President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed confidence that Nigerian troops will continue the impressive gains against Boko Haram and recover more occupied territory from the terrorist group.
Jonathan said this at an audience with the outgoing French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Champagne De Labriolle. He noted that the officers and men of the Nigerian Army he met on the frontlines in Borno and Adamawa states were in very high spirits, well prepared and determined to successfully complete their operations against Boko Haram.
“We have already recovered much territory and very soon our troops will clear the terrorists out of other areas not presently under our control,” he assured De Labriolle.
Jonathan also welcomed a congratulatory message from French President Francois Hollande for recent successes of Nigeria’s armed forces against Boko Haram. He restated the country’s appreciation of France’s unwavering support for Nigeria and its neighbours in the fight against terrorism. He particularly commended Hollande for organising the Paris Summit of Heads of State of Nigeria, Benin Republic, Cameroon, Niger and Chad in May 2014 to foster greater regional cooperation against terrorism and insurgency.
He pledged that beyond the ongoing military campaign in the North East, Nigeria will continue to implement all agreements reached at the summit to ensure lasting peace and security within its borders and in neighbouring countries.
He also reiterated his commitment to free, fair and credible polls in Nigeria next month.
The President wished the outgoing ambassador well in his future endeavours.
In his remarks, Ambassador Labriolle said that France was “confident in the future of Nigeria and its ability to continue playing a huge role in Africa and world affairs”. He also expressed delight at improved trade and economic ties between Nigeria and France in the last three years, noting that over 250 French companies are currently operating in Nigeria.