From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The United Kingdom Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, yesterday, described the situation in Nigeria as massively complex.
Duddridge, who met with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja, said the trend of violence by insurgents, Boko Haram and allied groups, was a complex phenomenon that required varied approaches to resolve.
He, however, said Nigeria can count on the UK as a strong friend in her quest to overcoming the challenges.
Said Duddridge: “The situation is massively complex and no partnership is going to resolve the multiplicity of problems, whether it is Boko Haram or Daesh or a number of other issues. In the UK, you have a strong partner across the full gamut of issues. So, it is not just about intelligence and hard security and military, it is about societies, it is about humanitarian support, it is about education and development partnership. It is not an end game, we don’t get to a point where we would say this is the end of our relationship with Nigeria, because we got what we want, we set a higher bar, we are long-term partners.”
Duddridge said the friendship between the British Government and Nigeria was very important for the African continent.
He said it was not just because Nigeria was a big and populous country in Africa, but because of the role she plays in the African region.
Onyeama bemoaned the complex nature of the challenges bedevilling the country, particularly in the North East as a result of the unconventional war against terrorism.
“It is not a conventional war where the enemy is readily identifiable, it is asymmetrical warfare and we are dealing with very difficult situations. We have an intelligence fusion unit with our partners, the US, UK, France.’’
The foreign affairs minister added that intelligence sharing would continue to assist in the fight against terrorism in the country. He said there were multiplicity of issues to be addressed in the country such as de-radicalisation, education, jobs, girl-child education, among others. He said addressing the issues would definitively address the challenges of terrorism in the country.