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Nigeria, Turkey to strengthen security, defence ties

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will partner with the Republic of Turkey in dealing with the current security challenges facing the nation.

President Buhari stated this in Istanbul, Turkey, at a bilateral meeting with President RecepTayyip Erdogan, shortly before the official commencement of the 3rd Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit.

He acknowledged that Turkey had garnered a lot of experience dealing with security challenges of various kinds, saying that Nigeria will latch onto that experience.

Giving assurances that the relationship between the two states will continue to grow for the mutual benefits of both countries, President Buhari said he was pleased with the Turkish offer of support in the area of security and peace in Nigeria.

The Turkish leader, who said Turkey had understood the challenges facing Nigeria and her core needs, pledged to assist her to meet those needs, especially in the area of defence.

President Erdogan said Turkey would welcome the Nigerian government’s decision to buy naval ships from their shipyard.

He said discussions were ongoing on how to strengthen the capacity of the Defence Industries Corporation, DICON, in Kaduna in line with an agreement signed during his last visit to Nigeria.

Meanwhile, President Buhari says he will continue to put in his best for Nigeria until the last day when, in 2023, he hands over to a successor and return to his farm to tender crops and livestock.

He stated this in Istanbul, Turkey, while responding to a tribute to him on his 79th birthday, rendered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, on behalf of his colleagues and other members of the entourage.

The President, who was taken off guard on his birthday celebration by members of his entourage, said he thought he would escape it, being far away from Abuja.

President Buhari cut a birthday cake molded-in national colours before proceeding to preside over a planning meeting with officials in his delegation, and thereafter drove to the Dolmabahce Palace for a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Recep Erdogan.

The Nigerian Ambassador to Turkey, Alhaji Ismail Yusuf Abba, congratulated the President on the good work he had been doing for the country, and on behalf of the delegation, wished him a happy birthday, many healthy years ahead, and the energy to give his best to the nation.

Reporting by Abdullah Bello, Editing by Omotola Oguneye