Nigerian Government Urges EU Support to Address Security Challenges

The Nigerian government has called for increased support from the European Union (EU) to combat the country’s ongoing security challenges. This appeal was made by the Nigerian Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru, during the “Road to Schuman Forum on Security and Defence” event, organized by the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in collaboration with the EU, in Abuja.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Ibrahim Kana, Minister Badaru highlighted the interconnected nature of global security. “One may think that you are in Europe and you are safe, you are in America and therefore you are safe. One may also think that insecurity is only in the Middle East and Africa, but the reality is that what affects one country in the world will eventually affect the other,” he stated.

Badaru underscored Nigeria’s pressing security issues, including terrorism, banditry, and kidnapping, and called for the EU’s assistance. “We plead with you that the support given to Ukraine, if one per cent comes to Nigeria, the funding given to the military if just one per cent comes to Nigeria, we can assure you we will fight the banditry and terrorism in Nigeria. The reality is that somehow we feel the EU and other nations pay more attention to other worlds compared to instability and insecurity in our region,” he said.

He further noted that African countries, particularly Niger, are struggling with insecurity and poverty. “A fraction of the resources used in prosecuting the war in Ukraine could be used to salvage Africa from the claws of terrorism,” he insisted. Badaru promised Nigeria’s continued commitment to promoting peace in Africa and globally.

The National Coordinator of NCTC, Major General Adamu Garba Laka, emphasized the need for collaborative efforts to address emerging security threats and enhance national development, not only in Nigeria but also across the ECOWAS region. He highlighted the importance of whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches in responding to these challenges and thanked the EU for its ongoing commitment to peace and security in Nigeria and the region.

Ambassador Samuela Isopi, the leader of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and West Africa, stated that the meeting aimed to gather perspectives on the main peace, security, and defence challenges facing Nigeria and its regional environment. She stressed the importance of a tailored security and defence partnership between Nigeria and the EU in light of the evolving global security landscape. “No one can afford to work in isolation,” she remarked.

This meeting serves as a prelude to the Schuman Security and Defence Forum, scheduled for 28 and 29 May 2024 in Brussels, Belgium. Nigeria is expected to participate alongside 27 EU member states, 60 partner countries, and various international organizations.

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