Nigerian President confirms Nigeria membership of Islamic Coalition – By Osaretin Evbuomwan
President Muhammadu Buhari, the leader of Nigeria, has officially confirmed that Nigeria has joined the Islamic Coalition against Terrorism led by Saudi Arabia. The coalition was formed to combat the growth of militancy in the Muslim world.
President Buhari had earlier on gone on a tour of the Middle East where he met with several Arab leaders, including King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia. It is believed that President Buhari enrolled Nigeria in the coalition during their talks in Riyadh, although the exact nature of what is expected is not yet known.
In the president’s own words; “We are part of it (Islamic coalition) because we’ve got terrorists in Nigeria that everybody knows which claim that they are Islamic. So, if there’s an Islamic coalition to fight terrorism, Nigeria will be part of it because we are casualties of Islamic terrorism.”
Asked to explain how such coalition would work for Nigeria, President Buhari said he could not disclose the details to the media. When told that some Christians were complaining that he was giving an Islamic identity to Nigeria, the president retorted,
“Why can’t those Christians that complained go and fight terrorism in Nigeria or fight the militancy in the south. It’s Nigeria that matters, not the opinion of some religious bigots”.
President Buhari’s admission came two weeks after an official presidency statement seemed to suggest that the government had turned down the invitation to be part of the coalition.