Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said a multinational taskforce would soon be established to patrol the waters of the Gulf of Guinea.
Speaking at an audience with the French Minister of Defence, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Buhari said patrols by the multinational taskforce would augment and boost ongoing efforts to improve security in the Gulf, and curb crude oil theft and piracy.
A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Fem Adesina, said Buhari and Le Drian also discussed ongoing French support for the federal government’s efforts to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
The president expressed his government’s appreciation of the assistance and support of France and other G7 countries, which he said had helped Nigeria achieve significant successes against Boko Haram.
“When we got into office in May last year, Boko Haram was effectively controlling at least 14 local government areas. But now, it is no longer so, and they have resorted to attacking soft targets with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).
“We are determined to secure all of our territory effectively. We are doing our best and our troops are now operating in the Sambisa Forest,” Buhari told the French Defence Minister.
The minister assured Buhari that France would continue to assist Nigeria to overcome Boko Haram, saying all terrorists must be seen as common enemies of the free world.