Calderwood: Canada Working with Nigeria to Defeat Terrorism

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By Zacheaus Somorin

The outgoing Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Perry Calderwood, has said that Canada’s government has been working with Nigeria to defeat terrorism through various trainings for the Nigeria police, especially in investigation techniques.

“Though globally, terrorism has become common, but there must always be effort to contain its spread. Beyond this, we have been engaging in inter-communities’ dialogue to sustain peace in states like Benue”, Calderwood said during an exclusive interview with THISDAY.

He also pointed out that in response to the humanitarian needs in the Lake Chad Basin region, Canada recently announced a plan to provide more than $26 million for humanitarian assistance in 2016. ‘’This will help to provide food, drinking water, hygiene, sanitation and health services, treatment for acute malnutrition and support for livelihoods for vulnerable populations, including refugees, internally displaced persons and communities hosting refugees’’.

He explained that in achieving this, his country is partnering with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Committee of the Red Cross Action Against Hunger, among others.

On corruption, Calderwood revealed Canada has specifically told the Nigerian government: “If there are funds that have been traced to Canada, there are mechanisms in place for our government to respond to this kind of request. It’s through our Federal Police and through our Justice department and the contacts are there already.

“People feel frustrated that it takes time to retrieve funds that may have been stolen and stashed in Canada in form of real estate or something…but remember that in any country that respects rule of law, certain procedures must be followed. A government simply just doesn’t have power to seize something and return it somewhere. You have to go through the legal processes.”

He pointed out that the international community, including Canada, has worked very hard to strengthen rules and prevent illicit funds from flowing in the first place.