Nigeria is hoping to learn from Egypt’s effective counterterrorism efforts in North Sinai as a means to combat terrorism and banditry within the country, says Minister of Defence, Badaru Abubakar.
The Minister made these remarks on Thursday in Abuja during the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Egyptian Armed Forces Day, celebrating the ‘Glorious October War Victory’ of 1973.
Egypt celebrates the October War to reinforce the heroics of its armed forces during the country’s territorial conflict with neighbouring Israel in October 1973 over the control of the Sinai territory.
Minister Badaru commended Egypt’s continued military strength and commitment to safeguarding its sovereignty, even five decades after the war in 1973, noting that the North African country have also achieved success in defeating terrorism in North Sinai.
”As you may be aware, Nigeria is also battling terrorism and banditry in certain parts of the country, and we are adopting methods similar to those employed by the Egyptian government.
”Our counterterrorism efforts in Nigeria are centered on a comprehensive, all of government approach that includes reconstruction and development programmes aimed at improving the lives of our citizens.
”It is our hope that our armed forces can draw valuable lessons from your experiences to address our own challenges.
”Currently, we have Nigerian military officers undergoing various levels of training in Egypt, and we count on the training they receive will impact on our operations,’’ he said.
On the ‘Glorious October War Victory’ of 1973, the Minister acknowledged the historical significance of this war, emphasizing its relevance to African nations, notably Nigeria.
”Indeed, the Glorious October Victory resonates with all African countries, particularly Nigeria. It not only represents a significant victory for the Egyptian armed forces but also unique expression of the nation’s will and people’s unity.
”This victory in 1973 marked a turning point in Egypt’s history, as it resulted in the recovery of one of its vital territories. It is heartwarming to see that five decades later, Egypt still remains a formidable military might with a strong commitment to safeguarding its sovereignty,” he said.
Drawing parallels between Egypt and Nigeria’s post-conflict rebuilding experiences, he said both nations have risen to become prominent African economies.
The Minister underscored the long-standing warm and cordial relations between Egypt and Nigeria, underpinned by the establishment of diplomatic ties since the 1960s, adding that these relations have flourished through cooperation in various sectors, including telecommunications, healthcare, and defence.
In his remarks, Brigadier General Ahmed Fouad Ibrahim, the Egyptian Defence Attache to Nigeria, emphasized Egypt’s historic triumph in the October War, its commitment to peace, and efforts to strengthen Egypt-Nigeria relations.
He expressed pride in Egypt’s African roots and the shared vision for a brighter future filled with peace and progress for both nations.
”Egypt and Nigeria enjoy long and extended historical relations which we seek to strengthen through our governments and armed forces; in addition to investing in the enormous economic and cultural potentials of our countries.
”We look forward to developing our strong partnership at all levels and in all fields, especially security, military, and fighting terrorism.
”What has been achieved in military cooperation between our two countries during the past period came as a result of the intense work and the sincere desire of our leaders to strengthen this cooperation based on the existing of status quo of fraternity, friendship and the common will to spread the culture of peace and confront the forces of violence and extremism on our continent,” he said.