The Honourable Minister of State for Defence Dr Bello Mohammed Matawalle MON, attended the Second Meeting of Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) Defence Ministers’ Council in Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The meeting was chaired by the Saudi Minister of Defence who is also the Chairman Council of Defence Ministers of IMCTC member countries, His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Sa’ad.
Even though IMCTC was established in 2015, the first ever meeting of Council of Defence Ministers was held in Riyadh on 26 November 2017.
The mission of IMCTC is aimed at coordinating ideological, media and counter-terrorist financing and military efforts within its member countries with a high degree of efficiency and effectiveness, unifying and supporting them in partnership with friendly countries and counter terrorism international organizations. Its vision is to become a global leader on counter-terrorism and a primary partner in international security and peace making efforts.
In addition to Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, IMCTC has 40 other members some of which include Pakistan, Senegal, Kenya, Benin, Turkey, Guinea Bissau, Sudan, Cote de Voírè, Egypt, Sierra Leona and Uganda amongst others. Furthermore, IMCTC has an existing MoU with USA, United Kingdom and France as supporting countries to the Coalition whose roles include developing initiatives, political participation and advocacy, sharing information and providing resources to IMCTC when required.
During the meeting issues of terrorism in Nigeria were highlighted pointing out the negative impact of Boko Haram, Islamic State – West Africa Province (ISWAP) and other terrorist groups. The efforts of the present Nigerian administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu against terrorism in particular and security in general was also highly appreciated by the Coalition.
In-line with its core values and strategic objectives, IMCTC reiterated its commitment to support and collaborate with the Nigerian Government in the fight against terrorism. This was made known during a closed door meeting between the rep of the Saudi Minister of Defence, Cheif of Joint Staff , Secretary General of IMCTC, Nigerian Minister of State for Defence and other major stake holders of the Saudi Government. The old and strong cordial relationship that has long existed between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia was also emphasized. Issues of collaboration, transfer of military technology and Memorandum of Understanding on security cooperation were also discussed during the closed door meeting. It is envisaged that this very important meeting would eventually improve collaboration in the fight against terrorism globally and subsequently enhance counter-terrorism and security efforts across the African Sahel region which would eventually aid in further degrading the operations and activities of Boko Haram, ISWAP and other terrorist groups in Nigeria.