By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, His Excellency, Sabri Boukadoun has charged Nigeria to take the lead for all african nations, in the areas of peace and security.
Boukadoun made the charge on Thursday at a joint press briefing in Abuja, after an official meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, where they discussed bilateral and multilateral issues of common interest.
The Algerian Minister urged Nigeria to continue playing her role and work together with other countries through openness, rather than trying to dominate the continent, adding that Africa will only grow when she works together.
According to him, “Nigeria could do more in the future to take the lead for all african nations on peace and security issues. What we can do together, is, if we speak in unity, strategize with others and express how we can diminish terrorism threat, we can do that with Nigeria.
“We need Nigeria definitely because you trigger everything in Africa, we expect Nigeria to take sides with what is right. We want to give listening ears to what Nigeria will say regarding peace and security in Africa. We should find new ways of thinking in developing Nigeria and Algeria” he stated.
He further said that Africa needs to draw from its own Natural resources, and Nigeria is in the best position to have a leading role in this area. “It is the natural role of Nigeria to be present. We cannot ignore Nigeria as we cannot achieve peace, security and development in all Africa without Nigeria. Nigeria should play her role, we should not leave it to others. Peace and security in Africa has to be Africa based”.
Speaking on the bilateral relationship with Nigeria, he noted that Algeria has about 50 bilateral agreements with Nigeria, adding that Algeria will increase the speed and commitment to finish the business they have together.
Responding, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, stated that Nigeria has equal respect for all countries and whenever it is felt that the country can make a difference anywhere, they will be very happy to engage and play whatever roles, wherever they can.
In his words, “We are happy to help, if called upon, we will assume our responsibility. The important thing is that once there is an african consensus on issues that concern Africa we will have a basis for solution. We will not shy away from our responsibility. We will do our best for Africa”, he said.
While noting that Nigeria has a special relationship with Algeria, he said that the two countries are also looking at greater economic cooperation in the areas of peace and security, adding that Algeria is a key partner in helping to achieve this on the African continent.
“We strategize together to make sure that we are on the same page to achieve significant progress. We always seek to maintain that solidarity. Just last week, President Muhammadu Buhari passed an agreement for diplomats from Algeria to enter Nigeria without visa requirements”, he remarked.