200 Nigerian Air Force Men Return From Gambia

200 Nigerian Air Force Men Return From GambiaTwo hundred of the Nigerian Air Force personnel sent for peace keeping in Banjul, The Gambia, are back home, after what they called a successful campaign in the country.

The officers and men who arrived at about 6:30 on Thursday evening, were brought in an Air Force plane.

The troops were part of the ECOWAS military force sent to restore democracy in The Gambia.

Former President Yayah Jameh had refused to step down after losing an election to current President Adama Barrow.

The officers and airmen were received by Air Vice Marshal, James Gbum at the Air Force wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

ECOWAS decided to engage its military after the mediating team led by Nigerian leader, Muhammadu Buhari, could not convince President Jammeh to relinquish power to then president-elect of Gambia, Adama Barrow.

Mr Jammeh had earlier said he would accept the result of the election but changed his mind few days later, insisting that another election should be held.

Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Mr Mohammed Dan-Ali, explained that ECOWAS decided in a meeting to use its standby force in upholding the result of the presidential election held in December 2016, which produced Mr Adama Barrow as winner.

The Minister added that in line with the ECOWAS directive, the Nigerian military would deploy its assets to protect the people of The Gambia and maintain regional peace and security.

The mission was accomplished when Mr Adama Barrow was successfully sworn-in as President in neighbouring Senegal with Jammeh left with no other option than to leave few days after.

This paved the way for the return of Barrow as President, but the ECOWAS troops had to remain in the country ahead of the arrival of the elected President Adama Barrow.

ECOWAS said that it was retaining troops from Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana to secure the city for the next six days ahead of President Adama Barrow’s return.

ECOWAS Troops To Remain In Gambia

ECOWAS Troops To Remain In GambiaThe President of the ECOWAS commission, Marcel Alain De Souza says ECOWAS troops deployed for mission in The Gambia would remain in the country ahead of the arrival of the elected President Adama Barrow.

Briefing members of the diplomatic corps and commissioners from member countries, the President said that it has retained troops from Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana to secure the city for the next six days ahead of President Adama Barrow’s return.

The ECOWAS president appealed for financial support from international partners to conclude its mission successfully in The Gambia.

Responding to the allegation that the former president, Mr Yahaya Jameh took away 11.4 million dollar from the country’s treasury, ECOWAS promised to encourage and support any form of investigation.

ECOWAS says while it lends support to the present government in any investigative move on the former President Yahya Jammeh, it has not validated the joint declaration by the EU and AU to grant him presidential amnesty.

Buhari Assures Diplomats Of A Stable Nigeria

Diplomatic-Corps-in-Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the international community of his resolve to build a stable and prosperous Nigeria that is inclusive of all its diverse peoples and at ease with itself.

The President was speaking on Thursday at a reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps in the Presidential Villa.

In his speech, which centered on insecurity and fight against corruption, he said: “As so long as corruption holds centre stage in the affairs of Nigeria, the country will continue to suffer incalculable harm.

President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration would fight a relentless war against the cancer of corruption

“Mindful of this, it has become necessary to wage a relentless war against the cancer of corruption”.

On the war on terror in the northeast, President Buhari said the Boko Haram holds no territory in Nigeria.

“When I assumed office on May 29, 2015, Boko Haram had full control of 14 local government areas in the northeast, but today, the group holds no territory in Nigeria.

“We are quite aware that the war on terror will not and cannot be won by military means alone. we need a soft approach that speaks directly to the human mind,” he stated.

Diplomats-at-Diplomatic-Corps-meeting-with-Buhari Nigeria
Some members of the Diplomatic Corps at the meeting with the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari

President Buhari thanked the international community for their support in the fight against Boko Haram, promising to end hunger and poverty in Nigeria which he observed are largely responsible for the indoctrination and co-option into violent extremism.

“Poverty and hunger will not only incapacitate, but they can lead to desperation.”

The Nigerian leader said that as a democrat, he would leave no stone unturned in the effort to rid Nigeria of corruption within the ambit of the law.

“I must, however, add that in doing this, we shall operate within the ambit of the law,” the President stressed.

The meeting with the Diplomatic Corps is an annual event, where the President of Nigeria interacts with the different countries’ envoys. It is usually characterised by a massive turnout.

Pride Of Africa

The relaxed atmosphere provided the President an opportunity to let the international community know what he had done in the last eight months of his administration.

President Buhari began his speech with focus on the war against Boko Haram and on what he is doing to curtail poverty and hunger which he had said dragged people into violence.

On the war against corruption, the president said he would fight it as a committed democrat.

He reiterated that Nigeria would remain committed to its international obligations.

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and the Cameroonian Ambassador to Nigeria, Salladeen Abbas, said they had confidence in the Nigerian President.

“We are happy to notice that your action is now yielding fruitful results. Mr President, rest assured that the international community will continue to provide full support to Nigeria efforts.,” Mr Abbas stated, speaking on behalf of other Diplomatic Corps.

Nigeria’s challenges may be enormous, ranging from increasing inflation and drop in the value of the Naira against the dollar to insecurity, but the President said he would give Nigeria the image that would be the pride of Africa and the rest of the world.