Key Issues


PARIS, Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has held talks here with French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and agreed on greater co-operation between their countries in order to forge better economic and security development.

They also agreed to continue to deepen the buoyant diplomatic, economic and military relationships between the two countries during their meeting here Monday. Vice-President Osinbajo was in Paris to attend the just concluded global forum on Anti-Corruption and Integrity hosted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) here.

Both the Nigerian Government and the French Republic are exploring new ways to confront and defeat the ideologies fuelling terrorism and Osinbajo told to the French leader that the Buhari Administration had made tremendous progress in degrading the Boko Haram militants and suppressing their insurgency, while stressing the need to break the ideological underpinnings of the terrorist group.

“One thing left for us to deal with is deradicalization, defeating the ‘ideology’ behind the mindless killing and violence,” he added.

He said the Nigerian government would be happy to work with France and others among its diplomatic partners to ensure peace and to deal with such problems as the challenge of deradicalization.

Osinbajo also conveyed the warm greetings of President Muhammadu Buhari to the French President Francois Hollande. He said Buhari noted the commitment and support of the French President to Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram.

“We are thankful for the work you are doing with Nigeria. Generally, the stemming of the spread of terrorism in the Sahel is much due to French’s role, and we thankful for that contribution,” Osinbajo said.

The Vice-President appreciated the French government for its hospitality to him and members of his delegation in France.

Cazeneuve, recalling recent terrorist attacks in France, said: “We know the consequences of terror attacks on populations. We are aware of the problem and we know it cannot be solved by countries working alone.”

He also noted that the French government had a process of deradicalisation involving teams working with families and stresse that “it’s a very difficult job”.

The French government, he said, would focus on how to enhance and deepen relationship with Nigeria, including on issues of “counter terrorism and sharing information when it comes to deradicalisation”.

The Prime Minister congratulated the Nigerian President and military over the degrading of Boko Haram and asked the Vice President to convey to Buhari “our message of admiration for his efforts to modernise your country”.

He also commended Osinbajo for his support for President Buhari, especially by holding the fort as acting President while Buhari was away. “You played a significant role for your country while holding fort for your country.”