Tuesday, February 23, 2016 8:13 pm
This decision was reached at a bilateral meeting between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia in Riyadh hosted by the ruler, King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz.
Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari, said the two leaders accepted the fact that their economies were tied to oil and that all could not be well with both countries when the world oil market was unstable.
“They, therefore, committed themselves to doing all that was possible to stabilise the market and rebound the oil price.’’
The two leaders, who engaged in extensive discussions on regional and global issues, also agreed that terrorism posed a common threat to their states and would require close cooperation to prevail over the threats.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was making his first pronouncement on the invitation to join the coalition of Islamic states against terror spearheaded by the Saudis, congratulated the Kingdom on its formation.
“Even if we are not a part of it, we support you. I must thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the recent creation of a coalition to address the menace of international terrorism.
“Nigeria will support your efforts in keeping peace and stopping the spread of terror in your region.
“This is in consonance with our own commitment and on-going efforts in seeking to stamp out Boko Haram terrorists from the West African sub-region and Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC),’’ the president said.
On global terror, President Buhari said that “international terrorism made a statement by attacking one of the advanced countries by carrying out an attack on Paris in which 130 were killed.
“Now, we have to come together to find a common solution to the problem of terrorism.’’
He thanked the Saudi Government for its continued support to Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
On the ongoing crises in Libya, President Buhari expressed concern that the late Libyan Leader Muammar Ghaddafi recruited, trained and armed citizens of many states in the Sahel region.
“With his fall, these mercenaries have returned to their countries, doing nothing but to shoot and kill,’’ he lamented.
He cited Burkina Faso and Mali as the main victims but expressed delight that the countries neighbouring the Lake Chad had tightened their ranks to finish off the Boko Haram threat.
“Luckily, we have cultivated our neighbours. We are now working together against Boko Haram, otherwise the problem would have become worse,’’ he added.
President Buhari and King Salman expressed the hope that the Libyan factions would soon see reason to reunite and restore fully their own country to save the world from further terrorism spin-offs from that country.
The leaders also focused on trade between their states and agreed to give fresh impetus to the joint commission previously established to boost commercial and other activities to unify their peoples.
King Salman Al Saud particularly commended the progress made by Nigeria in combating terrorism and promised to give further support and assistance.
He welcomed Nigeria’s support for the new anti-terrorism coalition and implored the president to consider its full membership.
The King pledged his full support and cooperation to Nigeria under its current leadership and directed all agencies of his government to follow up on the discussions.
“I now instruct my team to go and sit down with your relevant agencies to push forward cooperation between our states,’’ the King said. (