Russian President, Vladimir Putin has revealed that 2000 members of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists from the Middle East have joined Boko Haram last year.
President Putin disclosed this on Wednesday to President Buhari in Sochi, Russia during a bilateral meeting between both leaders.
The Islamic State (ISIS) is notorious for spreading hatred, beheading victims on camera and instigating deadly terrorist attacks.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu stated that the Russian leader expressed further determination to secure Nigeria and the rest of Africa from terrorists.
Putin assured that he would work with Nigeria and other African countries to secure and stop the incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea as they did in securing the Somali coastal areas.
He also promised his country’s support for the geological prospection of Nigeria’s solid minerals.
“We can do a lot together,” Putin added.
President Putin promised to promote joint efforts between Russia and Nigeria.
President Buhari while responding, suggested that both countries should organize the fifth Joint Commission meeting to review and ratify all the agreements (about 40) contained in the Intergovernmental Nigeria-Russia Joint Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation Protocol of November 11, 2016 as a way forward.
President Putin agreed to the proposal and leaders emphasized the need for reform of United Nations Security Council. President Buhari asked Russia to support Nigeria’s aspiration for a permanent membership of the council.
Buhari agreed to renew Nigeria-Russia Military Technical Agreement that had lapsed within a short time, saying: “I have directed the Minister of Defence to work with the Ministry of Justice to conclude this matter within the shortest possible time.”
This military cooperation agreement is expected to give impetus to further cooperation in direct procurement of military hardware on a government-to-government basis at a lower cost as well as training of military personnel and modernization of armed forces and renewal of infrastructure and equipment which President Putin promised to undertake.
On protracted issue of the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, Ikot-Abasi, Akwa-Ibom State, President Buhari said that he had asked the Ministry of Justice, “to submit a comprehensive report on the UC Russel (the Russian owners of the plant) matter…I want to assure you that the aim of our reforms is to ensure such investments are concluded and actualized in a professional and painless manner.”
The two Presidents also addressed partnership in education and agriculture. The Russia leader said they would give additional scholarships to Nigerians.
“We seek your Government’s support especially in the areas of wheat production. Today, Nigeria produces less than one hundred thousand metric tons of wheat locally while our imports are projected to exceed five million tons in 2020.
“We therefore need your support to bridge the deficit which will create jobs and save our foreign exchange for other important areas like security, defence and infrastructure,” President Buhari said.
Recall that the Boko Haram militants mainly inhabit areas in the northern states of Nigeria, specifically Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, and Adamawa states.
Originally, Boko Haram was referred to locally as the Nigerian Taliban because of their religious similarities to the Taliban.
In 2002, the terrorist’s group, which may have existed since the late 1990s, organizes under the Muslim cleric Mohammed Yusuf with it’s base in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
The group has killed over 2000 people in the northeast region.
President Buhari upon assumption of office in 2015, established a multi-national task-force in an effort to end the activities of the terrorists in Nigeria and it’s neighbouring countries which expert said has not yielded the expected result.