ADDIS ABABA – Col. Adewale Adekoya, the newly posted Nigeria’s Defence Attaché for East African region and the African Union (AU), on Wednesday called for greater military and bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and countries in East Africa.
Adekoya made the call at a dinner organised to familiarise himself with Nigeria’s embassy staff in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He said that efforts were underway to evolve more mechanisms for better military and bilateral ties between Nigeria and countries in the region.
The defence attache urged Nigerians living in East Africa to abide by the laws of their host countries in order to project the good image of the country.
Adekoya solicited the cooperation of Nigerians living in different parts of East Africa to enable him execute his assignment successfully.
Over 45 Nigerians are currently being prosecuted in Addis Ababa for their alleged involvement in drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, Adekoya, who took over from, Col. Kehinde Adamu, is expected to supervise military matters affecting Nigeria in seven countries in the region, including South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia, Uganda and Seychelles.
He is also expected to render advisory support on military matters to the Nigerian diplomats and heads of mission in the Horn of Africa nations.
Adekoya will particularly advise Mr Bulus Lolo, the Nigerian Permanent Representative to the AU and Ambassador to Ethiopia on defence-related issues.
The defence attache is also saddled with the task of strengthening the military cooperation between institutions like the Kenya National Defence College (KNDC) and its Nigerian counterpart, the National Defence College in Abuja.
Adekoya is also expected to strengthen the military cooperation between Nigeria’s Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, with it’s counterpart, the Ethiopian Defence Command and Staff College in the areas of personnel training and knowledge sharing.
Some Nigerian soldiers are currently among the UN peace keeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The UN Security Council in a resolution on May 27, extended the mandate of the UNMISS by six months, with a new focus to protect civilians from attack in the ongoing fighting between government troops and the rebels.
NAN also learnt that there are about 140 policemen under the Nigerian Formed Special Police Unit, comprising men and women serving under the AU in Somalia (AMISOM).
The unit comprises officers drawn from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Uganda, providing training, mentoring and advisory support to about 4000 members of the Somali Police Force on basic police duties. (NAN)