President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday called for intensified and sustained security operations across the West African sub-region to tackle the rising threats posed by insurgents and bandits.
The president made the call when he received the Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Mali to Nigeria, Mr Moustapha Traore, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He noted that only a collective fight will halt the threats to lives and property.
Buhari stated that the sub-region would continue struggling with the basics of development so long as people live in fear and uncertainty.
He said: ”The problems of terrorism and banditry have persisted in our countries, and we are doing our best to secure lives and property, but we tend to underestimate cross-border influences.
“Take for instance, the external influences on Boko Haram, and the impact of what happened in Libya. These are very critical issues that must be looked into because they are all at the expense of development.’’
In his remarks, the Ambassador of Mali said he would work hard to strengthen bilateral relations in areas of intelligence sharing between the security agents of both countries, and issues relating to trade and economic development.
“My President holds you in very high regard Your Excellency, and he praises your achievements in security and the economy since 2015,” he added.
The President also received a Letter of Credence from the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Dura Likar, and assured him of Nigeria’s full commitment to improving bilateral relations, especially in the areas of trade and security.
Likar told the President that Serbia remains interested in building relations with Nigeria in security, education, sports and trade.
“Let me say Serbia is ready to help and support the Nigerian armed forces and we have had a long standing relationship,” the Serbian Ambassador said.