President Muhammadu Buhari and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain yesterday appraised the war against different forms of terrorism in Nigeria and agreed that judicial processes should allowed to run their course.
Holding bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Global Education Summit in London, the two leaders said it was important that the judicial process runs without interference, no matter who was involved.
LEADERSHIP reports that the above agreement may not be unconnected to the ongoing trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, on terrorism and treasonable felony charges among others.
IPOB is demanding a separate state for the Igbo in the South East zone from the Nigerian federation.
The federal government had declared IPOB a terrorist organisation and proceeded to arrest him and put him on trial. He had escaped from Nigeria while on a court bail after a raid on his country home by Nigerian soldiers that allegedly led to some casualties.
Kanu was said to be carrying a British passport when he was intercepted in Kenya and returned to Nigeria to face his trial about two weeks ago.
According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari also briefed the Prime Minister on Nigeria’s power needs and efforts being made, as well as initiatives geared towards achieving food security.
He also reviewed the security situation in the different regions of the country, while Prime Minister Johnson pledged Britain’s preparedness to lend a hand.
“We are available to help,” the prime minister said.
The two leaders equally discussed how to increase trade between the two countries, develop solar and wind power, leadership of the Commonwealth going forward and other matters of mutual interest.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has welcomed support from the Commonwealth to tackle the numerous challenges facing the country.
Buhari stated this during a bilateral meeting yesterday with Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Patricia Scotland, at the sidelines of the Global Education Summit holding in London, United Kingdom.
Saying Nigeria was doing a lot to address food security through heavy investment in agriculture, and in tackling the security issues confronting the country in different regions, President Buhari, in a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, welcomed the offer of assistance by the Commonwealth scribe.
Baroness Scotland said the Commonwealth had developed programmes on agribusiness, value-addition to agriculture products for young people to get involved, climate change, criminal justice reforms, police reforms and security, as she invited Nigeria to benefit from technical assistance that can be provided.
She added that since President Buhari was the champion for Anti-Corruption in Africa, the Commonwealth has developed anti-corruption benchmark tools and would like to work with Nigeria in both public and private sectors.
Other areas the Commonwealth could assist, according to Baroness Scotland, include countering violent extremism, trade, and modalities to implement the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
In another development, Buhari has said no Nigerian parent jokes with education as they know that if their children or wards missed the opportunity of being educated, they have missed a lot.
Speaking during a panel session yesterday at the Global Education Summit in London, the President, in a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, said the size and population of Nigeria are challenges for any administration, but that despite this, the government and people realise that education is the starting point for success.
President Buhari said, “You can’t succeed outside your educational qualification. Anybody who missed education has missed everything. Nigerians are acutely aware of the priority of education, and parents are making sacrifices to ensure that their children and wards get educated.”
On the panel with President Buhari were Presidents Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi.
Each president spoke about the peculiarities of the education sector of his country, and how budgetary provisions would be increased to ameliorate the situation. They all raised their hands as a sign of commitment to that resolution.
President Buhari had earlier committed to raising the budget for education by 50 percent in the next two years, rising to 100 percent increase by 2025.