By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in New York lauded the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for the donation of hardware in support of Nigeria’s campaign against terrorism and insurgency.
Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that Buhari made the commendation at a bilateral meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan on the sideline of the ongoing 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Adesina said the President was delighted with the pledge by the Jordanian government to further supply helicopters to Nigeria.
He quoted Buhari saying that “the very expensive donation of about 200 Armoured Fighting Vehicles reflects true concern for Nigeria’s security situation and genuine goodwill towards a friendly nation.’’
The presidential aide said Buhari also reassured the King of Nigeria’s commitment towards the proposed Aqaba Process with countries in the region.
Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan and the largest and most populous city on the Gulf of Aqaba
‘’Nigeria is willing to play a leading role in bringing together countries in the West African sub-region into this collective security arrangement.’’
He said the president pledged Nigeria’s continued desire for enhanced bilateral ties with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The Jordanian King had earlier informed Buhari that his Government was in the process of opening an embassy in Abuja in the next few months.
He, therefore, expressed appreciation over the support being extended to his country by the Nigerian government in this regard.
He told Buhari that his National Security Adviser (NSA) would soon be working out the finer details of the Aqaba Process with his Nigerian counterpart.
The President was accompanied to the bilateral meeting, the third of its kind since the inception of the current administration, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and the NSA, retired Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno.
Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Tijjani Bande also attended the meeting.
The statement recalled that soon after President Buhari took office in 2015, the Jordanian King had offered a hand of friendship, cooperation and support for Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and insurgency.
This resulted in the NSA 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.
These gestures were aimed at enhancing Nigeria’s operational capabilities in the fight against terror both within the country and the Lake Chad Basin.
The security situation in Nigeria affects neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger where the Multinational Joint Task Force is engaging the Boko Haram insurgents and terrorists.
The NSA’s second trip to Jordan on the invitation of the King in January 2016 to attend the 3rd Aqaba Process also resulted in a renewed commitment between the two countries to consider multilateral action in confronting the menace of terrorism.
The Kingdom of Jordan has similar Aqaba arrangement with the East African countries battling protracted terrorist menace.
Nigeria 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,’’ the statement said.