Monday, 29 September 2014
Fight Against Boko Haram: Russia to Supply Nigeria Arms
The Nigerian Government has formally reached out to Russia for assistance in its fight against terrorism in parts of the country.
Based on the government’s request, Russian authorities have offered to assist the nation’s security forces in terms of logistics and equipment to win the war against Boko Haram.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with SUNDAY PUNCH on Friday.
He was answering questions on whether the government will comply with Russia’s condition for military assistance to the country, which is that Nigeria should make a formal request.
Abati said the issue had been properly dealt with during the just-concluded 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly which President Goodluck Jonathan attended in New York.
He said the security challenges in the country were one of the issues discussed when the foreign ministers of the two countries met on the margins of the assembly.
He said one of the fallouts of the meeting was a pronouncement by the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister that his country was ready and prepared to provide logistics and equipment support to the Nigerian Armed Forces and security agencies.
He said, “Nigeria and Russia had a strong relationship in the past. Both countries have a joint commission under the auspices of which they cooperate in various areas.
“When the President went for the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Russian minister met on the margins of that assembly.
“One of the issues they discussed was the security challenge in Nigeria. The Russian Foreign Minister told our own Minister of Foreign Affairs that Russia was ready and prepared to provide logistical and equipment support to the Nigerian Armed Forces and security agencies in executing the war against terrorism in Nigeria.
“What I have told you is the latest action in that regard. The assurance was given by the Russian Foreign Minister. What I told you was the outcome of the meeting between the two top government officials of the two countries.”