NAIROBI, Kenya and Nigeria have agreed to combine their efforts in the fight against terrorism, says Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Speaking during a meeting with the visiting President Muhammadu Buhari at State House here Thursday, he added that the two countries would co-operate at the multilateral and bilateral levels to eliminate terrorism.
President Kenyatta emphasized that peace and security are essential ingredients to sustainable development, saying that was why Kenya continued to be at the forefront in championing for the realization of peace and security in Africa.
He thanked Nigeria for its support to Kenya following the recent attack on Kenyan troops serving in the African Union (AU) Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
President Buhari and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud on Wednesday joined President Kenyatta at Moi Barracks in Eldoret in western Kenya for a special memorial service in honour of the fallen Kenya Defence Force members.
“Your presence at the memorial service was a great morale booster to us, our soldiers and their families,” President Kenyatta told the Nigerian leader.
President Kenyatta observed that the AU, through AMISOM, had made great strides in the stabilization of Somalia, noting that sustainable peace and stability for Somalia means stability and security for the region and beyond.
“I must therefore appreciate Nigeria’s commitment and continued support through the African Union to restore stability in Somalia,” said President Kenyatta, who also urged Nigeria to remain steadfast in supporting the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia in its national reconciliation and reconstruction efforts.
President Buhari said terrorism should be fought from all fronts, saying no country was immune to the menace. “This is why the entire global community must work in a concerted manner particularly in areas of sharing intelligence and pooling resources to confront the scourge,” the Nigerian leader said.
President Buhari said new and versatile strategies must be developed to fight terrorism, including tackling radicalization and violent extremism which were taking rooting in Africa.
“The extremist narrative and ideology by radical elements and militants in our society must be tackled through counter-narrative that emphasizes education, moderation and tolerance,” the Nigerian leader said.
He commended President Kenyatta and the Government of Kenya for the giant strides made in infrastructure development, healthcare, information technology and education.
“Your strategy for economic diversification is a model many countries admire. Your commitment for inclusive growth in spite of the challenge of terrorism is a clear sign of a strong leadership. Your determination to defeat terrorism whenever it rears its ugly head demonstrates your vision for global peace and security,” President Buhari said.
“Nigeria assures you of support in your ongoing efforts to deal decisively with terrorist organizations. We must all remain resolute in the fight to defeat terrorism.”
The two leaders also agreed to promote trade ties between the two countries, saying intra-Africa trade and investment was key to African integration.
The meeting was also attended by Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and Cabinet Secretaries (Ministers) Joseph Nkaissery (Interior), James Macharia (Transport and Infrastructure), Hassan Wario (Sports, Arts and Culture), Henry Rotich (National Treasury), Cleopa Kilonzo Mailu (Health), Raychelle Omamo (Defence) as well as Attorney General Githu Muigai.
The Nigerian Delegation included Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Okechkwu Enelama and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khadija Bukar Ibrahim.