Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has called for stronger security and economic cooperation between Nigeria and Russia, saying this is particularly important at these times of rising challenge of new terrorism in Nigeria.
He, therefore, canvassed for the support of Russia in the drive towards eradicating the new terrorism challenge facing Nigeria.
Saraki who spoke yesterday in Moscow, while addressing the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament known as the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, said the new terrorism challenge was real in the country.
He cited the farmers and herdsmen clashes as one of the menace of new terrorism in Nigeria, which required necessary attention and support from Russia in a bid to nip it in the bud.
He said, â€œNew terrorism challenges are rising and one of these being the herdsmen, farmers crisis that constitutes a threat to national security.â€
According to him, Nigeria and Russia need to collaborate more to develop common strategies for tackling the problem of terrorism as their contribution to sustainable peace in the larger world.
The senate president added, â€œTerrorism is a global threat. What affects one, affects all; and we look to Russia to join us in building stronger collaboration for the fight against this common enemy. Terrorism, most significantly in the shape of the Boko Haram sect, has continued to pose a serious challenge to the internal security of Nigeria.â€
He recalled that at the height of the Boko Haram crisis, when Nigeria had difficulty obtaining international support, Russia memorably saved the day by supplying military equipment and assisting with the training of her personnel.
â€œWe are grateful that you did not abandon us in our hour of need. While Boko Haram is largely decimated now, the threat remains,â€ he said, adding, â€œWe hope for your continued cooperation and partnership towards combating the threat; and with your support, I have no doubt that Nigeria will prevail,â€ he said.
Saraki further called for a stronger economic and cultural cooperation between Nigeria and Russia and thanked the Chairperson of the Federation Council, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko, for the invitation to visit the Russian Parliament.