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Nigeria Deepens Bilateral Relations with EU on Security Cooperation

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced its commitment to enhancing bilateral relations with the European Union (EU) in the field of security cooperation. This significant development was disclosed by the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru, during a meeting with a delegation from the European External Actions Service (EEAS) at the Ship House in Abuja. In a statement released by Mr. Hope Attari, the Acting Director of Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Defence, the minister expressed Nigeria’s eagerness to rekindle its partnership with the EU. The primary objective of this cooperation is to strengthen collaboration in combating violent extremism, preserving peace and security, and promoting regional cooperation.

Nigeria, a country with diverse security challenges, seeks to obtain intelligence and security equipment from the EU to effectively address the pressing issues of insecurity within its borders. Minister Badaru pointed out the various security threats confronting the nation, including banditry in the North West and North Central, Boko Haram in the North East, oil vandalism in the South-South, sectional agitation in the South East, and general insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea and the Lake Chad region. Additionally, Dr. Bello Matawalle, the Minister of State for Defence, emphasized the significance of Nigeria’s role as the “Giant of Africa” and its pivotal position in maintaining peace and security across the continent. Matawalle called for the EU’s support in addressing the security challenges currently plaguing Nigeria, stating that the security of Nigeria is intrinsically linked to the security of Africa as a whole.

The head of the delegation from the European External Actions Service, Deputy Secretary-General Helena Konig, underscored the purpose of their visit, which is to determine Nigeria’s security priorities and areas where the EU can provide support. Konig expressed the EU’s willingness to work closely with Nigeria, particularly in counter-terrorism efforts, with the ultimate goal of stabilizing the region. She recognized Nigeria as a strong advocate for maintaining the territorial integrity of Africa.

The cooperation between Nigeria and the European Union in the realm of security is expected to be discussed in detail during the upcoming high ministerial meeting. The EU’s eagerness to assist Nigeria in its efforts to address and combat the various security challenges underscores the importance of international collaboration in addressing today’s complex security issues. As the nation embarks on this journey of deepening ties with the EU, it is hoped that the combined efforts of these entities will lead to more effective strategies for ensuring the peace and security not only of Nigeria but also of the wider African region. This collaboration could be a significant step forward in the fight against terrorism and insecurity on the continent.