The Federal Government has approached the Islamic Military Counter-Terrorism Coalition – a combat group of 41 countries – seeking its support in the fight against Boko Haram terrorism North-East.
The FG made the move through the Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Dodo, who visited the Secretary-General of the IMCTC, Maj Gen Mohammed Al-Moghedi, in Riyadh.
Our correspondent learnt that Dodo made the visit on Sunday and sought military cooperation between Nigeria and the IMCTC.
Some of the countries in the Islamic coalition are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
The Nigerian Defence Attache to Saudi Arabia, Brig Gen M.S. Ahmed, confirmed in a statement the meeting.
He said, “The Secretary-General exchanged views with the Nigerian ambassador on the importance of the deployment and participation of the Nigerian delegates at the IMCTC. This is considering the key role and position of Nigeria in Africa and internationally. While requesting Nigeria to ensure the deployment of delegates, Al-Moghedi stated that 19 member countries had already deployed full delegations.
“The ambassador assured the secretary-general that Nigeria would send its delegation to the coalition centre as soon as possible. He therefore solicited the support and assistance of the coalition in the fight against terrorism in the North-Eastern part of the country.”
The IMCTC said on its website that it was a “willing coalition of 41 countries that forms a pan-Islamic unified front in the global fight against terrorism and violent extremism”.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, on Friday cautioned Nigerians against giving undue publicity or spreading the propaganda of the Boko Haram insurgents, adding that such development was boosting their morale.
The army chief stated that the military would make more efforts to oust the “remnants of the terrorists.”
Buratai spoke in Maiduguri, Borno State, while visiting the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, according to a release from the Nigerian Army headquarters on Friday.
He noted that it was wrong for anyone to eulogise or support “murderers, bandits and armed robbers that the known Boko Haram terrorists’ group has turned into.”
The acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa, in the release, said, “The Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army, has noted with great concern the increased propaganda and undue publicity given to the remnants of the erstwhile Boko Haram terrorist group by some people.