French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Adrian, has said the Nigerian military deserved a pat on the back for the bravery and courage so far displayed in the fight against Boko Haram, pointing out that its successes were a source of hope to France that terrorist’s organizations plotting against the French would be defeated.
The minister made the disclosure in Abuja during his visit to Nigeria’s Defence Minister, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali.
His words: “I am pleased with the cooperation between the Nigerian Defence Ministry and the French Ministry of Defence. I will like to salute the bravery and courage of the Nigerian forces in the fight against Boko Haram.
‘’I will be visiting the headquarters of the Multi-National Joint Task Force in Ndjamena which is also headed by a Nigerian general, to see how things are going and can be improved upon.
“The fight against the barbaric organization, Boko Haram, in Nigeria is the same fight that we have in France because these terrorists groups that are hitting Nigeria are the same that we have in France.
“The second phase that we are looking into in this cooperation is about maritime insecurity. We are extremely happy to help Nigeria in this which is going to be a much longer term effort in order to guarantee security in the Gulf of Guinea”.
In his address, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Mohammed Dan-Ali, said the visit of the French minister had a made a very big impact on the nation’s defence cooperation with France.
He said: “If you remember, our President was in Paris and he also went to all our neighboring countries of Niger, Chad, Cameroon, this is to strengthen cooperation between us and our neighboring countries; and France has a great influence on these countries and that is why we are looking forward to a fruitful defence relations with France.
“Nigeria will benefit in the sense that as we are fighting terrorism in connection with France and other neighboring countries, it will give us an impact in controlling or ending terrorism within our sub region and the world at large.”
On the role of France, he said: “Of course, the cooperation with France will help in mobilizing more support from Francophone West African countries.
‘’You will also recall that we have the Multi-National Joint Task Force and it is being sponsored by the neighboring countries of Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Benin and other countries in the region.