By Vera Anyagafu, Reporting from Riyahd, S’Árabia
At the inaugural meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), currently holding in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria’s minister of Defence, Brig Gen Mansur Dan-Ali, has said that Nigeria will join forces with the coalition to defeat terrorism.
The coalition of 41 other ministers of Defense of Islamic member countries, joined by Brig Gen. Ali who gathered in Riyahd, Saudi Arabia, also sought an end to the unwanton destruction of properties and killings carried out by dreaded terrorist groups.
Giving reasons for the coalition which has the theme “Allied Against Terrorism,” Gen. Ali said some of the terror attacks across the world prompted the meeting and that Nigeria is ready to collaborate with nations with similar experiences to defeat the menace.
Ali, who said that Nigeria has made remarkable progress in the area of counter-terrorism since the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari also added that the efforts of neighbouring countries with similar issues like Chad, Niger and Cameroun, are yielding positive results.
While soliciting for the support of the IMCTC for assistance over the more than three million internally displaced persons, IDPs, in Nigeria, Ali said the event “obliged my country a great opportunity considering the enormous challenges the world is facing as regards terrorism. Nigeria will join forces with this coalition to defeat terrorism”.
The meeting was hosted by the Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Salman.
Salman said the issue of terrorism would come to an end as more than 40 Islamic countries are sending a very strong signal that they would work together to support each others’ efforts, whether in military, financial, intelligence and political aspects.
According to him, “Today, we began tracking down terrorism and we see its defeat in many countries of the world, especially in Islamic countries. And today, we will confirm that we will pursue it until it disappears completely from the surface of the earth.”
In his contribution, Secretary General, IMCTC, Lt.-Gen. Abdulelah Al-Saleh, spoke on how Nigeria has fared so far in its efforts in fight against terrorism.
According to him, the coalition, which operates in four domains – capacity building, intelligence sharing, financing and training- will use collaborative efforts and the available expertise to fight crime not only in Nigeria but other countries.
Al-Saleh also said that the ministers resolved that the joint exercise against terrorism will be based on real time scenario. He said the exercise will also promote the concept of shared responsibilities and an environment to combat the menace.
“The body has an extensive cooperation with the Nigerian Ministry of Defense and the coalition will give support to areas that need it,” he added.