President Goodluck Jonathan today in Abuja expressed confidence that Nigerian troops will maintain the momentum they have built up in ongoing operations against Boko Haram and rapidly recover more occupied territory from the terrorist group, spokesman Reuben Abati said in a statement.
Mr. Jonathan was speaking during a meeting with the outgoing French ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jacques Champagne De Labriolle, following a visit to some recovered towns in Borno and Adamawa States on Thursday. He said he had found them in very high spirits, and that they were well prepared and determined to successfully complete their operations.
“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 the ambassador, who had brought a congratulatory message from President Francois Hollande to Nigeria for the recent successes against Boko Haram.
The Nigeria leader also restated Nigeria’s appreciation of France’s unwavering support for Nigeria and its neighbours in the fight against terrorism.
“President Jonathan particularly commended his French counterpart 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.
“The President 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 said Mr. Jonathan also seized the opportunity of Mr. Labriolle’s visit to reassure the international community of his firm commitment to free, fair and credible polls in Nigeria next month.
Ambassador Labriolle told Mr. Jonathan that France was “confident in the future of Nigeria and its ability to continue playing a huge role in Africa and world affairs”.
The ambassador 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.