NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA
9 October, 2015
The Chief of Defence Staff of the UK, Gen. (Sir) Nicholas Houghton, has pledged his country’s support to the Federal Government in its fight against terrorism.
Houghton told State House correspondents in Abuja on Thursday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari that the United Kingdom was prepared to optimise the support it had offered the Nigerian government in the past. ·
“I am here representing my government in the United Kingdom because we share such an interesting security situation in Nigeria to make sure that whatever help the United Kingdom can give to the government of Nigeria particularly to President Buhari that we are making so that we are optimising what support we can give to him.
“Primarily my concern is in the security situation, particularly the one posed by Boko Haram. “I think the Nigerian armed forces have made some remarkable progress in the last two months in pushing Boko Haram back.
“But as it comes to the end of the rainy season,I know the President has got very strong ambitions to what he can achieve by Christmas.’’
The UK defence chief said that UK had been offering support to the Nigerian Armed Forces in the form of pre-deployment training, adding:“we are going to be optimising that support the best way we can“.
According to him, the threats posed by Boko Haram are no longer localised as they become regional and global.“We now recognise more than everbefore that many of the security threats that are posed are not just localised ones but they are regionalised ones and global ones.
“I think much of the conversation on security in the United Nations Assembly was about the threats posed by extremism and terrorism. “And we share within the United Kingdom and Europe concerns about the destabilising effect of ISIL in Iraq and Syria and North Africa but also the threat that Boko Haram poses here.
“Therefore, in many respects the security in places such as Nigeria, the security concerns here are shared by many within the global community, which is why I think we do need to intensify the help and support we offer.’’
The General said that his country was glad with the progress made by the Nigerian troops in curbing the excesses of the insurgents.