Russia Promises to Help Nigeria Rout Boko Haram, Terrorism


* As Onyeama seeks global support against sect, others

Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Russian Government on Tuesday promised to support measures that would be taken by Nigeria to bring an end to Boko Haram and other terrorist activities in the country.

Russia Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov, disclosed that his country has resolved to commit more efforts and attention to issues that would improve security and stability in Nigeria and other African countries.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, urged the international community to step up concern and support for Nigeria in the fight against insurgency. Levrov and Onyeama spoke at a joint press conference after a long meeting in Moscow.

Onyeama is currently on a working visit to Russia ahead of today’s Africa Day in Moscow. Last Monday, the minister had held discussion with the country’s Minister of Agriculture, Alexander Tkachev, on how Russia can improve the sector as well as how the two countries can expand trade exchange in agro products.

Describing the activities of Boko Haram and other terrorist activities in Nigeria as one Russia cannot afford to take passive stand, Levrov who was accompanied at the meeting by top officials of the country, said: “We will continue to support steps taken by Nigerian Government in the fight against Boko Haram.”

He continued: “Russian is consistently promoting solution to African problems.
We want to eliminate instability on the continent.”
Focusing specifically on areas the meeting between him and Onyeama centred on, Levrov said: “We have exchanged opinions on issues not only in Nigeria but also Syria, Libya and Middle East. Solutions to the problems in these areas can only be achieved through inclusive dialogue.”

He also said the meeting discussed political and economic issues that affect the two countries.
Giving more insight into the meeting, Onyeama commended Russia for always standing with Nigeria from the days of Independence till date. He particular paid tribute to Russia for supporting Nigeria in the fight against terrorism as well as for its educational support to the country through scholarships to about 10,000 Nigerians.

Onyeama therefore implored other countries to rally round Nigeria in the war on insurgency, stressing that although the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has degraded the capacity of Boko Haram, there is still need for the international community to join forces with the country to tackle and bring an end to the activities of the sect.