From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
The United Kingdom (UK) government, yesterday, expressed its readiness to reduce the threat of terrorism within Nigeria and the West Africa region by joining the country in its war against the Boko Haram islamist sect.
Newly appointed British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock, who stated this during his maiden briefing with journalists in Abuja, said Nigeria, with its size, resources, importance in West Africa, the continent and increasingly internationally, matters to the UK.
Pocock said: “Sadly, terrorism in the North has taken many lives and is damaging economic and development prospects; and increasingly, the daily struggle of too many poor people.” He said working together to reduce the threat from terrorism both within Nigeria and the region, was one of his cardinal objectives, even as he said: “This demands an integrated political, economic, security and human rights approach.”
While saying that “the UK has experience of its own, which it is already sharing with the Nigerian authorities,” Pocock attributed the insecurity in the country to a regional issue, revealing that “what is happening in Nigeria, is part of the Sahelian problem just like what is happening in Mali.”