Again, Turkey President Warns Buhari Of Al Qaeda-Linked Terror Group Operating In Nigeria
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari to be wary of the activities of a foreign terrorist organization operating in Nigeria.
Erdogan, who is on a mini-tour of three African countries, had arrived in the nation’s capital, Abuja, on Tuesday night.
The Turkish leader, who in 2017 had warned Buhari of the group’s activities in Nigeria, repeated the caution at a joint press conference he held with the Nigeran leader on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Erdogan said the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) which is reportedly behind a failed coup against his government in 2016, was still “very active” in Nigeria.
he pledged that Turkey will continue to share information with Nigeria on the activities of FETO and other areas.
At the meeting, both leaders signed a total of seven agreements during their meeting.
“We are strengthening our cooperation in military defense and security issues with Nigeria, which is fighting terrorist organizations, armed gangs, and piracy” Turkish news agency, Anadolu Agency, quoted Erdogan who spoke through an interpreter to have told journalists at the State House in Abuja.
THE WHISTLER recalls that during a joint press conference both leaders held in 2017 in Turkey’s Presidential Complex, Erdogan had told Buhari that his country expects “cooperation from Nigeria in the fight against FETO.”
He had warned that, “We all know very well that FETO is using educational institutions not to serve the citizens of the countries they are located in, but to recruit militants.
” We, as Turkey, are fighting against FETO not only for ourselves, but also for the security of our friends and brothers. Today we discussed the issue of cooperation against FETO. I believe these efforts will soon yield concrete results,” Erdogan was quoted to have said by the Turkish Presidency.
The Turkish president had called on the Nigerian Government to close down schools in the country that are linked to the terrorist group.
Some of the educational institutions reportedly linked to FETO, otherwise known as the Gulen Movement, are: Surat Educational Ltd., Abuja; Nile University in Abuja; and the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC), which was formerly known as Nigerian Turkish International Colleges (NTIC).
Meanwhile, Erdogan expressed hope that his country and Nigeria will strengthen relationship in the area of trade.
He said, “We hope and pray that we will be expanding our trade volume up to 5 billion dollars immediately.
“We hope and pray that the relations between the two nations would be further developed on the basis of a win-win situation and in the basis of mutual respect.
“As Turkey, we have been closely monitoring the development in Nigeria in our brotherly and friendly nation.
“The terrorist organizations, the armed gangs and the marine vendors are continuously active in Nigeria and the Nigerian authorities are continuously fighting them.
“In other to cooperate further in the field of military operations, defence and security, we are doing everything that will be available.
“We are ready to share our capabilities, even extending capacities as Turkey with Nigeria especially in the field of defence industry and security which are being praised by the globe.
“The sensitivity we show in fighting terrorism, I hope it will be reciprovated by our Nigerian brothers and sister and our counterparts.
“The perpetrators of the heinous failed coup of July 15, FETO, is still very active in Nigeria. And we are continuously sharing our intelligence with Nigerian interlocutor and authorities.”
Erdogan also commiserated with Nigeria on the recent attack in Goronyo Local Government Area of Sokoto State, which claimed 43 lives.
In his remarks, President Buhari thanked Erdogan for opening his country’s borders to accommodate millions of refugees in dire need of humanitarian support.
“I commend Your Excellency for your leadership and generosity in receiving and accommodating 4 million refugees fleeing from conflict areas particularly in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
“You have indeed set an example to the rest of the world.’’
President Buhari described the two-day visit of President Erdogan and the First Lady, Emine Erdogan, as a reflection of the ‘‘robust, warm and cordial bilateral relation’’ between Nigeria and Turkey.
Buhari said they held “very useful discussions on a number of bilateral issues, aimed at strengthening this cordial relationship between Nigeria and Turkey.
‘‘The key issues we touched on included a Series of Bilateral Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding that had been finalised.
‘‘As a positive outcome, eight major Agreements/MoUs on a number of the key sectors including Energy, Defense Industry, Mining and HydroCarbons among others were signed today. We have agreed that implementation is to commence immediately.
‘‘In the course of our discussions, we also reviewed the travel ban list based on the revised COVID-19 protocols and removed Turkey from Nigeria’s Travel Ban List. Turkey has indeed achieved remarkable success in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.’’
President Buhari said Erdogan’s meeting with a Joint Session of the Nigeria and Turkish Chambers of Commerce and Industry, before departing Nigeria, would be another opportunity to engage and exchange views on more productive ways of pushing ahead the socio-economic ties between the two countries.