French President Emmanuel Macron has accepted President Muhammadu Buhari’s plea for help as his regime grapples with the continued deterioration of insecurity amid calls for secession.
Mr. Macron committed to working with Mr. Buhari to fight insecurity bedeviling the Lake Chad Basin area and the Sahel.
Mr. Buhari had also appealed to France, the European Union, and global financial institutions to consider reducing the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria and other African economies by restructuring debt portfolios and providing complete debt relief.
“It is in this vein that we solicit the support of the French government, with its influence in the European Union, to lend its voice to the efforts being made to mobilize additional resources for developing economies, most especially in Africa, in order to strengthen the quantum of investments to our economies. This financial support should also be extended to the private sector,” said Mr. Buhari.
In a statement in Abuja, Garba Shehu, Mr. Buhari’s media aide, said the two leaders made this position known at a bilateral meeting in Paris, France, on Tuesday.
Mr. Macron, who hosted the Nigerian president on the margins of the Financing Africa Summit in Paris, pledged his “steadfast support” for Mr. Buhari’s regime and Nigerians as they confront the country’s security challenges.
“The French government would absolutely be there on the side of Nigeria, and it was willing to support with everything to assist the country to overcome its security threats,” Mr Shehu quoted the French president to have said.
Mr Macron also pledged to support Nigeria in confronting the challenges faced with COVID-19 vaccines, said the statement.
At the meeting, Buhari, who outlined the country’s security challenges and that of its neighbors, also spoke about the steps he had taken to reignite response to the situation, which, he said, included the appointment of the new service chiefs.
The president expressed the willingness of Nigeria to work with France and all its international partners to rein in the security challenges.
According to the statement, Mr. Buhari thanked Mr. Macron for agreeing to deepen the existing relations with Nigeria.