was accompanied to the bilateral meeting which was the third of its kind since the inception of the current administration, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Tijjani Bande.
It will be recalled that soon after President Buhari took office in 2015, the Jordanian King had offered a hand of friendship, cooperation and support for Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and insurgency. This resulted in the National Security Adviser undertaking two visits to Jordan to follow up on issues previously discussed with the King, and the donation of military hardware and pledge of further support.
These gestures are aimed at enhancing Nigeria’s operational capabilities in the fight against terror both within the country and the Lake Chad Basin which affects neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger where the Multinational Joint Task Force is engaging the Boko Haram insurgents and terrorists.
The National Security Adviser’s second trip to Jordan on the invitation of the King in January 2016 to attend the 3rd Aqaba Process, also resulted in a renewed commitment between the two countries to consider multilateral action in confronting the menace of terrorism by replicating the Aqaba arrangement which the Kingdom of Jordan has with East African countries battling protracted terrorist menace.
Nigeria has agreed to work with countries in the region on a similar arrangement with Jordan. It is anticipated that the first Aqaba Process for Nigeria and sister countries within the sub-region with Jordan will be held in late November or early December 2017.