…Onyeama seeks global position against sect, others
From: Iheanacho Nwosu, Moscow
The Russian government has said it was ready to support measures that would be taken by Nigeria to conclusively end Boko Haram and other terrorist activities in the country.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov said Russia has resolved to commit more effort and attention to issues that would improve security and stability in Nigeria and other African countries.
But, in addition to the intervention of Russia , Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama urged the international Community to step up concern and support to Nigeria in the fight against insurgency. Levrov and Onyeama spoke at a joint press conference after a long meeting in Moscow.
Onyeama is currently on a working visit to Russia ahead of today’s Africa Day in Moscow. Last Monday the Minister had held discussion with the country’s Minister of Agriculture, Alexander Tkachev on how Russia can increase in the sector as well as how the two countries can expand trade exchange in agro products.
Describing the activities of Boko Haram and terrorist activities in Nigeria as one Russia cannot afford to take passive stand Levrov who was accompanied at the meeting by top officials of the country said “We will continue to support steps taken by Nigerian government in the fight against Boko Haram”, he pledged.
He continued “Russian is consistently promoting solution to African problems.
We want to eliminate instability on the continent.”
Focusing specifically on areas the meeting between him and Onyeama focused on , Levrov said “We have exchanged opinions on issues not only in Nigeria but also Syria , Libya and Middle East . Solutions to the problems in these areas can only be achieved through inclusive dialogue”.
He also said the meeting discussed political and economic issues that affect the two countries.
“We have agreed that we should speed up processes on political and economic agreement .We discussed regional and global agenda.
“We have agreed to coordinate our efforts within the UN on mutually beneficial issues”, the Russian Foreign Minister further explained .
Giving more insight into the meeting, Onyeama commended Russia for always standing with Nigeria from the days of Independence to date. He particular paid tribute to Russia for supporting Nigeria in the fight against terrorism as well as for its educational support to the country through scholarships to about 10,000 Nigerians.
He acknowledged “Russia has been a partner in the fight against insurgency.
Russia has given over 10,000 scholarship”
He added ” Russia has been a partner in the industrialization of Nigeria especially playing a key role in the oil and gas sector.”
Onyeama implored other countries to rally round Nigeria in the war on insurgency, stressing that although the administration of President of President Muhammadu Buhari has degraded the military capacity of Boko Haram there was still need for the international community to join forces with the country to tackle and bring an end to the activities of the sect.
He said “our government has been able to degrade the military capacity of Boko Haram. They only use young girls to carry out bombings.”
He said the support of the international community would help in blocking the insurgents’ sources of funding.
“Other countries have to come together to fight insurgency not only in Nigeria but Africa generally”.