By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide military assistance to Sierra Leone in order to help stabilize that country.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari gave the assurances yesterday while received the new Sierra Leonean President, Julius Maada Bio, at the Presidential Villa.
The president congratulated Bio on the successful elections and the transitions that had ushered in a new government in the country.
“We will continually stand by you to ensure stability in your country.
We believe security in the West Coast region, Africa and the world should be a collective concern,’’ he said.
The President said Nigeria had for a long period provided security support for the country, especially during the 11 years of civil war, and would continue to assist the forces on the ground to ensure the peace and stability needed for development.
He noted that he shared a lot in common with the Sierra Leonean President, which includes ruling the country as a military general, contesting several elections as opposition and winning to face the challenges of security and an ailing economy.
In his remarks, the President of Sierra Leone said his country remained grateful to Nigeria for the brotherly role it had played in ensuring an end to protracted civil war in the country, and the successful political transitions since then.
Bio said he would work towards deepening the bilateral relations with Nigeria, and the strengthening of the regional bond, particularly in the areas of security and trade.
President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio disclosed this to State House Correspondents after paying a courtesy visit on his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari.
Bio said he was in Nigeria to appreciate the support of Nigeria to Sierra Leone during its difficult times and its recently held election.
“Nigeria and Sierra Leone are two sister countries that have enjoyed a great relationship spanning over several years and this relationship has been tasted severally. I came today to express our country’s gratitude to the Federal republic of Nigeria for standing by us during our time of need, when we had the civil war. This is my first time in Nigeria after I was elected. Im here on this courtesy call to renew our bond of friendship and to see how we can deepen this relationship which is mutually beneficial,”Bio said.
According to him, his discussion with Buhari centred on health, security trade and movement of people within the two countries.
He also said they were both concerned about the Ebola issue in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and preventive measures are being taken to curtail the spread of the deadly disease.