- Â Pledges further donation of helicopters
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
King Abdullah II of Jordan Wednesday in New York donated military hardware to Nigeria and pledged to supply additional helicopters to the country to bolster its fight against terrorism.
A statement by President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s chief spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari thanked King Abdullah for the donations on Tuesday at the ongoing 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
He said Buhari described the donation of 200 armoured fighting vehicles to Nigeria by King Abdullah as a reflection of his kingdomâ€™s â€œtrue concern for Nigeriaâ€™s security situation and genuine goodwill towards a friendly nationâ€.
Adesina added that Buhari reassured the Jordanian king of Nigeriaâ€™s commitment towards the â€œproposed Aqaba Process with countries in the Gulf, as well as Nigeriaâ€™s willingness to play a leading role in bringing together countries in the West African sub-region into this collective security arrangementâ€.
He also said the president pledged Nigeriaâ€™s continued desire for enhanced bilateral ties with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, adding that the king told Buhari that his National Security Adviser would soon be working out the final details of the Aqaba Process with his Nigerian counterpart.
According to him, the Jordanian King had earlier informed Buhari that his kingdom would open an embassy in Abuja in the next few months, and expressed appreciation to the Nigerian government for its support.
â€œSoon after President Buhari took office in 2015, the Jordanian king had offered a hand of friendship, cooperation and support to Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and the insurgency.
â€œThis resulted in the National Security Adviser undertaking two visits to Jordan to follow up on issues previously discussed with the king, and the donation of military hardware and pledge of further support.
â€œThese gestures are aimed at enhancing Nigeriaâ€™s operational capabilities in the fight against terror both within the country and the Lake Chad Basin which affects neighbouring Cameroun, Chad and Niger where the Multinational Joint Task Force is engaging the Boko Haram insurgents and terrorists.
â€œThe National Security Adviserâ€™s second trip to Jordan on the invitation of the king in January 2016 to attend the Third Aqaba Process, also resulted in a renewed commitment between the two countries to consider multilateral action in confronting the menace of terrorism by replicating the Aqaba arrangement which the Kingdom of Jordan has with East African countries battling protracted terrorist menace.
â€œNigeria has agreed to work with countries in the region on a similar arrangement with Jordan. It is anticipated that the First Aqaba Process for Nigeria and sister countries within the sub-region with Jordan will be held in late November or early December 2017,â€ the statement added.