Saturday, October 1, 2022

Niger Republic delegation discusses security, economic ties in Sokoto

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By Najem Francis, Sokoto

A delegation from Niger Republic, at the weekend held a one-day high level meeting in Sokoto to discuss security and economic ties between the two neighbouring states.

A statement by the Spokesman to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Malam Imam Imam, said that the Nigerien delegation was led by the Governor of Tahoua Region, Malam Abdulrahman Musa.

The statement quoted the Sokoto State governor as saying at the opening that the gathering was a follow-up to the bilateral discussion held when President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic visited President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in Daura last September.

“This meeting seeks to enhance cooperation between our people and our government. It will discuss critical areas like security, trade, agriculture, forestry development, cultural integration, animal breeding, education and movement of persons in furtherance of the charter of ECOWAS and the African Union (AU).

“We will also discuss effective use of water from various rivers connecting neighbouring communities in the two countries. Of particular interest to us is the dam recently constructed in a community in Tahoua which has dried up water in Kalmalo dam of Illela LGA of Sokoto state?

“I am confident that the longstanding cooperation between the people of Sokoto and the people of Tahoua will be enhanced at the end of our deliberations,” Tambuwal said.

In his remarks, Governor Musa lauded the level of cooperation existing between Nigeria and his country, saying that the cultural and historical ties that bound their people were still strong.

He said although there was relative security in the areas bothering Sokoto and Tahoua, they were not oblivious of the precarious situation in Nigeria’s North East and Diffa region of Niger Republic.

“The Boko Haram menace and other security challenges may be a bit far from us, but we must be proactive to prevent its spilling to this side of our countries,” he stated in Hausa language.

He also called for a closer collaboration in education, saying the meeting would discuss the possibility of establishing colleges and universities to serve the common interest of their people.

Those who attended the meeting included security agencies, lawmakers, traditional rulers, business leaders and other technocrats from the two countries.

A minute silence was observed in honour of thirty Sokoto indigenes that recently died on their way to Chota in Niger Republic for a religious ceremony.

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